If you are running a business, your energy requirements will be quite different from those of a domestic user, and, consequently, the contracts on offer will differ from those designed for households.
So, how do you find the best deal for your business? Bright Compare is here to help you compare business energy prices.
We not only compare the best tariffs on offer, but also check customer service provision. Any supply failure on behalf of your provider can be costly for your business, so it is vital that your supplier has a reliable customer service able to fix problems as soon as possible with minimum impact on your business.
The Big Six energy suppliers in the UK all offer business energy deals, but there are now over 50 providers of commercial contracts for gas and electricity, and you will want to compare the agreements on offer.
It is important to understand, however, that switching commercial suppliers is more complex than changing a domestic contract. These contracts have different requirements from the standard off-the-peg deals available to domestic consumers. Because they are customised for individual businesses’ gas and electricity usage, dual fuel contracts are not available. Since your usage may be heavily weighted towards one form of energy, there is no advantage to using the same supplier for both gas and electricity, unless they offer a special deal which makes it worth your while.
Be cost effective when you compare business energy prices.
If you are considering using the same supplier for gas and electricity, you should bear in mind that this is not the same as a domestic dual fuel deal. Checking deals for both gas and electricity can be time consuming and not necessarily cost-effective for a business, and that’s why we are here to do the legwork for you.
The size of your workforce is important in determining the most suitable contract for you. Most companies offering commercial energy contracts will have separate deals for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and large businesses, and you will need to choose the contract available to you.
The UK regulatory body Ofgem has also introduced another layer for micro businesses, which are eligible for different energy deals. These businesses must have fewer than ten employees and a turnover of under £2m, a gas usage under 293,000 kWh, or an electricity usage below 100,000kWh.
Some suppliers will offer a variety of tariffs and it is important to choose the one that is best suited to your business, and, more importantly, to understand exactly how they differ when you compare business energy prices.
Most people are familiar with the fixed-term agreement, and this remains the most popular arrangement for businesses. In this kind of contract, the cost of kWh unit is fixed for the duration of the contract, as are any associated standing charges. The term can range from one to four years in most cases, and the longer the term, the higher the tariff. This is because the supplier has to build in inflation costs and any potential increase in their own fixed costs.
You may be one of the many companies who do not review your energy costs each year, and have instead an extended tariff arrangement with your supplier. This allows you simply to continue with the same supplier, who may offer a loyalty rate. You might think this saves time and effort, but it is still worth comparing with other offers.
Larger companies may like to consider a flex approach tariff, whereby the company purchases energy up-front, possibly taking advantage of a significant price reduction. However, there are two dangers to this approach. Firstly, the price of the energy may fall after you have purchased it, and, secondly, you may face a significant jump in your energy costs once the contract ends.
Another alternative for bigger organisations is a collective tariff, based on the theory that larger groups have more negotiating power than individuals. These collectives are often formed within particular sectors of industry and business, but can also be found in groupings of local authorities. Any deal will be for a specific amount of energy or for a limited period of time.
If knowing your energy costs in advance is not a priority, you could consider a pass-through tariff. Here you will agree some of the costs up-front, whilst the remainder are passed on at cost. Under this arrangement you may benefit if the latter costs fall over the duration of the contract, but remember you are shouldering the risk.
You will need to provide details of your current supplier and the date you want to start a new contract. Most businesses look to switch their suppliers at their year-end or at the end of the second quarter, but you may need to check the details of your current contract, if it does not expire on your desired date.
If you use both gas and electricity, remember you will be reviewing both charges, since no dual deals are available. In this case, you will have to carry out your analysis twice over, so it may be advisable to use an expert.
Additionally, you should think about how you might like to pay, and ask if some suppliers offer a discount if you pay by direct debit.
Finally, you might like to look at the green credentials of your potential supplier, if this is important to you and your stakeholders. The company may provide energy from wind or solar projects, and offset non-renewables by tree planting or other environmental projects.
We are here to help with all your energy needs and provide the information you need to make the right decision for your company.
Yes, as a business customer you have to have a supply contract in place with a business energy company in order to remain connected to the system and receive a supply of gas and electricity.
The Climate Change Levy is a Government tax against the electricity, natural gas, coal and liquid petroleum gas used by businesses. It was introduced in April 2001 as a way to help the UK meet its emissions targets, which will help in the fight against climate change .For more information on CCL please visit www.gov.uk/topic/business-tax/climate-change-levy
It normally takes about 28 days to change business energy suppliers. But make sure you settled the final bill with previous business energy suppliers so they isn't any delays.
Yes, while you can compare dual fuel prices. You can also choose to compare gas prices or compare electricity prices separately, depending on your needs. Not every business uses business gas and electricity.
Here at Bright Compare we have partnered up with over 30 energy suppliers to offer our customer's the best deals and rates for when they are comparing. So they can make a more informed decision when comparing business energy. Also you can get an online quote in 60 seconds for you business energy!