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What length of energy contract should you go for?


Should you lock in a business energy rate for a longer time period or go for a shorter rate with less of a tie in?

It’s a question that you’re likely to come up against when you look at renewing your business energy contract, and there is no right answer. However, we’ve pulled together some information to help you make the best possible choice for you:

The benefit of longer contracts

Longer contracts allow you to lock in energy prices for a number of years – even up to 5 years in some cases – meaning that if the market skyrockets, you’ll be paying below the odds. Whilst energy prices do fluctuate on a daily basis, it is predicted that they will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. 

Locking in your energy price for a number of years can allow you to budget better – when you know more or less what you’ll be paying for your energy, you can factor those costs into your projections with greater accuracy.

A longer contract is great if you’ve found an unbeatable price or a supplier that you’re happy with. Additionally, they mean that you don’t have to think about switching for a decent chunk of time.

The benefits of shorter contracts

Shorter contracts, usually lasting a year, are an alternative to multi-year contracts. They are often cheaper than longer contracts, although you risk losing out when you next renew if prices have risen as predicted.

That said, shorter contracts can be a good choice for a number of reasons:

Your energy use may change

If your energy requirements are likely to change substantially in the next few years, a shorter contract may be appropriate for you. If you take on a long term contract, and your energy use rises part way through, you may incur hefty charges if your energy use rises above your agreed limit.  If this is your situation, it’s worth speaking to an energy expert to get their advice and source the right quote for you. 

You want to try different suppliers

If you haven’t found a supplier that you’re happy with yet, you may want to try a few different companies, until you find somebody whose customer service knocks your socks off. Just remember to switch provider when your year is up, so that you don’t end up on pricey out of contract rates.

You might move premises

If you’re planning to move premises in the near future, it makes no sense to lock into a multi year contract. Cancellation fees are usually lower on shorter contracts, meaning less to pay out if you do move mid-contract.

You’re a new business

If you’re a new business you may not be completely sure about what your energy usage will look like. You don’t want to take on a long contract and then discover you’re consistently over or under where you thought you’d be. Additionally, many energy companies will charge if you default on a contract regardless of the reason – meaning if your business doesn’t last, you may end up out of pocket.

For more information about what to do if you move business premises, read our handy guide.

Whatever your situation, our advisers can help you to find the best business energy rate for you. Get a quick quote now or call us on 0800 411 8830.

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Excellent, 9.8 / 10

Great Service

"Quick, simple, responsive and honest feedback across a number of suppliers has saved us significantly on our renewal quote. I can’t fault the service received"

This review was posted by Mark on the 23rd of April 2018

Mark Weeks was very helpful in seeking…

"Mark Weeks was very helpful in seeking to obtain the cheapest rates in the market and went out of his way to follow-up on queries I raised."

This review was posted by Rob Warne on the 20th of April 2018

Mark Weeks

"Mark Weeks, Helpful as ever. Allways responsive. Recommend! MD Silchester Control Systems"

This review was posted by Michael Cottle on the 20th of April 2018

Had a problem with our electricity…

"Had a problem with our electricity supply being switched to us by out landlord without notice and put on to out of contract rates with a supplier we do not like. Nicole from Switchmybusiness.com understood where we were coming from and out urgent need to get cheaper contact rates. Nicole provided valuable assistance guiding us through the process and maintaining great communication throughout. A pleasure to deal with."

This review was posted by Phil on the 19th of April 2018

Excellent service from Janis Sargeson

"Excellent responsiveness from Janis - easy to understand tariff information and fast service. Ours was not a large account by value, but proportionally we more than halved the cost of the electricity supply."

This review was posted by Andy Longden on the 18th of April 2018