Changes under the last government have taken away the freedom to choose your own energy supplier from the first day you take over a new property.
We took over a medium-sized pub two years ago and found that we could not switch to our chosen elecricity supplier for an interim period, during which we would have to use the previous owner's supplier.It took twenty days for the switch to be made and the previous owner's supplier charged us a staggering £1600 for twenty days' electricity.When we queried the charge we were told that because we had no contract with the supplier, it was charging an 'out of contract rate', ie.whatever it liked.
At first our MP did not believe that you could not use your own supplier from day one, but after research came back and told us that there had been recent changes to the law.
Our business eventually failed. The cost of being forced to buy electricity at an extortionate cost was one of the reasons.
It is simply not fair for someone to be forced to do business with a supplier that can then charge anything it likes.
The law simply needs to be changed back to the traditional position that someone taking over a new property can use the energy supplier that they choose for themselves, from day one, without having to have anything to do with the previous owner's supplier.
Why does this idea matter?
It is simply not fair for someone to be forced to do business with a supplier that can charge anything that it likes, even if only for an 'interim' period. Suppliers are probably using this opportunity to recover sums owing from previous occupiers, ie. collecting other people's debts from people who never owed them in the first place and who are effectively held to ransom while they do it.
'Freedom to contract' with whomever you like used to be a fundamental principle which characterised English law and the basic individual freedoms of British life.It should never have been eroded.