quote
menu

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. 

 

Related Articles

The UK Retail Landscape

The UK retail landscape is in constant flux. The high street evolves to accommodate changing trends, and as a ...

Read More

UK Energy’s Getting Greener

There are a growing number of energy suppliers that offer 100% renewable energy tariffs to domestic and busine...

Read More

The Rise of UK Veganism

2020 feels like the year of the vegan. Over the last few years veganism has been creeping steadily into the ma...

Read More
Excellent, / 10

an absolute disappointment

"I have been using switch my business for many years re the business energy deal. Normally one of the team member would contact me about 2 months before the contract terminated and look for another deal. Last year it was done by James Bainbrigge for a 1 year deal. This year I have not heard from anyone and therefore started to contact James by email and also leaving messages on his phone. After many unsuccessful attempts, I called the 0800 and 0808 numbers. I have done so more than a dozen times. Each time I was left on hold for up to ten minutes and then got cut off. I also email to sales team and received no response. In desperation I contacted customer service team twice by email, received the acknowledgment email and nothing further. My contract is running out this Saturday and therefore at the beginning of this week, I sent in a quotation. No one has contacted me to date. I cannot do anything more than what I have done. What a shamble!!!"

This review was posted by anthony on the 03rd of June 2021

Kay was extremely helpful and…

"Kay was extremely helpful and efficient, in terms of both advice and setting up our account. Would recommend 100%."

This review was posted by customer on the 24th of November 2020

After Scottish Power changed our…

"After Scottish Power changed our business rates half way through the contract we were in set up by Switch My Business, we spoke to Natalja and she helped us sort this issue. Unfortunately, Scottish Power wouldn't play ball and were not agreeing to let us out the contract. Natalja worked extremely hard to sort this out for us and even put a claim in with them for the out of contract rates they put us on as one advisor at Scottish Power said they would refund the difference then another said they would not, along with plenty of other issues and broken promises along the way. It was a long and pretty painful process but Natalja did not give up and we have won the claim against Scottish Power. Very happy with the service Natalja provided."

This review was posted by Sara on the 19th of November 2020

Prompt & efficient service from Stephen…

"Prompt & efficient service from Stephen who really went into all the details in a very short period of time. I would definitely use SMB again. Thank you Stephen!"

This review was posted by Jackie on the 18th of November 2020

Highly recommended!

"Dealt with Bhavni, she was also extremely helpful, patient and dealt with my case in a very professional way. Answered all my questions promptly and got the best rate for our business. Highly recommended!"

This review was posted by S. Amin on the 17th of November 2020