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How to compare business electricity rates

Running a business requires a vast amount of time and dedication. With so many decisions to be made, the prospect of looking for a better deal on your commercial electricity can be daunting. Our straightforward service helps you find better business electricity prices so you can get back to what you do best - running your business. Read on to find out how UswitchforBusiness can help you compare commercial electricity rates and reduce your bills.
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Business electricity explained

No matter the size of the business or the sector it's in, most companies use a considerable amount of electricity. As a result, it is often possible to negotiate with energy suppliers to get better business electricity rates.

However, finding the best business electricity prices can take time and expertise, so most companies — large and small — use an agent specialising in energy negotiation.

UswitchforBusiness provides expert advice and assistance to help you find the cheapest electricity supplier for your business.

How business electricity tariffs work

Nearly all tariffs have two charges: the unit rate and the daily standing charge. Comparing these charges can help you figure out the cheapest rate.

  • Unit rate: The unit rate is the cost per kWh — essentially the cost of each unit of electricity

  • Daily standing charge: This is a charge to businesses to help with the maintenance of the National Grid and to cover the cost of delivering power to your business.

Once you understand the two main charges to expect, it's easier to compare business electricity prices. Follow these steps to help you find a cheap business electricity tariff to suit your needs:

1. The total cost is key - the unit rate might be cheaper with one supplier but what about the standing charges? Compare the overall annual cost of your bill when getting quotes.

2. Consider future energy usage - if you anticipate your business electricity usage will increase further into your contract term, a deal with a cheaper unit rate might be better for you even if the standing rate charge isn't the best on the market.

3. Make a note of your contract expiry - your contract could rollover if you fail to formally terminate it. The rollover contract will likely be far more expensive than your current electricity tariff.

4. Take advantage of the renewal window - the renewal window is up to six months before your business energy contract ends, and is the period you're allowed to compare and switch energy deals.

5. Consider dual fuel tariffs - many suppliers offer a cheaper deal if you decide to buy electricity and gas from them together. However, this isn't always the case. It's worth getting three separate quotes from each supplier to help you compare.

6. Fix your contract term for longer - if you think prices will rise, having a longer agreement in place could save you farther down the road. Consider what kind of flexibility your business will need before committing though. See our guide to: variable business energy rates.

7. Use an energy broker - UswitchforBusiness is a business energy broker and has a deep knowledge of the industry as well as relationships with a wide variety of suppliers, big and small. We can speak to them on your behalf and get back to you with the best quotes for you to choose from.

Switch your business electricity supplier with Uswitch

Our business energy team provides a comprehensive, accurate and informative comparison of suppliers based on your business's requirements. Once we have found you the best supplier we can ensure you have a smooth transition to your new business electricity tariff.

Simply call us on 0800 188 4930 or request a call back and tell us about your business electricity requirements and we'll do the rest of the work — getting back to you with quotes from the most suitable energy suppliers.

How to run a business electricity comparison

While you can compare business electricity rates with UswitchforBusiness, the process isn't the same as comparing residential electricity.

When comparing electricity for your home you can simply go to Uswitch, enter your postcode and compare quotes from a range of suppliers available in your area - the whole process is managed online.

However, because each business has bespoke requirements and suppliers have their own set of terms and conditions for each type of business they work with and for each region, you may want to use an energy broker to help you find and switch your commercial electricity. UswitchforBusiness is an energy broker experienced in switching gas and electricity specifically for businesses. Simply submit some basic information online and we’ll compare business electricity tariffs on your behalf. We’ll then contact you to discuss the best options for your business and then handle the rest of the switch for you.

You can find out more about how to compare business energy brokers in our guide, or get started below.

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What are commercial electricity rates based on?

Many different factors can affect your business electricity rates. The price you are quoted from commercial electricity suppliers can be based on considerations including, but not limited to:

Electricity usage and business size

If you're a small company, then you may not use a lot of energy. Commercial electricity suppliers will also want to know how often you use your energy, at what times and what periods of the year you're likely to be using it the most. If you run a large business read this guide to find out more about your electricity supply options. You can compare large business energy plans here.

The location of your business

Business electricity rates fluctuate across the country and vary according to each region. If your business location is flexible then you may want to consider how your business electricity quotes are impacted if you’re based elsewhere.

How many locations you have

Do you run your business from just one location? If not, you may need to consider to install a multi-site meter for your business. A multi-site meter can help save time and money by putting all of your locations on the same electricity tariff.

Business credit score

Your company's credit score is key to giving you access to the best possible deals. Business electricity suppliers are far less likely to give you a cheap quote if you have a history of bad credit or have missed debt repayments in the past.

Your contract length

Longer contracts with business electricity suppliers tend to offer better savings. If you decide to get a fixed rate plan for a couple of years and you anticipate that electricity prices will rise, you will probably save your company some money. However, it's important to put your business's needs first. For example, if your business requires the flexibility to switch energy tariffs in the future — you’re planning to move office locations, for example — then a long term contract may not be the best option for you.

Your dual fuel options

Does your business also require a new gas supplier? Consider asking prospective commercial electricity suppliers if they can provide your business with gas as well as electricity. They might offer you a discount for taking out both options with them. Be sure to compare the market though. You may find it cheaper to get your electricity and gas through separate business energy suppliers.

The wholesale market

Business electricity prices are impacted by the daily activities on the global wholesale market. Natural disasters, weather changes, global energy demands and conflicts can all cause prices on the wholesale market to fluctuate. Business electricity suppliers will almost always pass any price rises on the wholesale market over to their customers.

Installation costs

Are you downgrading or upgrading your energy needs? Do you need a new meter installed? You'll need to find out what the business electricity supplier charges for any extra work involved in the switch. More importantly, you'll want to find out what commitments they demand of you for doing any installation work for 'free'. For example, you may be forced to commit to a longer contract or to pay for a meter to be removed if they carry out the work for free. In most cases, similar to residential energy, the suppliers simply do the switch without any extra work.

Call UswitchforBusiness on 0800 188 4930 or request a call back and we'll help you to compare business electricity prices. If your business energy contract is not in its renewal window (i.e. you're not allowed to switch supplier) you can opt to have the situation monitored for you and call you back when it's the right time to switch.

And, after you've switched your business electricity tariff, get reminders each time your contract is about to end so we can help you through the process again.

Read more:

How to switch business energy supplier - Uswitch

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