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Can I have a business energy contract if I work from home?


The gig economy is showing no signs of slowing down and micro businesses are thriving, with 76% of UK businesses employing nobody aside from the owner.

If you’re one of the many who has started a business from home, you may have wondered about if you’re eligible for a business energy contract. In this guide, we tell you all you need to know:

Are sole traders working from home eligible for business energy?

If you are a sole trader and you work from home you may well be eligible for business energy. Additionally, you’ll probably meet the definition of a microbusiness, meaning you’ll be eligible for greater protection than larger businesses.

Micro businesses are those who:

Use less than 200,000 kWh of gas or 55,000 kWh of electricity a year,

Or

Have fewer than ten employees (or their full-time equivalent)

And

An annual turnover or annual balance sheet total of €2m or less.

How is business energy different from domestic energy?

Business energy is different from domestic energy in a number of ways:

  • It’s cheaper per unit, although added charges such as VAT and the Climate Change Levy do add up.
  • You’ll have commit for a specified contract length. This can be up to five years, but is more commonly two or three. During this time you’ll pay a fixed price for your energy units. This is because your supplier will buy the energy for the duration of your contract on the day you sign the contract – as opposed to purchasing for consumers which is done on a monthly basis. Energy prices are forecast to rise over the coming years, and you may want to be protected from increased costs.
  • As energy is purchased in advance, you will be charged a fee if you want to cancel your contract or switch suppliers before your contract has ended. 
  • If you don’t renew your contract when it runs out you’ll be moved onto pricey out of contract rates. We’d never recommend letting this happen as these rates are notoriously poor value for consumers.

Are you eligible for business energy in your home?

To switch to a business energy contract you’ll need to be able to prove that you are running a business and use a significant portion – usually 50% – of your energy to run your business. Whilst this may sounds like a lot, most people working from home and using lighting, heating and electricity for business purposes will be eligible. When you work out how much energy you use for business purposes remember to deduct appliances like fridges which would be on regardless from your figures.

What additional protection do micro businesses get?

Micro-businesses get an extra level of protection, to ensure that they aren’t taken advantage of by unscrupulous brokers or suppliers.

When firms work with a micro business they are required to put the end date and notice period on all fixed term contract bills, what’s more, microbusinesses benefit from a reduced notice period – just 30 days instead of 90. Smaller businesses can inform their supplier that they want to switch at any time in their contract, although the switch won’t actually occur until the notice period begins. When a microbusiness approaches the end of their contract, their supplier must let them know how much energy they’ve used throughout the contract, and what other deals are available to them.   

If you’re a small business and want to discuss your energy usage, call us on 0800 411 8830 or fill in our online quote form. 

 

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Excellent, 9.7 / 10

Very easy

"Very easy. Bea Luseni very efficient & knowledgeable."

This review was posted by Alan Duffy on the 31st of March 2017

Super helpful and easy to work with

"Recommend this company in a heartbeat - Nicole Borneuf was super easy to talk to, was not pushy in the slightest, very helpful and replied with all my questions very professionally and did all she could to help. I had to deal with a few companies to sort my business energy out, all but Nicole were too pushy for my liking and I refused to follow through with them. Thank Nicole - you are a credit to your company, thank you for making the stressful energy change so easy."

This review was posted by Mia Drew on the 29th of March 2017

An Extremely Competent Company

"Switch my business has not only helped my SME secure a good energy deal for the second year running but Jessica swiftly found a alternative supplier for me when I was let down on the day of switching by the new contractual provider I had chosen some 4 months previously. Being suddenly out of contract and without provider is everyone's energy nightmare. Greatest thanks."

This review was posted by S McMillan on the 29th of March 2017

Helpful, friendly and we saved lots of money!

"Jessica Purnell was helpful and friendly, she made the whole process easy and simple AND we saved lots of money thanks Jess"

This review was posted by Melanie Baker on the 23rd of March 2017

Quick & Easy

"Kabibi was very helpful and the whole process was very efficient. The one small reservation I had was that I was phoned up by Kabibi almost immediately having received my online quote - which wasn't enough time for me to finish reading the quotes! Fortunately she was able to assist me in a greater savings on both Gas & Electricity, and so as long as the switchover is seamless I will remain very happy with the service."

This review was posted by Amanda Brown on the 21st of March 2017