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Whatever the size of your company, energy bills can be a drain on your running costs. Heating, lighting and equipment are all essential to keep you functioning, and it's all too easy to get stuck on a tariff that's sky-high or simply not right for your needs.
At BusinessComparison, we understand that just as companies vary in size and scale, so do their energy requirements. When it comes to gas and electricity use, it's certainly not a case of one size fits all. That's why we strive to find the best energy rates for your business. We will even tailor a solution to fit your business. That's because we specialise in business electricity, business gas, energy for small businesses and even corporate energy procurement.
There are two main types of business energy tariffs; fixed rate and variable. Fixed-term agreements are usually cheaper in the long term, protect against wholesale electricity and gas price increases and can be budgeted for by setting up a direct debit.
A variable rate contract benefits users if commercial electric and gas prices fall. Business energy is supplied on a contractual basis with terms lasting typically between one and three years.
We offer many business energy guides, such as our feed-in tariffs guide, meter installation guide, energy-saving tips and our smart meter solutions guide. We also have a handy guide on what to do during a workplace power cut.
When running your own business, there's no doubt that the bills stack up. Gas and electricity are essential commodities and, as such, will always form a portion of your monthly outgoings. However, there are choices that you can make to reduce the amount you're paying for energy.
By switching business energy supplier, you can save up to 40% on your bills.
So how do you go about making an informed decision? Including which providers to use and which deals are best suited to your needs.
There are two main types of tariff used. Because companies differ in size and scope, their gas and electricity requirements are often unique.
Choosing the correct type of tariff reflects how you use gas and electricity as well as how you go about paying for it. Certain factors should be taken into account when selecting a commercial energy tariff for your company. You should consider your business's financial situation, how much energy you use and where your company is located.
With a fixed rate tariff, your payments are fixed at a set rate. The agreement protects you for a set period of time. In some cases, this can be for as many as four years. After which, you can enter into a new agreement or switch to a different supplier. This type of plan is well suited to those on a budget.
This arrangement ensures protection from price changes during the agreed period, and prices are usually lower than with a variable contract.
Some providers also offer a percentage discount on every bill for customers who pay by direct debit. Read our handy guide on your energy bill explained.
However, there is a downside to this type of tariff. That is that you are locked in for the agreed duration. As such, you are unable to switch deals or providers. Even if prices go down or better deals become available on the market.
Variable tariffs can offer cheaper energy rates at the time of agreement. However, don't offer the same level of protection against energy price rises as the amount you pay for your business gas and electricity will fluctuate depending on the energy market.
A variable tariff represents the balance between paying lower energy costs in the short term and the risk of these rising in the long term. This may be a risk that small or start-up companies are willing to take to keep immediate overheads down. Within a variable tariff, there are two main types of agreement.
These are tracker price tariffs which change based on the wholesale market movements, and a blend and extend agreement which extends your existing contract for a longer duration.
The blend and extend tariff obtains a unit rate that comprises an average between your current contractual rate and that of the current available market rate.
There is no hard and fast rule to say that businesses can't move between these two tariffs as long as notice is given to the current supplier as per the agreed contracted period.
An extended tariff is an extension of your current energy tariff. Essentially, your supplier rewards your loyalty with an extended tariff. This can be an excellent option if you're satisfied with your service.
Although you don't have to switch suppliers with an extended tariff, we recommend comparing other energy suppliers to ensure you get the best deal for your business.
A pass-through tariff is designed to allow your business to split its energy bill between wholesale gas and electricity prices and other charges. Other charges may include things like the use of the National Grid. These charges can vary over time.
With a pass-through tariff, you could save money if the wholesale prices are low, but it is a riskier option. This is because energy prices can fluctuate quickly, meaning a pass-through tariff isn't best for businesses preferring regular energy bill amounts.
If wholesale prices are very low, your business may decide that bulk-buying your energy in advance could save money.
A flex approach tariff is ideal for larger businesses with the cash available to purchase energy in advance. This also offers the benefit of knowing exactly how much you have paid for energy.
Some providers offer blended agreements. This is where your business pays an average unit price based on your initial contracted rate and the available market rate.
This can provide some protection from potentially steep increases in energy prices, but it won't guarantee you the cheapest business energy rates.
Gas and electricity are essential to ensuring your business can run smoothly, but the cost of your energy could significantly impact your bottom line. If you're looking for competitive tariffs, excellent customer service and the most beneficial add-ons, comparing business energy providers is vital. Put simply, securing the best business electricity or gas deal could save your business significant money.
If you've been with the same energy supplier for years, there is a high chance that your business isn't on the best tariff available. By regularly comparing business energy, you could save money, improve customer service and account management features, and take advantage of a greener business energy supply.
Many businesses believe switching their electricity or gas supplier is lengthy. However, your new provider will handle this for you, liaising with your current supplier on your behalf. When you switch providers, your energy supply won't be interrupted. You simply submit your final meter readings and pay your final bill. That's it!
Our business energy comparison could save your business on its energy costs.
Each of our energy suppliers meets our strict requirements.
We can help businesses throughout the UK switch to the best gas and electricity suppliers.
We do the hard work for you and will compare hundreds of quotes to find you the best business energy deal.
70% of firms experience difficulty comparing energy tariffs. 43% have never switched suppliers, according to research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
This is surprising when you take into account the scale of savings that could be made by businesses. There are a number of reasons why companies are reluctant to switch suppliers. First, a lack of understanding about the different suppliers. The second is customer loyalty. Third, concern about the time and effort it may involve to switch. Lastly, mistrust of lesser-known suppliers. These perceived issues are standing in the way of making a switch to a different supplier.
However, switching is not the long and complicated task that many believe it to be, and the savings can make the change well worth it.
We also maintain a current list of our Top 10 business energy suppliers to help you understand the energy market.
How to Switch Energy Suppliers?
Typically, your supplier will send you a renewal letter. This will detail the new prices they intend to charge for your estimated use. Usually, this is sent 60 days before the end of your current contract. However, this can vary. At this point, you can renew your contract at the rate suggested or save money by switching to a different supplier with a new contract.
Compare business energy deals for your company using our comparison finder tool. Simply follow the online instructions, and we'll guide you through the process of finding your new deal.
Upon comparing business energy prices, it's useful to have a copy of a recent bill in front of you. In this document, you'll also find important reference numbers. You will need to provide these numbers to switch to a new supplier. These are the Meter Pointer Reference Number (MPRN) for gas. As well as the Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN) for electricity.
So, you have found the best deal for your company with a provider you are happy with. Next, you need to arrange to move to the new deal in plenty of time. Ordinarily, you have up to 30 days before your existing deal expires to switch to a new supplier.
This is referred to as the Notice Period End Date. You must inform your supplier of your intention to switch before this date.
Use a business energy broker such as BusinessComparison. We will process the switch and inform your existing supplier that you are taking your business elsewhere.
You can find out who supplies your gas and electricity by looking at a recent utility bill. The contact details of your supplier will be printed on the document.
This is a problem if you have just moved to new premises or don't have a recent utility bill. In this case, you can contact the Meter Point Administration service. They will provide you with the details of your gas supplier and local electricity distribution company.
If you move into new premises then a deemed contract will normally be in place. This can be for gas, electricity or both if you have not agreed a contract with a supplier. A deemed contract may also exist If an existing contract has come to an end but the customer continues to consume energy. Costs of deemed contracts are on average 80% more than rates charged in a negotiated contract. Around 10% of micro-businesses are on deemed contracts.
This is when a gas or electricity supplier rolls you over onto a new contract. This can happen seemingly without your knowledge at the end of your contract. If you wish to leave your contract, you must notify your supplier. You must do this before the end of the notice period.
A Change of Tenancy occurs when your company is moving into or out of commercial premises.
As a new tenant, you must agree to a new contract either with the existing supplier or a new supplier of your choice. You may decide to use a price comparison site to search for a a new energy supplier deal. They can even help you seek a more competitive tariff with the existing provider. If you are the tenant moving out, you must keep your supplier informed of your situation.
Yes. If you decide to switch your provider, you must inform your existing supplier. You can do this directly. Alternatively, your comparison company or third-party intermediary (TPI) can do it for you. In this case, you must sign and supply a Letter of Authority (LoA).
Using an energy comparison site or third-party intermediary (TPI) can help you find the best energy supplier. However, you must sign a Letter of Authority (LoA). This is a recognised legal document. It allows a broker to purchase energy and liaise with a supplier on your behalf and with your permission. Put simply, an LoA allows your new supplier to cancel your existing tariff. As well as setting up a more competitive new one.
The Letter of Authority (LoA) follows a standard format. It states that a third party can gather information, negotiate and submit the notice of termination on your behalf. However, it does not give the right to agree to a contract without your consent. You must sign the Letter of Authority.
An MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) is the number that identifies your electricity supply. It's sometimes referred to as a 'Supply Number' or 'S Number'. This unique meter code helps suppliers locate your home and is found on your old statements. This is a problem if you don't have an electricity bill. In this case, your supplier or local distributor can tell you what it is.
MPRNs (Meter Point Reference Numbers) are the equivalent reference for gas and will also be found on your gas bills. They have 6 to 8 digits and are sometimes called an 'M Number'. A supplier or local distributor can tell you what your MPRN is if you cannot find it.
A commercial smart meter supplies data about how much energy your company uses. This can prevent inaccurate bills as suppliers will no longer need to rely on estimated costs.
You may require a multi-site meter if your company is a large corporate entity and operates from multiple locations. This can help you to manage your consumption more efficiently.
Switching to get the best price for your business can become time-consuming and complicated if you are using different suppliers for different sites. This is especially the case when tariffs are due for renewal at different times. A multi-site meter means you are on one tariff with one bill across your sites. We can help you to compare suppliers and switch to get the most competitive deal possible for your multi-site meter.
Corporate procurement is designed specifically to help larger businesses manage and maintain their energy.
Because every contract is for a fixed amount of time, you're tied into the agreement until it expires and can't cancel or change it. The time frame will depend on your agreement, with 12 months being the minimum. Smaller businesses receive reminders about when their contract is due to expire. This is the point at which you can search for a cheaper deal. If you find a deal that you prefer with a different supplier, you can accept it and inform your existing supplier that you want to close your account. Once your contract expires, you will be sent a final bill to pay and may be asked to send a final meter reading.
A small business's average annual utility bill (gas and electricity) ranges from £2,700 to £4,300. For a micro business, this is £950 per year to £2,500, and £4,800 to £7,000+ on average for a medium business.
There are certainly more commercial savings to be made with business energy rather than domestic or residential tariffs. Commercial contracts can last anything from 28 days to 5 years. During this time, your business is locked into the fixed term, meaning that, with suppliers chasing your business, there are opportunities to access cheap deals and make larger savings.
Significant financial savings can be made by using a comparison service to compare energy for small business owners, which will compare deals on gas and electricity and make a switch that benefits their needs. Using a price comparison site can make this process even quicker and easier.
At BusinessComparison, we offer a free energy comparison service. Why not compare and save more money on over 150 commercial tariffs with us today?
Business customers who want to choose a green energy provider can do so, provided a suitable supplier can service their premises.
Opting for green energy may not be the most cost-effective solution for your business, but if you're committed to finding an environmentally-friendly solution, then it may be possible to find the right supplier for you. You could enhance your energy saving further by installing commercial solar panels, or you could consider microgeneration.
When choosing the best energy deal for your business, you might have the option to either pay a tariff or a standing charge that costs the same amount regardless of usage.
A standing charge is a fixed amount that is charged no matter how much energy your use, whilst a tariff means you will only pay for your consumption. Which option is cheapest and best for you will depend on the type of company you run, along with other factors such as its location and how much energy it needs to operate.
Undoubtedly, businesses can benefit from much more competitive pricing than those looking for domestic utilities. There are many reasons for this, it's in part because some commercial electricity contracts last for as long as five years - making it easier for suppliers to offer long-term deals.
How much you stand to save by switching energy providers will depend on lots of factors, including its size, status, and location. That being said, by using BusinessComparison to find a better deal, our users save an average of £446 each per year - which works out to around 40% of their bill.
Switching providers can be seamless, but it's important to make arrangements with your new supplier early to guarantee that there's no crossover period where your company is moved onto a deemed rate.
Switching your supplier can take much longer than switching between domestic suppliers, with an average switch time of four to six weeks. This will depend on where your premises are located, the particulars of your current commercial energy supply agreement, and other similar factors.
All we need to get started on finding a better tariff is your postcode, name, email address, and phone number.
It can help us find the best deals if you can confirm who your current electricity or gas provider is. It is also useful to know how much you spend on your business energy in pounds or use in kilowatts (kWh). These details aren't essential, though. You'll still be able to search for a cheaper tariff without them.
One of the main differences between business and domestic electricity tariffs is that businesses usually pay the same, fixed rate throughout their contract. Because of this, businesses are often better protected from price rises than domestic customers.
It's often the case that businesses use much more energy than your average household, which is part of the reason that commercial and domestic electricity supply works so differently.
Businesses often tie themselves into a tariff for a long period of time. So, it's even more important to ensure you're getting a deal that's right for your business at a good price.
Whilst the rates might generally be better for commercial customers, it's worth remembering they may also have to pay 20% VAT on their tariff compared to the 5% paid by domestic customers. In addition, businesses in the UK are required to pay the Climate Change Levy (CCL), which is subject to change every April.
There is an exception to this rule. Your company won't have to pay CCL and will only pay 5% VAT if you use less than 33kWh of electricity and 145kWh of gas on average per day.
Switching your supplier can be quite different than swapping a residential address, with the switching period taking around six weeks. During this time, your new supplier will work out the finer details with your existing supplier and let you know a switching date.
There should be no disruption to your electricity and gas supply, even on the day that the change is made. Generally, there won't be any need for your supplier to make any changes to the infrastructure at your premises, as gas and electricity will be supplied through the existing pipes and cables regardless of your supplier.
Contracts can be fixed from one month to as long as five years. The best rates and deals are reserved for the longest fixed-term contracts. However, keep in mind that if rates do fall, you will still have to pay your agreed unit rate and/or standing charge. This can be annoying if you have fixed your rates for a long period.
Some businesses choose to bulk buy energy before using it, so they know how much they've paid. This is called the Flex approach. Using this type of approach, a company can take advantage of a favourable market rate and purchase gas or electricity at a good price, months or even sometimes years in advance when costs are low.
This works well for some businesses. However, it can be risky if you are caught out of contract when prices are high.
There is no generic business electricity available which makes comparing suppliers even more important. Each contract – the price and duration – is unique to your company.
Even though you might choose the same supplier for electricity and gas, the contracts will be separate and may contain different start and end dates.
Most businesses have the standard 20% VAT rate applied to their electricity bills, although there are some exceptions to this. If you are a charity, non-profit organisation or SME with low electricity usage, then you may qualify to apply for a reduced VAT rate of 5%.
If you pay via a monthly direct debit, then your supplier may give you a small discount.
To ensure your rates will align with your current business gas consumption, it's useful to have a recent bill to hand when comparing prices.
Over the course of a year, a company paying 4 pence less per kWh can easily save over £1,000.
Gas contracts typically last between one and three years.
From 1st April 2018, private landlords will have to ensure that before a property is let out, it must have a minimum energy certificate band of E or above. That's following the introduction of the Energy Efficiency Regulations 2015. Landlords who do not follow this will be served with a compliance notice and a penalty of up to £10,000.
These new regulations are worth taking into account when considering the duration of your new contract. Improvements to the energy performance of commercial properties are likely to drive down your associated costs if you rent your premises.
40% of UK businesses have never switched providers!
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Manufacturer Saves £2,460 on Business Energy
Based on their gas and electricity consumption, a Crewe-based manufacturer has secured a business energy saving of over £2,460 against the amount their previous supplier had quoted in their renewal letter. Within a few minutes of using our comparison solution, they compared the whole market. They arranged their switch to Opus Energy – an independent utility supplier specialising in saving businesses money in a hassle-free way.
Hairdresser Saves £257 by Switching Suppliers
A Bolton-based hairdresser with an average business energy use said that they were delighted with the service, "They really do know their stuff when it comes to business electricity and gas contracts. I was advised on the different suppliers and their tariffs which ultimately allowed me to make an informed decision. Plus, I saved money!" By using BusinessComparison, they saved £257 per year.
Large Retailer Saves £13,885 on New Energy Deal
One of the UK's largest retailers of disability and mobility products found that they saved time and money using this comparison service. In the past, they, “would call around all the different suppliers,” which “was extremely frustrating.” They used the personalised service to save £13,885 on their energy bills and now receive a call from their account manager to make sure they are saving money every year.
Many factors can impact the cost of business electricity and gas, which is why it's so important to compare business electricity suppliers and gas providers. The following costs affect how your business energy bill is calculated.
Although domestic customers only pay 5% VAT on their energy bills, commercial customers are charged 20% VAT. However, if your business uses less than 145kWh of gas and less than 33kWh of electricity or is a charity or non-profit organisation, you'll only have to pay 5% VAT.
The Climate Change Levy (CCL) is applied to all businesses within the UK. However, businesses qualifying for the 5% VAT are exempt from the CCL payment.
How you pay your bill can impact your overall energy costs. Many suppliers offer a small discount to those paying by a monthly Direct Debit.
This is a fixed daily charge that suppliers include within tariffs to cover the cost of supplying your energy. This includes things like maintenance of the electricity national grid and the transport of gas to your premises.
Your energy unit cost is measured in pence per kWh. Your bill amount will reflect the amount of energy used per kWh. Slight differences in your energy unit cost may not seem significant, but they soon add up.
By reducing your unit cost by just a few pence per kWh, you could save your business hundreds of pounds.
Minimising your business's impact on the environment is important, and choosing a green energy supplier supports this approach. However, a green energy supplier may not offer the lowest energy unit cost.
If you are looking for the best possible price, a cheaper way to become greener could be to use paperless billing. You could also switch to more energy-saving initiatives within the business premises.
Do you want to reduce your business electricity or business gas bill? Our business energy comparison service helps your business find the cheapest business energy price possible. Don't unnecessarily overpay for business energy, compare energy with us today.