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When running a business, energy can make up a good share of your overheads. This is why many savvy business owners choose to switch their energy, in an effort to find cheap commercial energy prices.
However, it can be hard to understand whether you’re getting competitive business energy rates, or not. This is because suppliers offer bespoke business energy prices each time they quote a customer, and these quotes are tailored to the business’s unique energy needs. As a result, a lot of information needs to be considered about a business before a supplier can offer an initial quote.
Typically, a supplier will consider a business’s:
For example, a business such as a large manufacturer may be quoted a cheaper cost per unit of energy based on the high volume of energy it’s likely to consume.
As a general rule of thumb, small to medium sized businesses should expect to pay between 10.5-12.5 pence per unit of electricity that they use, and 3.5–4 pence per unit of gas. If you’re paying more than this, it’s worth checking to see if you can run a comparison and reduce your business’s energy rates. Click the link if you would like to read more on the average cost per unit (kWh) of energy that your business should be paying.
As a guide, we can offer the average cost of an annual bill, based on business size, to help you compare business energy prices over a year. This can help you understand if you could find a better energy deal with another supplier.
|Business Size||Annual Electricity Usage (kWh)||Annual Gas Usage (kWh)||Annual Energy Cost|
|Micro business||5,000 - 15,000||5,000 - 15,000||£1865|
|Small business||15,000 - 30,000||15,000 - 30,000||£3531|
|Medium business||30,000 - 50,000||30,000 - 65,000||£5782|
It’s important to note that these figures are not indicative of every business, and you should make allowances for your business’s unique consumption habits.
Take a barber and a dry cleaner for example. Both can be classed as small businesses, but a barber will mostly use energy to heat and light their premises. Whereas a dry cleaner must also power multiple industrial washers and dryers. So, naturally, you could expect the dry cleaner to consume more energy than the barber, and therefore spend more on energy.
If you find that you’re paying too much for your business’s energy, then there are some steps that you can take to reduce the price you pay per unit. To do this you will need to run a comparison of available deals and determine if cheaper business energy rates are available.
When running a business energy comparison, there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that you get the best deal possible.
TIP:The majority of this information can be found on a previous energy bill. If you’re having trouble locating the information on your bill, why not try our business energy bill small print pointer? Or, if you’re having trouble locating an old bill, try contacting your supplier.
Once you have all of this information, you can begin approaching suppliers for business energy quotes. To ensure that you’re getting an accurate representation of the energy market, and to find the cheapest energy companies available to you, we recommend getting quotes from all the suppliers available to you on the market.
For reference, here are the steps that you must take when running a business energy comparison:
Step 1 – Check you’re within your current contracts switching window
Step 2 – Contact suppliers for your business energy quote
Step 3 – Decide which quote best suits your business’s needs
Step 4 – Inform your new and current supplier of the switch.
As you might imagine, this can be a time consuming task, which is why many business owners choose to use the services of a business energy broker, such as Make It cheaper, instead.
For a busy business owner, running an energy comparison can be a time consuming task, especially when you consider the variance in quotes that can be offered. As a result, this can make it hard to run a clear and accurate comparison.
To save time and take the hassle out of switching, many business owners use the services of an energy broker, such as Make It Cheaper. Switching your business energy with us works in exactly the same way as switching it yourself – but we do all the legwork for you, leaving you free to get back to running your business.
If you’re interested in running your own business energy comparison, we have outlined the steps that you will need to take below.
Businesses are unable to switch their energy until they are within their renewal window. This typically opens six months prior to the end date of your current contract, and your supplier must write to you with their terms of renewal at this point. However, you are not obliged to accept their renewal offer, and it’s worth bearing in mind that it will almost always be more expensive than the best deal on the market.
Once your window is open, you know it’s time to act and start looking for cheaper business energy prices. If you decide to switch through Make It Cheaper, we offer a service that notifies you as soon as your renewal window is open, so we can begin the switching process without delay.
To make sure your business energy comparison is comprehensive, it’s recommended that you get as many quotes from all eligible suppliers as possible. This means approaching each supplier individually to discuss the energy needs of your business. After this conversation, they will offer you a bespoke quote based on your business needs and energy consumption habits.
Switching through Make It Cheaper’s service means the only conversation you will need to have is with one of our savings experts, to assess your business’s energy needs. This saves you having the same conversation multiple times when contacting each supplier individually.
When you feel you have enough quotes to make a good comparison, you need to assess which offer best suits the needs of your business. Many business owners focus solely on price during this process, however we recommend that you take other factors such as customer service rating into account.
Switching with Make It Cheaper means our savings experts can advise you on the best deal to ensure that you pick the right energy contract for your business.
Once you have decided on a business energy contract, you need to inform both your current and new suppliers of your intention to switch. Typically, this should be done in writing as soon as possible to begin the switching process. Once all suppliers have acknowledged the switch, all that’s left to do is to wait for the new supply to take effect.
It’s worth noting that your newly organised supply will not begin until the terms of your current contract have ended.
Finding the best business energy prices is important for all businesses, but none more so than small and medium sized businesses, where margins tend to be tighter. But, research suggests that less than half of small business owners know how much they’re paying for their energy – and as many as three quarters are on unnecessarily expensive business energy rates.
To ensure you’re not paying over the odds for your energy, you should find a contract that’s right for your business. Below are some things to take into consideration when looking for a better energy deal for your business:
With different businesses using varying levels of energy, contracts come in a variety of forms to help business owners find rates that suit their business requirements.
The most common type of contract chosen by small and micro-businesses are fixed term contracts. Fixed term contracts define a specific price per unit that you’ll be charged for the energy your business uses, as well as a daily standing charge that you will have to pay regardless of how much energy your business consumes. These prices will not change for the duration of your contract, which can last between one and four years.
An advantage of a fixed term contract is that you’ll avoid paying the expensive out of contract rates suppliers charge businesses that haven’t signed up to a deal. You’ll also know how much you need to pay for your energy throughout your contract – your bills may fluctuate, but that will depend solely on your usage.
However, it’s still important to be aware of your contract end dates, as you may automatically be transferred onto a different, more expensive rate, when your deal expires. To avoid this, you’ll need to arrange a new contract six months before your existing one is due to come to an end.
There are several costs incorporated in your energy bill. While the majority of a small business's energy costs are based on energy usage, there are also charges for government-imposed taxes and operational costs imposed by the supplier. A SME energy bill will typically include the following small business energy costs:
When entering into a new contract, make sure you fully understand the key aspects of your contract, the full Terms and Conditions and the Statement of Renewal Terms. It is also advisable to keep these documents for future reference, and to keep dated copies of all correspondence with your supplier.
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