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How to choose the right energy tariff for your firm


This article was updated 14th September 2016

A 2015 Ofgem report found that, on average, small businesses spend £5,000 a year on mains electricity, and £4,000 on gas. A number of businesses reported that energy bills accounted for over 10% of operating costs.  However, with high prices come potentially high savings, and many businesses could save hundreds by moving to a cheaper energy tariff.  Here’s how to go about it.

  1. Take action as soon as you can

Switching energy provider is easier than you think, and there’s no reason to put it off. The sooner your company moves on to a cheaper tariff, the sooner you can start saving money.

Business energy prices change more quickly than domestic energy, meaning that a dip prices won’t necessarily last for long. Keep your eye on the news and when you spot an opportune time, take action.

  1. Check your business energy contract

Your current business energy contract will likely have terms and conditions that mean you will incur a fine if you switch before a certain date. You may only be able to switch within a few months of your renewal date, however if you fail to take action you could be automatically placed on a new rollover contract with your current provider. These contracts tend to be expensive, and can lock you in for another 12 months.

 

It is now a legal requirement that business energy bills contain details of when the current contract is due to end as well as the latest date on which customers can give notice they are moving to a new supplier.

  1. Work out your current business energy usage

Take regular meter readings to see how much gas and electricity you are using, and what times.

This information is very important when it comes to choosing the right tariff: gas and electricity tariffs usually involve a standing charge and a unit charge, so the best deal for a high energy user will not necessarily be the cheapest option for a firm with low gas and electricity usage. An increasing number of businesses have half-hourly, or smart, meters. If you have one of these you can get far more refined data about your energy consumption, which is helpful when negotiating a new contract.

  1. Think about what you want from a new business energy deal

Cutting costs is the most common reason for changing energy supplier. But as well as paying less for gas and electricity, you may want to tie in to a longer contract that guarantees no price increases over a certain period of time.

Equally, you could be interested in a supplier that will deliver excellent customer service, or which offers energy from renewable sources.

  1. Get help to search for the right business tariff

Energy-switching and comparison services can make comparing business energy packages a lot simpler – for example, we have relationships with energy suppliers and expert knowledge about the energy market. That means that you can simply tell us what you want from your new supplier, and we can tell you where you can get it.

 

We will guide you through the entire the switching process, ensuring that you are happy with your new contract and that you know when your next chance to switch is due.

  1. Don’t listen to the cold callers

A lot of energy suppliers use cold-calling tactics to find new business, and sales staff may claim to be offering the cheapest deals.

They may be telling the truth, but the only way to know for sure is by comparing all the deals on the market.

We can offer you a comprehensive comparison of business energy rates in just 20 minutes. Give us a call on 0330 0100 251 (or request a call back using our form) but remember that prices can go up or down overnight!

Our dedicated page has lots more information about business energy.

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