Energy costs are likely a large part of your business’ overhead, and the customer service of your supplier can have significant impact on the customer service you’re able to supply to your own customers. When the power goes down, you may have to shut up shop, cancel orders, and delay dispatches. When bills are inaccurate, you may have to spend hours navigating your supplier’s phone tree.
You’ll want a business energy supplier that’s reliable and responsive, offering you service at straightforward low rates and on contracts with flexibility. But despite the importance of an energy supply to businesses, businesses switch suppliers at much lower rates than domestic customers. They believe the process is arduous and involves hours of haggling with suppliers on the phone.
But it doesn’t have to be so confusing.
To compare quotes, simply fill in our quick form with some basic details about your business, and one of our advisors will get in touch to go over your options.
Finding energy suppliers for your business is a little different from find a supplier for your house.
Firstly, unlike in the domestic market, business energy suppliers don’t bundle gas and electricity in dual-fuel tariffs. You’ll need to get gas and electricity separately. Your electricity supplier may give you a discount for choosing them for your gas supply or vice versa, but you should still seek out quotes from other suppliers. Finding two different suppliers can increase the hassle of switching, but it ensures you’re finding the best rate for both types of energy your business uses.
Secondly, because business' needs will vary quite a lot, instead of running a straightforward comparison and signing up for off the shelf tariffs as you would for you home supply, you'll need to get tailored quotes direct from suppliers. This is where we come in - once you send us your business details, we'll get in touch with suppliers for you and put together a list of quotes just for you.
Thirdly, while domestic energy customers can switch whenever they want to (though will sometimes incur exit fees if they leave a contract early), business gas and alectricity customers have to wait for their renewal window to open
To start the process of switching business energy supplier, all you need is your business’ name and postcode, and details about your current energy consumption, which you can find on your latest bill.
In the energy market, loyalty isn’t rewarded. If you’ve stuck with your business energy supplier for years, you may be out of contract and consequently paying your supplier’s expensive default rate. Also, if it’s been years since you last assessed your business energy tariff, you may find that your energy needs have changed, or the market has shifted, offering new rates and types of contracts. While the exact amount your business can save by switching supplier will depend on your industry, energy consumption, and current tariff, in general savvy shopping and switching can shave hundreds off your bills.
You may be able to find suppliers that will offer you one contract, one tariff, and one bill for multiple business locations.
Protecting the environment and reducing their carbon footprint is a priority for an increasing number of businesses, both as an expression of their business’ ethics and to future proof their enterprise against climate change and regulation and taxes on greenhouse gas emissions. A number of renewable suppliers have moved into the B2B energy market, offering electricity generated from 100% renewable resources, including wind and solar power, and gas with a percentage of biomethane.
Business energy contracts typically last longer than domestic contracts—up to three or even five years. Long contracts allow you, with a fixed rate tariffs, to lock in a price for years, enabling you to budget into the future, but you won’t have much flexibility. They may also automatically renew. You’ll be able to exit any contract free of penalty if your business is shutting down or relocating to a new premise, however.
You may be able to import your old tariff to your new location, provided you’re satisfied with the rates and customer service and your old supplier operates in your new postcode. If this is the case, you’ll have to give your supplier adequate notice your move—30 days is usually sufficient—and give them the date of your move.
However, relocating is a great time to switch, as you’ll be able to exit your existing contract without penalty. Either way, you’ll want to set up an energy contract as soon as possible in your new location. When you move to a new premises that already has an energy connection, you’ll be on a deemed contract with that supplier and be charged their expensive default rates for any energy you use. It’s important to supply meter readings to that supplier immediately when you move into the premise. This will protect you against being charged for any previous tenant’s energy use.
Once you’ve arranged a contract with a new supplier, they take care of the rest, communicating with your old provider and handling the switchover date. You’ll be responsible for any final bills with you old supplier and any early termination fees if you’ve exited a contract early. The handover should be complete within four to six weeks.
The switchover should be seamless, without any interruption to service.
Under the smart meter roll out plan, businesses with fewer than 10 employees will be offered smart meters by their suppliers free of charge before the end of the 2020. Larger companies may also be able to obtain a smart meter for their supplier for a fee. Smart meters automatically send real-time meter readings to your supplier, eliminating the need for estimated bills that can mess up your budgeting and for manual meter readings. These readings are also relayed to a digital display, to show you exactly how much energy you’re using, in kilowatt hours and pounds and pence.
Micro businesses are entitled to certain protections under Ofgem regulations. Your business qualifies as a micro business if you consume less than 100,000 kWh of electricity per year, use less than 293,000 kWh of gas, have fewer than 10 employees and/or an annual turnover of less than €2 million. To put these figures in context, a micro business consuming those amounts will be spending between £10,000 and £12,000 on energy every year, excluding VAT. If you qualify as a micro business—and the majority of enterprises in the UK do—you will be able to give termination notice on your energy contract at any time and your notice period will be just 30 days rather than the standard 90 (you will still face fees for early termination, however). Your supplier can only automatically renew your contract if it lasts less than 12 months. And if you’re on a fixed term contract, your renewal letter should include details about your current price, new prices, and annual consumption, so it’ll be easier for you to compare tariffs.