Why should I switch business energy suppliers?
Businesses often use a lot more energy than the average household. In fact, the average small business (10-49 employees) spends £12,327 on electricity and £7,011 annually on gas. With that much money on the line, getting a good business energy rate is vital.
But it’s not just about overheads. If the power goes off, it impacts your bottom line and your credibility. You need excellent customer service to get problems resolved in record time.
When you compare business energy suppliers, you can find the deals and the customer service you feel will be best for your business, potentially saving you money and headaches.
Frequently asked questions
How much could I save by switching business energy?
How much your business could save depends on its size, the number of staff and, ultimately, how efficiently it’s run. The exact amount is hard to pinpoint because all businesses are different.
How does switching business energy work and how long does it take?
Switching business energy isn’t very different from switching your home energy supplier; the transition should be just as smooth and quick.
To make the switch, just answer a few questions, such as what type of business you have, where it’s located, and how much energy it uses. If you can, grab your latest bill when you start a quote. All the answers will be on there.
Once you’ve answered everything, we’ll compare the market and present you with available tariffs based on your needs – all you need to do is choose one. Your new energy supplier will sort out all the finer details and arrange for the switch to take place.
Will my business supply be disrupted?
No, it’ll be business as usual. There won’t be any disruptions to your supply. Your new energy supplier will liaise with your old one and make all the arrangements for the switch over.
As with domestic switches, you’ll be expected to take an up-to-date meter reading and pay off any outstanding bills.
If you’re leaving your old supplier partway through your contract, it’s your responsibility to find out about any exit fees. If you have to pay to leave your current agreement, make sure the savings you make by switching are worth it. If you’re just a couple of months from the end of your contract, it might be worth biding your time.
What are the different business tariff options?
- Energy suppliers typically offer commercial customers a range of fixed rate tariffs over one, two, three or even five years. As a rule, the longer the fixed term, the more expensive the tariff is likely to be – but it does offer protection from any increases in the future.
- Some suppliers offer discounts if bills are paid by direct debit.
- If you’re concerned about the environment, look for green energy options. Alternatively, opt for paperless billing or choose a supplier that gets involved in projects such as tree planting.
Business energy customers usually can’t get dual fuel deals – suppliers offer gas and electricity separately.
Can I get charity or not-for-profit business energy?
Yes. Charities and not-for-profit organisations are eligible for a 15% reduction in VAT, taking it down to 5%. Plus, they are exempt from the Climate Change Levy (CCL), which is a tax on commercial energy use, reducing bills by a further 5%.
If you think your not-for-profit organisation is entitled to money off energy, contact your supplier and ask for a VAT declaration form.
Can I get a business energy feed-in tariff too?
Yes, if you generate your own energy from low-carbon or renewable sources, your business can apply for a feed-in tariff (FIT), just like a domestic energy user. Under the FIT scheme, anyone that generates their own power or sells excess power back to the National Grid is eligible for money back.
How much you’ll get paid for generating electricity depends on the size of the system you have, as well as what type of technology is installed, such as solar panels or wind turbines. If you’re interested in generating your own energy, visit the Energy Savings Trust for help and advice.
What is green business energy?
Green energy comes from renewable sources – like sunlight, wind or even plants. And just like with domestic energy, some of these options will be available to commercial energy customers.
Alternatively, you might choose one that doesn’t use fracking, an environmentally damaging way to extract natural gas. There are also smaller ways you can be green, like choosing paperless billing and being as energy efficient as possible.
Businesses will naturally use more energy than the average home, so being aware of your firm’s impact on the environment is no bad thing. If being green is important to you, just click the ‘green’ option under ‘tariff type’ when you compare quotes.
What information do I need to switch business energy?
You can find all the information needed to switch business energy on your bill – look out for:
- your current supplier’s name
- tariff name and end date
- your supply type
- how much energy your business uses in kWh (kilowatt hours) or pounds
If you’re not sure where to find any of these, take a look at our article: Understanding your energy bill.
If you don’t have a recent bill to hand then you can still search great deals, but be aware that the quotes might not be as accurate.
List of business energy suppliers
Take a look at our list of business energy suppliers. Alongside the more familiar providers, we include smaller companies that might be able to offer you a great deal on your business energy.
- Axis Telecom
- Bristol Energy
- British Gas
- Duel Energy
- Extra Energy
- Good Energy
- Simple Gas
- Total Gas & Power
- United Gas and Power
- Xcel Energy
- Yorkshire Gas and Power
What should I do if I'm moving business premises?
You can take your existing energy supplier along with you or switch to a new one. Either way it’s important to have something in place, otherwise expensive out-of-contract charges may apply.
If you stick with your current supplier, you’ll need to give them notice of your move – about a month should be enough. You’ll also need to let them know the date you’re moving out and the date you move in to your new premises, as well as the new address. You should take meter readings at your old and new locations on the day you move out and in.
Do your business energy quotes include VAT and CCL?
It’s your choice. When you get to the prices page, you can opt to have quotes shown with or without VAT and CCL (climate change levy).
How do I compare business energy suppliers?
Just answer a few questions about your business and its energy consumption – it’s as easy as that. All the details you need are on your bill.
We’ll look for available tariffs based on what you’ve told us; you can then refine the results to make sure you get a supplier and package that really suits you and your business.