Don't fall into the business energy rollover trap
If you run a small business and pay business gas and business electricity bills, you're at risk of falling into the roll-over trap and paying well over the odds for your energy supply. Find out how to avoid this...
- Share this page:
What is the roll-over trap?
Usually, business energy contracts work on a fixed-term basis. Your business energy supplier will sign you up for a fixed period between 1 and 3 years or, more rarely, 4 to 5 years.
As your business energy contracts come up for renewal, you enter a period during which you can switch to another tariff or supplier. This period is called your 'switching window'.
The length of your switching window will vary depending on your energy supplier. It can be as long as 4 months before the end of your contract, or as short as 30 days. Within this window, your energy supplier is obliged to send you a renewal letter, stating the date your contract will automatically renew and what your new prices will be.
This is where many small businesses fall into the roll-over trap. If you receive your renewal notice but don't seek out better prices, your contract will automatically roll-over into a new, fixed-term contract that you can't get out of.
What's wrong with automatically rolling contracts?
On the face of it, automatically rolling energy contracts might sound like a good thing. After all, if your energy bills are out of sight, they're out of mind.
However, letting your contracts roll-over could be costing your business thousands of pounds a year in overpriced gas and electricity bills.
At Make It Cheaper, we've found that our customers' renewal rates are, on average, 30% higher than their original prices. In fact, it's not unheard of for our customers to have their rates increase by over 100%.
So, if you let your contracts roll-over even once, you could be paying significantly more than the market rate for business gas and electricity.
How do I avoid the roll-over trap?
First and foremost, you should keep an eye-out for your contract renewal letters. But beware - renewal letters can be very easy to miss. They often look like marketing material and aren't marked in any particular way to highlight their urgency.
If you want to be safe, contact your business energy supplier and ask them when your contract end dates are. Then give us a call on 0800 970 0077 and we'll set a reminder to call you back when your renewal date approaches. This way - you can rest safe in the knowledge that we'll never let your contract automatically roll-over unless you want it to.
What should I do when my switching window opens?
As soon as your switching window opens, call us on 0800 970 0077 so we can help you find a better deal. It's our job to compare business gas and electricity prices from a comprehensive range of energy suppliers, including all of the big 6, to find you the best business energy rates on the market.