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What should I do if I get behind on my energy bills?


Falling behind on energy bills could happen to any business. All it takes is one month of poor performance to set your finances back and leave you feeling snowed under by bills. This is experience is not uncommon and there are ways to help prevent the financial struggle from getting worse, so if you’re worried you’re losing control of your energy costs be sure to read ahead.

Tell Your Supplier

Telling your energy supplier is the first thing you should do if you’re going to be behind on paying your business gas and electricity bills. It may feel daunting and you may want to avoid speaking to them entirely, but it is incredibly important you tell your energy if you’re facing difficulty in paying bills.

By speaking with your supplier, you can organise a repayment plan with them to help you pay off the missed gas and electricity bills bit by bit, while also continuing with monthly scheduled payments. Gas and electricity providers work with thousands of customers who face the same problem, and many companies have entire departments dedicated to helping customers organise their payments to cover arrears, so the wisest thing to do is be honest with your gas and electricity supplier to avoid having your energy disconnected. Disconnections can occur just 14 days after suppliers give notice to customers, so acting fast is the best way to tackle this situation.

Avoid Falling into Energy Arrears

Paying too much for your energy bills is the easiest way to fall into energy arrears. To avoid this, make sure that your business is on the cheapest gas and electricity rates possible for its usage. If your contract is coming to an end, or you are within your current supplier’s switching window then now is the best time to start searching and comparing energy tariffs from a range of providers who could offer you cheaper rates.

If you are not able to renew your current contract or switch suppliers at the moment, be sure to compare tariffs next time your contract is up for renewal. It is very easy for businesses to forget about gas and electricity contract renewals, but this can lead to the business moving onto Out-of-Contract rates which can be very costly. As explained in our guide, Out-of-Contract rates are much higher than rates agreed in a contract so if it is time for your business to renew its energy plan, make sure you compare quotes as soon as possible.

If you recently moved business premises and have not yet negotiated a new energy contract with a supplier, it is likely your business is on Deemed Rates which can also be very costly, They may not be as expensive as Out-of-Contract rates, but it will still be much more affordable for your business to agree on a contract with a supplier than remain on the same costly unit rates.

Beware of Back Billing

A back bill is issued when a customer has used more energy than originally contracted to with the supplier. Suppliers can back bill companies for up to 6 years of energy bills, and these bills usually arrive in one lump sum which can be a very unpleasant surprise for any business.

Understandably, it is very important for you to keep track of how much energy your business is using to avoid back billing. By monitoring your business’s energy usage and ensuring you stay within the amount you are contracted to, you can avoid the setbacks from being faced with enormous unexpected costs.

Can I Switch Supplier if I Owe Money?

If you have any outstanding energy bills with your current supplier, you will not be able to switch to another provider. Any existing gas and electricity bills must be paid before you switch energy contracts.

If you’re starting to feel snowed under your energy bills and want to find cheaper gas and electricity rates for your business, then we’re here to help. Use our online comparison service or get in touch today on 0800 411 8830 to start comparing cheaper energy rates from a wide range of suppliers, and find a tariff ideally suited to your business’s needs.

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"Having used Switch My Business for the first time, we were lucky to be connected to Mark Weeks. Mark was extremely patient and helpful throughout the entire process and explained the appropriate steps we should take before we move providers and was upfront and honest about anything else. Would strongly recommend their services and would like to thank Mark for all his help."

This review was posted by Clare Smyth on the 20th of September 2019

Have used Switch my Business on a…

"Have used Switch my Business on a number of occasions and extremely happy with the service. A special thanks to Mark Weeks who is more than helpful."

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Professional and relatable

"I’m always nervous about speaking to companies as a small business because I’ve been taken advantage of more than once and ended up with huge bills. I spoke to Cheryl today who switched my commercial bills over for me and saved me an amazing amount. She was great, professional and thorough without making me switch off with her great sense of humour. The deal she got me was also brilliant. Thank you Cheryl I will be recommending you in future"

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"friendly and efficient service, didnt use in this instance, but came back with slightly better rate, thank you Mark"

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"Cheryl Sreenan was most helpful and informative and very pleasant to talk with and dealt with all the boring details in high speed fashion but not without making sure I fully understood all that she was saying. Highly recommended"

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