Business energy prices & rates

Looking to reduce the amount that your business spends on energy? Understanding business energy prices and rates with our guide is a good place to start.

Business energy prices and rates

Are you paying over the odds on your business energy prices? Or are you looking for the cheapest business electricity or business gas rates? Find out how much businesses typically pay per kWh (or unit used) in our quick guide.

There are two main elements that make up your business energy rates – a daily standing charge that you’ll pay regardless of how much energy you use, and a set cost for each unit (kWh) of gas or electricity your business consumes.

The price you pay per unit will depend on your contract’s terms, which is why it's important to run a business energy comparison to find a contract that properly suits your business’s needs. A comparison will also help to ensure that you’re not overpaying on your business energy rates.

As a guide to what you should be paying when comparing business energy prices, here are the typical gas and electricity business rates we’re able to secure for businesses. If your supplier is charging you more, it’s time to give us call:

Average business gas rates and prices:

Business size

Average annual usage

Unit rate (kWh)

Standing charge (daily)

Average annual cost

Micro business

5,000 – 15,000  kWh




Small business

15,000 – 30,000 kWh




Medium business

30,000 – 65,000 kWh




Average business electricity rates and prices:

Business size

Average annual usage

Unit rate (kWh)

Standing charge (daily)

Average annual cost

Micro business

5,000 – 15,000 kWh




Small business

15,000 – 30,000 kWh




Medium business

30,000 – 50,000 kWh




Prices above correct as of May 2015.

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If you’re not currently in an active contract, this means getting business energy prices from various suppliers to see who’ll offer you cheap business gas and business electricity rates. It’s important to do this quickly, as out of contract business electricity and business gas prices are invariably expensive and you’ll be paying well over the odds for your business electricity and gas supply.

If you are currently tied into a contract, you’ll need to check if you’re in a position to negotiate a new deal – failing to do so could mean that you find yourself on inflated rates when your existing contract ends.  

The best course of action is to check your latest energy bill to see when your notice period end date is. In advance of this date, you’ll need to compare business electricity deals & arrange a new deal to avoid paying more than necessary when your current contract expires.

Whichever situation you're in, we can help you get the best business energy deal for your business. Our saving experts can run a business energy comparison from a wide panel of suppliers, enabling you to choose a contract that offers cheap electricity for your business, while meeting it's needs.

If you find you’re paying more than the averages given above, then we could help you save on your business energy rates. For more information, or to run a business energy comparison, call Make It Cheaper today on 0800 970 0077, or fill in the form below to receive a call back.

Business energy rates: A breakdown

It’s key when running a successful business energy comparison to first understand each cost that is included on your bill.

Please note: If you have both business gas and electricity supplied to your premises, they will each need to be secured under separate contracts, so you’ll need to switch your business electricity and gas separately if you are looking to reduce your overall spend. For more information on business energy contracts click the link. 

If you would like to know more about business energy when moving premises, click the link.

Once you have this information, you’re able to understand what a good deal looks like, and make a more informed switching decision for your business.

What costs are included on my business gas and electricity bills?

The two main costs that make up your business gas and business electricity rates are:

  • A daily standing charge - This covers the cost incurred by the supplier to supply energy direct to your premises, as well as upkeep costs for the national grid.
  • A charge per unit of energy (kWh) - This is a charge that covers each unit of electricity or gas that your business uses. It’s defined within the wording of your contract.

When running a business energy price comparison, it’s these two costs that you will lead your quote. However, these two charges can be broken down even further, and doing so can help you better understand how they can impact your overall business energy costs, which can result in a more informed switching decision being made.

Below, we take a look at the elements that contribute towards your unit cost and standing charge.

  • Wholesale costs - As part of your unit rate, you should consider wholesale cost. Ultimately this cost is not paid by you directly, instead it refers to the amount that business energy suppliers will pay to acquire the energy that you use. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that increases in cost on the wholesale market are traditionally passed on to customers and these increases are usually reflected through your cost per unit.
  • Transmission use of system charges (TNUoS) - Your TNUoS charge covers the supplier’s expense for maintaining the national grid, which is used to transport energy to your premises. Generally encompassed by your standing charge, the cost of your TNUoS can vary depending on your business’s geographical location.
  • Paying for distribution use of system (DUoS) - This charge covers the costs incurred by your Distribution Network Operator (DNO) – a company licensed to distribute electricity in your area – and includes day and night charges, as well as maximum supply requirements for larger businesses.  
  • Climate Change Levy (CCL) - The Climate Change Levy is a government imposed tax on each unit of energy that commercial customers consume. The levy is designed to encourage businesses to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint. It is possible to become exempt from the CCL – however this is subject to the level of action you have taken to improve your energy efficiency.
  • VAT - VAT is added onto your business energy bill by your supplier. Traditionally VAT will be charged at 20%, but it is possible to reduce this figure to as little as 5% of your business energy costs if you use less than 33kWh of electricity or 145kWh of gas per day.

The above costs will directly, or indirectly impact the cost of your business’s energy bill. Although, when discussing and quoting for new business energy prices, a supplier will typically focus on a daily standing charge and unit cost.

If you would like to read more on understanding your business energy bills, click the link.  

Why am I paying high business gas and electricity rates?

 The business energy prices offered in a supplier’s quote are what’s known as acquisition rates – that is, those you can expect to be offered when you switch to a new supplier. As a general rule these prices tend to be more favourable in order to entice new customers in. So, if you haven’t switched suppliers in a while, you may well be paying higher business gas and electricity rates.

​Business customers who have failed to switch their energy contract in a while, may find themselves on one of the following types of business energy rates, which can often be a primary cause for inflated business energy prices.

  • Deemed rates:

If you’ve recently moved into a new business premises but didn’t sign up with an energy supplier, the supplier that provided energy to the previous occupant will most likely continue to supply energy to the premises. To do so, they will usually put you on “deemed” rates. These are considerably more expensive than the rates that same supplier may offer to a new customer. Deemed rates are priced this way to make up for the financial risk suppliers take when they supply energy to a customer who they know little about –they have no record of their credit history or what the business does.

  • Out of contract rates:

If your contract has recently expired, but you did not arrange a new contract, your supplier will automatically put you on out of contract (also known as standard) rates, which tend to be more expensive than contractual rates. In such cases you will have the opportunity to switch to a better deal – typically after a 30 day notice period.

Switching to new business energy rates

If you’re looking to cut the amount you’re spending on your business’s energy you might consider switching suppliers when your current contract is approaching its end date. It is important to compare business energy prices and rates across a variety of suppliers, to ensure you’re getting a fair deal for your gas and electricity – and as close as possible to the prices listed above.

Whether you’re planning to switch independently or decide to go down the simpler route and enlist the help of a broker, it is recommended that you start searching at least six months before your current contract is due to expire. This helps ensure quotes from potential suppliers are as accurate as possible. You can also make sure the quotes are accurate by providing your prospective suppliers with your latest energy usage figures.

If you would like to read more about switching your business energy contract, click the link, or fill out the form below to request a call back from one of our business energy savings experts.

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