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If you didn’t renegotiate your energy tariff at the end of your fixed term contract, you may be paying over the odds. Find out how you can make sure you get the best value for money on your business energy…
The energy sector is undergoing rapid changes. Renewal used to be a perilous time for SMEs, when some business energy suppliers would ask for complicated notifications (such as a formal termination via registered post within a tight window). Overworked smaller business owners would often find themselves unwittingly locked into a one-year, two-year or three-year business energy contract, with prices that were far from the best on the market.
Ofgem changed the rules in July 2015, allowing smaller businesses to tell their supplier they want to switch at the end of their deal at any time before the notice period.
For contracts starting on or after 30 April 2015, the maximum notice period for terminating a micro business contract has been reduced from 90 to 30 days. Around 60 days before a fixed-term ends, suppliers must also now tell small firms how much energy they use each year, and give them details on how the price of their current deal compares with the new prices. This information is extremely useful if you want to switch business energy supplier without spending lots of time speaking to different suppliers.
While the situation has undoubtedly improved, research has proven that the majority of SME customers do not fully understand their business energy bills. This can commonly leave businesses open to being overcharged for ‘deemed contracts’ or ‘deemed rates’, out-of-contract business energy tariffs that cost up to 80% more.
This is surprisingly common: the same SwitchMyBusiness.com research also showed that more than 30% of small businesses have been shunted onto a ‘deemed contract’ (30.4%) with the same supplier at the end of a fixed contract.
While most larger business energy suppliers no longer roll over SME customers, the practice does continue with some of the smaller suppliers.
Clearly, there are still pitfalls to be negotiated in business energy contract renewal. Termination must be handled carefully – any breach of contract could result in fines from your old supplier or even legal action (possibly from the new business energy supplier).
Lengthy contracts written in impenetrable legalese are challenging at the best of times. When you have other competing priorities, mistakes are all too easy to make: the SwithcMyBusiness research found that more than a quarter of smaller to medium sized businesses (25.6%) do not fully understand how to terminate their current business energy contract.
Expert advice is almost invaluable in navigating this confusing situation. All SwitchMyBusiness.com customers are always contacted ahead of their renewal date to ensure they have the option to switch to the cheapest energy supplier.
If you have yet to benefit from our sector leading business energy switch service (we are the highest rated business energy provider on independent ratings site TrustPilot) you can still get the best deals in only 20 minutes so give us a call on 0330 0100 251 (or request a call back using our form) now to start saving.
"Many thanks to Anthony Pendleton, very courteous and polite, explained everything in right amount of detail and very helpful in sorting out the business utility switch. Would thoroughly recommend."This review was posted by Nicola on the 28th of November 2016
"Rachael Grindrod was excellent, very friendly and helpful."This review was posted by Maria Allen on the 29th of November 2016
"Thanks to Jonathon Burgess who was a great help switching electricity for a charitable organisation. The process was complicated and his patience was appreciated as well as his proffesional attitude. We would not have completed the process without his help. Thanks Dawn"This review was posted by Dawn Kerr on the 29th of November 2016
Great service from Rachel Grindrod. Thanks.
"Great service Rachel"This review was posted by Craig Hewett on the 30th of November 2016
Easy to Switch
"Using SwitchMyBusiness made changing electricity suppliers easy. Thank you Anthony Pendleton for your professional approach with advising on which supplier to use."This review was posted by Vanessa Gernat on the 01st of December 2016