In a survey of over 11,000 UK beauty, hair salons and spas, Uswitch research has found that energy bills comprise 40% of their costs, and about a third of businesses have had to raise treatment prices as a result.
Uswitch for Business estimates that salons who have fallen out of contract could be paying up to 50% more than those on a negotiated deal.
This puts these businesses at higher risk of financial problems - makers will need to consider more ways to manage cash flow to avoid having to close their business. More than two in five said they may have to reduce the number of services on offer, and almost one in three may also have to downsize or close down sites.
Jack Arthur, energy expert at Uswitch for Business, said “The hair and beauty industry is an essential part of the UK economy, providing jobs and services to millions. However, reduced footfall and sky-high energy costs puts salon and spa owners in a really difficult position.
“Business decision makers should make sure they are aware of the terms and end date of their current energy contract so they can shop around for the best rates at the time of renewal.
“If salon owners have concerns about paying their bills or if they aren’t receiving the right level of support, they should contact their energy supplier as soon as possible.”
1. Check all your contracts - both gas and electricity
Dual fuel agreements do not exist in the business market, which means that you will likely have different arrangements for your gas and electricity. Make sure you've got the details of both contracts, including your current supplier and take note of the contract types, duration and end dates.
2. Identify your ‘switching window’
The ‘switching window’ is the period where you can change to a cheaper deal if you're on a contract you’ve not chosen, your tariff has expired or if you’ve taken over a new premises.
3. Seek expert advice when it comes to finding a competitive energy deal
Finding the right deal for your business can take time, so if you are struggling to understand the type of contract needed for your firm and its usage, consider speaking to an energy broker. Sites like Uswitch for Business can help you during your search.
4. If you’re struggling to pay your bills, speak to your supplier ASAP
Contact your supplier as soon as you can if you are worried about paying your business energy bills. Suppliers may be able to work with you to agree a payment plan you can afford more easily.
5. Understand how to improve your business's energy efficiency
You can make a difference to your overall consumption by considering energy efficient measures, such as energy saving lighting, as well as turning off other technology when not in use. If you don’t have one already, consider installing a smart meter or a half hourly meter to understand where you are wasting energy and to improve the accuracy of your bills.