How to switch business energy supplier and how long does it take?

Nathan Hill-Haimes

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    When you are running a business, be it large or small, it is absolutely essential to cut costs wherever possible and ensure that everything is operating as efficiently as it can. Making the right choice of business energy provider may require you to switch business energy supplier.

    Whether that be hiring the right staff, utilising the correct software, supplying the appropriate products or solutions or enhancing your customer service, you need to be constantly seeking new ways to cut costs and maximise overall competency.

    One key way to reduce costs is to switch business energy supplier to ensure that your business’ energy supply – be it gas, water or electricity – is as cheap and as effective as is possible. However, simply switching suppliers is not a surefire way to save money; you need to do everything in the right way, and you need to be aware of exactly what your business requires to be able to thrive.

    So, with that in mind, what do you need to know when it comes to switching energy suppliers for your business? How exactly can you do it, how long does it take, and what do you stand to gain in both the short and the long term?

    How does switching business energy supplier work?

    Switching energy providers used to be a complicated and convoluted process, but in recent years, various pieces of government legislation and regulation changes have made it far easier, meaning you can generally have a new supplier in place in around three weeks.

    Is it vital to note that, should you decide to switch suppliers, there will not be any point where you will be left without power or gas; you are switching supplier, but this doesn’t mean that anything is literally switched off or on.

    The process associated with switching suppliers is as follows:

    1. Use an estimation tool or grab an energy bill

    The first thing you need to be aware of is who your current supplier is, what the parameters of your tariff are, and what it offers you now and what it promises to offer in the future. This is absolutely essential in order to lay the foundation of your switch.

    2. Search through offers and suppliers

    By running a search on a comparison website, you will be able to quickly and easily see what offers are available to you, what particular tariffs offer and how much they cost, and how much money you stand to save via the switch. You can then, very quickly, make the decision to switch if it works for your business.

    You can either utilise the comparison website to do this or head to the official website for your chosen supplier. You will usually have to supply some basic pieces of information – contact numbers, direct debit details, meter readings – which will enable a new bill to be created and will allow your current supplier to send any remaining bills associated with your company.

    3. Look at your balance

    It may be that when you switch accounts, you are in credit. If this is the case, you should see a refund land in your account, but sometimes companies will need prompting for this to happen. On the other side of the coin, it could be that you owe your old supplier some money, so be sure that you have paid everything and will not be chased in the future.

    4. Sit back and wait

    As we mentioned above, it can take around three weeks (21 days) for the switch to happen, although very often the entire process will be much faster. You really shouldn’t see any difference in terms of performance; in fact, the only thing that is liable to change is the amount of money you pay.

    It is also worth being aware that nearly every switch comes with an inherent ‘cooling-off period’ – generally around 14 days – which allows you to change your mind or cancel the entire deal. Generally speaking, cancelling during this period will not incur any charges on your part, but it is worth checking if you decide to do this.

    Top tips for switching

    1. There are various types of tariffs available, and sometimes it can appear that you are being blinded by tech speak and bizarrely-worded overviews. Make sure that you fully understand what you are signing up for.

    2. If you want to ensure your electricity supplier is environmentally friendly, you can certainly find options that match this desire. However, be aware that these are not guaranteed to be cheaper than the tariff you are currently on, and could actually be more expensive.

    3. Beware of hidden charges. Always read the small print: you don’t want to be hit with charges or fees that you hadn’t anticipated. Most suppliers don’t hide their fees, but it is always worth checking.

    Looking for other ways to cut business costs? Want to discover if you can streamline your overall performance, enhance productivity and bolster your financial stability? Get in touch with Amvia today to compare offers and find the best option for you. Email directly at enquiries@amvia.co.uk, or call on 0333-733-8050.

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