As a business owner, you may already be aware that your business electricity tariff is different from your home electricity tariff. However, did you know that it is possible to shop around to find the best deal for your business electricity?
To help you reduce your energy costs, we have compiled this guide which covers everything you need to know about how to compare business electricity, including the types of contracts available, how to switch and even why you should switch suppliers.
Why businesses need commercial electricity accounts
Domestic energy tariffs differ from commercial contracts, so your business will need a separate electricity contract. Most domestic customers are automatically signed up to their suppliers’ generic tariff, with a 12-month fixed rate tariff. However, when it comes to commercial electricity, there are no standard tariffs and the actual rate which businesses are charged depends on factors such as the location, business size and usage.
Suppliers base the cost of your electricity on the specific details your business provides, which means they can predict the amount of energy you will need, so you can benefit from fixed rate deals for up to five years. If you run a business which uses lots of electricity, this could save your business a huge amount.
Every business is different, so your contract will be specific to your own usage requirements. For example, if you have a high electricity demand, the supplier may install a meter which automatically sends readings to them every half an hour. Or, if your business has multiple locations, you may need multiple meters which are linked to a single business electricity account.
Types of business electricity comparison tariffs
There are two types of tariffs available when you make a business electricity comparison tariffs available: fixed and variable rate. The best tariff for you will depend on the specific requirements of your business.
A fixed-rate tariff will charge your business the same rate for each unit (kWh) of electricity used. These contracts typically last for one, two, three or even five years, which means your bill will remain consistent for the duration of the contract. This can be useful when budgeting and your business will be protected from potential price rises.
However, if you would like to benefit from potential drops in electricity prices, you may choose a variable rate contract. The rates offered by suppliers vary depending on the market and your bill will reflect the latest prices. These tariffs tend to be more flexible, and when you start the contract the unit price charged is likely to be less than the rate offered within fixed-rate contracts.
It is usually easier to switch to a new supplier if you have a variable rate contract, with most suppliers asking for 30-days’ notice. If you have a fixed-rate contract, you will need to wait until you enter the switching window before you can switch to a new supplier. Unlike domestic energy, it is not possible to arrange a dual fuel contract, so you will need separate electricity and gas contracts.
How to find the cheapest business electricity rates
The best way to make sure you are signed up to the cheapest business electricity contracts is to compare supplier deals. This can take a long time if you compare quotes yourself. Instead, our team of business electricity comparison experts can take care of everything. We have a panel of trusted suppliers which can provide competitive quotes for your electricity. Simply give us a call or enter your details into our website and we will provide you with a variety of quotes to compare.
There are some key details that we need relating to your usage, which will help us find the most accurate quotes for your business. For example:
1) The name of your current supplier and the tariff you are signed up to
2) The date your current contract ends
3) The type of supply you receive
4) Your businesses usage habits
All you need to do is compare the available quotes and let us know whether you would like to switch to one once your business enters its renewal window. Your new supplier will complete a credit check on your business and if you are accepted, they will manage the switch with your current supplier. If your business has a poor credit history and a poor record of paying bills on time, you may not be accepted for a new electricity contract.
You will need to provide your current supplier with a final meter reading on the day of the switch and pay your final bill. If you fail to pay the bill or are in significant debt with your current supplier, the switch could be rejected.
How long will it take to switch to a new electricity supplier?
Although domestic switches are usually complete within a few weeks, business switches do take a little longer. The new supplier will have to wait until your current contract ends before they can arrange the switch. This means the exact time you have to wait will depend on the time left on your current contract. Once your contract ends, the new contract should be in place within four to six weeks.
However, if you run a micro-business, the switching process is likely to be quicker as the rules relating to switching contracts are in line with domestic users. Ofgem rules mean that energy suppliers most allow micro-businesses to switch at any point in their contract. Suppliers must also note the contract end date and any notice periods on all bills, for all micro-businesses which are signed up to fixed-term deals.
When you switch to a new supplier there is no disruption to your supply, as the same network of lines and equipment is used to provide the supply to your business. On the day your current contract ends your new contract will start immediately, so there is absolutely no inconvenience to your business.
To find out whether your business could save money on its electricity bills, please contact our electricity experts to start your business energy comparison.