20 Oct 2022 - 09:36:14
|Gloucestershire energy-saving firm facing soaring energy costs
Three quarters of companies in the west country are worried about rising costs, according to a new survey.
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Business West heard from more than 400 small firms, and 73% told them inflation was their number one worry.
Even a company that makes energy-saving gadgets is facing rising energy bills of its own.
As official statistics record inflation at 10.1%, their story is typical of the squeeze that many small firms are facing.
Their costs are rising, but they know their customers have less money, so it is hard to put up prices.
Matthew Webber was smiling, nonetheless, when I met him in the new purpose-built factory off the M5 in Gloucestershire.
The company he runs is successful, and has surely the perfect product for an energy crisis.
Inside most domestic boilers and radiators swirls a dark black sludge. Metal shavings from the insides of pipes mix with other dirt to slow up the boiler, and even cause breakdowns.
Twenty years ago Chris Adey, a heating engineer, invented a new filter in his garden shed. It uses a magnet to suck all the metallic gunge out of the water in a central heating system.
His idea has been widely copied, but the original products made in Gloucestershire still sell well. In an energy crisis, the company says their filters save customers money, and potentially expensive breakdowns.
But ironically the company itself faces soaring energy bills of its own.