By comparing the available rates and ensuring you are on the best tariff for your own business
requirements, you will ensure your business is not locked into a high-cost rollover tariff. The
tariffs available may depend on the type of business electricity meter currently fitted within
your premises. The most common meters are half-hourly meter which are often used in businesses
with large consumption levels, multi-site meters and the cost-saving smart meters.
Competitive fixed rate tariffs
The most popular business electricity tariffs are fixed rate options, as these are normally
cheaper than variable rate plans. The terms will vary between suppliers, but it is possible
to find plans which will be fixed for up to 5 years, although most will be one, two or three
year fixed options. This means you will be protected from any prices rises during this time,
although plans which are fixed for longer terms will be more expensive.
Flexible tariffs for large businesses
Although fixed rate tariffs are the most popular option, for larger businesses flexible tariffs
could provide a valuable alternative. Your energy use will be profiled by the supplier and
divided into two categories, the baseload which is your predictable average usage and peak
usage which refers to the periods of increased usage outside of your usual amounts. Your business
will purchase blocks of each of these types, with any unused electricity sold back to the grid.
Variable rate tariffs with no long-term commitment
There are some suppliers which also offer variable rate plans, however these do not provide any
protection against rate increases. If your business signs up to a variable rate tariff you will
only pay for the exact electricity you use, but the rates tend to be much higher than alternative
tariffs. If you are unsure of how long you will need the electricity contract for a variable tariff
will be ideal as there is no long-term commitment. If prices were to rise it is often possible to
switch to a new plan by providing just 30 days' notice.
Deemed contracts for businesses with new premises
If you have recently moved to a new premises or have not yet agreed a contract with an electricity
supplier your business is likely to be paying the rates of a deemed contract. These tariffs will
cost much more than other contracts as you are essentially using the electricity supply outside of
an agreed contract.