Want to save hundreds — even thousands — on your business energy bills? Find out how in our step-by-step guide
Whether you’ve compared and switched your home’s energy supplier or not, running a business energy comparison and switching your energy plan can feel like a daunting task!
From gathering business energy prices to deciphering business energy contracts to finding the right energy brokers, we can demystify the process of comparing and switching business energy tariffs.
Get to know your energy contract
The first step in being able to compare business energy suppliers and switch your business electricity or gas supplier is to track down your energy contract.
This contract will tell you important information about your business energy rates and when the contract ends.
You can start comparing and arranging a switch up to six months before your contract ends. This will give you time to review different plans on the market and take time choosing the right one for your business.
If you can’t track down your contract, you should be able to find the same info on a recent energy bill
What you need to compare
Now that you know where you stand in relation to your current company energy contract — including what you’re paying and when it ends — you are ready to compare deals.
For this you’ll need a recent bill. This bill contains the following items:
- Your unit rates and standing charge
- Your consumption/how much energy you use annually
- Your meter numbers
- Your contract end date
- Your contract’s notice period (when you have to tell your supplier you’re leaving)
If you are not the business owner, you will also need the permission of the owner to take responsibility of the contract change. You will simply need to confirm that you have this authority at the time of switching.
How to compare business energy
Unlike domestic energy deal comparisons, you cannot compare and switch online for business energy.
So, you have two options to compare current business energy deals: you can contact suppliers directly to check rates, taking note of each’s best deals; or you can work through a business energy broker like uSwitchforBusiness.com, who will do this for you on your behalf.
How business energy brokers work
Business energy brokers are specialised intermediaries who work with both the business energy consumers and the energy suppliers.
The other difference between domestic and business energy switching is that using a service like an energy broker is not free.
Energy brokers charge in a few different ways, the most common being a commision, but also via a share of the savings or up front.
Taking the commission method as an example, this is how your energy broker is likely to work:
Once a broker is contacted by a business energy consumer, the broker in turn contacts suppliers, requesting prices that include his or her commission per kWh — .04 p/kWh for example.
The kWh unit rate the consumer sees includes this commision, and the broker invoices the supplier directly based on the consumption of the consumer.
Because the commission is paid via the supplier, it is common for businesses to think that they their broker works for free. This is not the case, so be sure to find out what your broker’s commission rate is.
It’s also a good idea to check that the broker works with both large and small suppliers to find the best business energy deals.
Comparing and confirming your switch
Once your chosen energy broker is on the case using the information from your energy bill, he or she will come back to you with a selection of deals from different suppliers.
The broker should be able to answer your questions and apply their expertise, but it’s ultimately your decision — so make sure you ask questions and understand all aspects of the tariff before committing.
The broker then confirms the switch with your chosen supplier and you’ll be provided with a contract by email. Once you’ve agreed the contract, it will commence the day after your current tariff ends.
The broker should take care of any administrative tasks, such as ensuring the go-live date goes as planned, and when your new contract is up, he or should contact you again to review your rates.
- Business Electricity Suppliers Learn all about the energy companies supplying businesses
- Business Energy Prices What is the typical cost of business energy?
- Business Electricity Learn all about the electricity market for businesses
*Saving is based on average business gas usage (65,000 kwh). The potential saving is the maximum saving that can be made by switching Gas between Big Six Supplier 1yr tariffs (Gas switch from 3.79p/kwh to 2.94p/kwh). All prices are correct as of 21/05/2015.