The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) is issuing the advice. Mike Owen, its aftermarket head, said: ‘Gas usage is particularly high in bodyshops - it's an integral part of their activity during the painting process. Any extra strain on their bank balances could well push some businesses to the edge, so it is prudent for them to shop around for better energy deals.
'We would also appeal to insurers to take into account these additional and unavoidable costs.'
RMI members can get free help and advice on managing energy costs - as well as a price comparison fact sheet - by contacting energywatch, the independent gas and electricity watchdog. For further information, call energywatch on 0845 90 60 708 or visit www.energywatch.org.uk.