DCP228 and Business Electricity
What is DCP228? DCP228 is a regulation to be introduced by Ofgem in April 2018 which will change the way busin...Read More
Energy contracts can differ massively depending on if you’re a domestic or business customers, and this can make organising your business’s gas and electricity supply much more difficult if you are not familiar with commercial energy contracts.
In this guide, we explain the differences between business and domestic energy contract to help you understand why the process of organising both contracts is so dissimilar.
Contract lengths between domestic and business customers can vary greatly. Typically, domestic customers are offered gas and electricity contracts that last between 12 and 24 months. However, business energy contracts can be much more long term and run over 36+ months.
Businesses also find it much harder to cancel energy contracts, facing high fees from suppliers when trying to terminate contracts early. Domestic customers may also be charged when requesting an early termination, however they will not be as high as commercial cancellation charges.
Household energy contracts are more frequently allowed to rollover month to month after the agreed time period has finished, whereas business customers are usually placed onto Out-of-Contract rates if they do not renew or switch contract. This can be incredibly costly as Out-of-Contract rates are much more expensive than contracted energy rates.
Prices between domestic and business customers differ on several levels. Firstly, price fluctuation is much more common for commercial customers, with rates increasing and decreasing daily as driven by the market. Whereas domestic customers typically face price changes on an annual basis. This difference influences the choice of contract type for a lot of businesses, with many choosing fixed rate energy contracts over variable price contracts so that they can budget more accurately and are not hit if gas and electricity prices dramatically increase.Price fluctuation can make the process of organising business gas and electricity tariffs more confusing as energy quotes soon expire as prices increase and decrease. This is why we advise customers to act quickly when comparing quotes so they avoid the disappointment of losing deals they were happy with before prices changed.
Prices per unit of gas and electricity can appear to be cheaper for businesses than domestic customers. This is because suppliers are able to sell much higher volumes of units to businesses as they usually consume more gas and electricity than an average household. Businesses can also be offered energy rates tailored to their needs. Domestic customers are not offered tailored rates, and are charged the same rates as the rest of their region.
VAT is also different in business energy contracts compared to domestic contracts. Businesses are required to pay 20% VAT on their energy tariffs, as well as a Climate Change Levy (CCL). Domestic customers only pay a reduced amount of 5% VAT on their gas and electricity bills and are not required to pay a CCL.
Suppliers find it more difficult to predict business energy consumption compared to domestic users. Business customers will use gas and electricity at different times during the day, whereas domestic customers’ usage is much easier to predict due to typical levels of usage throughout the day. This is why suppliers offer separate rates to domestic and commercial customers as their behaviour is usually very different.
However with the introduction of half hourly metering, electricity suppliers can accurately monitor how much energy their customers consume. This will make negotiating future contracts much easier as suppliers can receive a clear picture of how much electricity potential customers consume.
Most people are familiar with cooling off periods offered by domestic energy suppliers. A business will set a period within which a customer has the option to cancel their contract if they no longer wish to continue with it. Business customers are not offered this option by suppliers, and must be absolutely certain that they want to enter into a contract as they are considered to be completely capable of understanding what they have agreed to with their chosen energy suppliers.
It is clear that comparing business energy tariffs to find the best deal can be a confusing task if you don’t know what to expect. However, SwitchMyBusiness.com is here to help! Our team of energy switching experts will happily guide you through the comparison process so you can be certain you’re getting the best quotes for your business energy plan. To compare quotes today, simply enter a few quick details in our online comparison service or call us directly on 0800 411 8830.
"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, 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