Compare business energy suppliers
Or call the experts at Bionic on:0800 975 0781
Which business energy suppliers do we work with?
We currently compare 20 business energy providers^^, including familiar providers from the 'Big Six' as well as smaller companies that might be able to offer you a great deal on gas and electricity for your business.
^^Correct as of June, 2022.
We work with our trusted partner Bionic to help you find great energy deals. Bionic's experts work with leading energy suppliers to find the right deal for you, whether you're a barbershop or a bakery.
The new Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) to help support businesses
To help businesses cope with soaring energy prices, a new six-month scheme to reduce bills for businesses and other non-domestic energy users (including charities and public sector organisations like schools) has been put in place by the government.
After this initial six-month scheme, which runs from 1 October 2022 until 31 March 2023, the government has said it will provide ongoing focused support for vulnerable industries.
There will be a review in three months’ time to consider where this should be targeted to make sure those most in need get support.
Who is eligible?
Everyone on a non-domestic contract is eligible as long as they’re in one of the following situations:
- On an existing fixed-price contract that was agreed on or after 1 April 2022
- Signing a new fixed-price contract
- On a deemed/out of contract or variable tariff
- On a flexible purchase or similar contract.
There are a few exemptions, such as businesses that use gas or electricity for the purpose of generating power they’re selling back into the grid.
If you’re not connected to either the gas or electricity grid, equivalent support will also be provided for non-domestic consumers who use heating oil or alternative fuels instead of gas.
How much will bills be reduced?
The government will provide a discount on your gas and electricity unit prices. To calculate your discount, the estimated wholesale portion of the unit price you’d be paying this winter will be compared with a baseline ‘government supported price’, which is lower than currently expected wholesale prices this winter.
The government supported price for all non-domestic energy users in Great Britain has been set at:
- £211 per megawatt hour (MWh) for electricity
- £75 per MWh for gas.
A comparable rate will be set shortly for Northern Ireland.
To compare this with what you might otherwise have been paying, wholesale costs in England, Scotland and Wales for this winter are currently expected to be around:
- £600 per MWh for electricity
- £180 per MWh for gas.
How will it work?
Your supplier will automatically apply the reduction to your bill if you’re an eligible non-domestic customer. You won’t have to apply.
In turn, the UK government will compensate suppliers for the price reduction they are passing onto non-domestic customers.
The discount applied will be in pence per kilowatt hour (p/kWh). The p/kWh government support for comparable contracts will be the same across suppliers, but how much your actual bill will be will depend on your actual usage, contract and tariff.
For fixed contracts, the discount will reflect the difference between the government-supported price and the relevant wholesale price for the day the contract was agreed. The government will publish the wholesale prices it’ll use for calculating this for each day from 1 April 2022. Customers entering new fixed-price contracts after 1 October 2022 will receive support on the same basis.
For variable, deemed and all other contracts, the discount will reflect the difference between the government supported price and relevant wholesale price, but be subject to a ‘Maximum Discount’ that will determined at the beginning of the scheme. The amount of this Maximum Discount is likely to be around £405/MWh for electricity and £115/MWh for gas, subject to wholesale market developments. But, of course, on a variable tariff, prices can still rise – despite the discount – if wholesale prices continue to rise.
Because of this, businesses on variable/flexible contracts are being given the option to decide if they want to move to fixed contracts for the duration of the scheme. Your supplier should contact you to discuss your options.
The p/kWh government support for comparable contracts will be the same across suppliers, but the absolute level of individual bills will of course continue to vary.
The savings will be first seen in October bills, which are typically received in November. It’ll be worth checking your bill to make sure the discount has been applied correctly, as with so many bills going through the system, it’s possible that mistakes could be made.
Switching your business energy supplier is simple
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We'll take care of the switch and help make it seamless for you
Why compare business energy with Comparethemarket?
Businesses usually use more energy than domestic properties, and large businesses significantly more. Even small variations in price per unit can make a big difference, especially to larger businesses or energy-heavy businesses. This will cost you even more if you’ve been put on a suppliers’ standard variable rate, which is often their most expensive.
Wholesale energy prices have risen substantially since late 2021. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) estimates that between February 2021 and August 2022 bills have risen by 349% for electricity and 424% for gas. This reflects the fact that energy suppliers are increasing their contract rates to cover their own rising costs.
So although you won’t find cheap business energy deals on the market right now, it’s more important than ever to make sure you arrange a new fixed rate deal before your current deal expires. Otherwise you could end up on a rising standard variable rate or deemed rate – typically some of the most expensive rates available. With energy prices still volatile you may also want more certainty of what will happen after the Energy Bill Relief Scheme ends by opting for a fixed deal.
Comparethemarket’s comparison service takes the hassle of finding a cheaper business energy tariff off your hands. We compare quotes from trusted UK business suppliers to help you find one to suit your business. Simply answer a few questions and our partnered business energy experts
Our partnered business energy experts, Bionic, are on hand to answer your questions. Call them on 0800 975 0781.
Compare business gas
With the help of our business energy experts, we can help you compare quotes to find a deal on your business gas.
Whether it’s to save money, get better service or do your company’s bit to help the environment, find the right business gas quote for you.
Compare business electricity
You’ll want to find business electricity tariffs that can offer you the best deal financially. Or perhaps you want to embrace a green tariff with 100% renewable electricity.
Compare quotes to find our latest business electricity deals and find the right fit for your company.
Why you should switch your business energy supplier
Businesses often use a lot more energy than homes, which means overpaying for business energy can be even more expensive. With business energy prices broken down to a cost per unit of energy, even small price differences can lead to big savings on your company’s energy bills over the course of a financial year.
If you’ve moved into new premises, for example, you might be on what’s known as a deemed energy contract. This is a default energy deal that a business is placed on when it hasn’t agreed a contract with an energy supplier. It's typically one of the most expensive contracts available.
Likewise, if you’ve not switched your tariff for several years, there’s a chance that your business energy supplier will have moved you onto their variable rate. Variable rates are often much more expensive than fixed tariffs you’ll find elsewhere on the energy market, which means you could be paying far more than you need to. A simple switch could fix that.
You also need to remember that as your business begins to grow, you’ll probably end up with more members of staff, as well as bigger or even multiple premises. This will impact your company’s energy use, which makes getting the right commercial energy deal even more important.
Finally, you also want to make sure that you’re with a business energy supplier that’s reliable and has good customer service. If your energy supply is cut, your business won’t just suffer financially, it could also impact your company’s reputation with customers. To help prevent that, find a supplier with excellent customer service to get problems resolved quickly.
What to consider when you compare business energy suppliers
It’s important to know that business energy suppliers don’t usually offer dual fuel deals. Instead, you’ll probably need to get your business gas and electricity supplied through separate tariffs. While this does mean you’ll have to manage your energy types separately, it does offer the potential to use different suppliers for each, which could get you a better deal.
It’s also useful to understand how your business energy prices are calculated, as this can help you understand what makes for a good deal. Business energy prices are mainly based on your company’s size (in terms of staff and business premises), its location and meter type. Understandably, more people working in larger premises are going to use more energy, so your bill will reflect this. Energy prices also differ by region, which makes a business in London likely to pay a different price to one in Scotland. Finally, certain meters - like an economy 7 - charge different rates depending on the time of day, which could be useful for different types of businesses. A nightclub, for instance, could potentially enjoy off-peak rates that a 9-5 office wouldn’t.
Before you compare business energy suppliers, you should first decide which type of tariff would suit your business best.
There are four main types to choose from:
- Fixed-term tariffs
- Extended tariffs
- Flex approach tariffs
- Pass through tariffs
Business energy tariffs explained
The most popular type of energy tariff for businesses. Energy suppliers typically offer commercial customers a range of fixed term tariffs over one to four years. Although bills will vary depending on how much energy you use, the unit cost and standing charges remain the same for the agreed fixed term.
This type of tariff lets you extend the length of your current business energy contract with the same supplier. This could be a good option if you’re happy to stay with your current supplier, as you’ll likely be rewarded with a lower rate for your loyalty.
Flex approach tariff
This allows you to bulk-buy your energy in advance, so when it comes to using it, you already know how much you’ve paid. Bulk-buying this way also means you can benefit from wholesale prices.
Pass through tariff
This allows you to split your bill between the fixed wholesale price and other charges, like the National Grid and Transmission Network Use of System, which can vary over the year. The idea is that the variable charges passed on to you, the business customer, may increase over time and offset the cheaper fixed wholesale price that you’ve been given.
How to switch business energy suppliers
Switching business energy supplier is simple. You can change supplier when your contract enters the ‘switching window’, which is usually between one and six months before its end date. Time periods can vary, so check your contract. As soon as this happens, you should run a business energy price comparison. That’s because it’s a good idea to have your next energy tariff in place and ready to go for when your current contract ends, to avoid ending up on volatile out-of-contract rates.
To make the switch, just answer a few questions. Ideally, we’ll need to know:
- What you want to compare – gas, electricity or both
- How much you spend on business energy each year
- Whether you’re in or out of contact with your supplier.
If you’ll let us, we can look up the information we need with just your business’ name and postcode.
Once you’ve answered everything, we’ll check the market and one of our energy experts will give you a quick call when you’re free to run you through the available tariffs based on your needs – all you need to do is choose one. Bionic will sort out all the finer details and arrange for the switch to take place.
What is the average business energy bill?
Getting a truly indicative ‘average’ business energy bill is difficult because businesses vary so much in size, type and location. This means their energy consumption and pricing can vary significantly. This is even more important during the current energy pricing crisis as wholesale prices have risen substantially over 2022. However, the table below will give you some idea of average prices in Q1 2022:
|Business size||Electricity price (per kWh)||Gas price (per kWh)|
These prices reflect the data released by BEIS (The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) for the first quarter of 2022. The average prices shown exclude the Climate Change Levy (CCL).
Frequently asked questions
What is the Climate Change Levy (CCL)?
The Climate Change Levy is an environmental tax charged on the energy that businesses use. Its aim is to encourage businesses to be as energy efficient as possible and reduce their carbon emissions.
Charities don’t have to pay the CCL and you may also be excluded from paying CCL if your business energy usage falls below the minimum limit. Your business energy supplier is responsible for making sure you pay the correct CCL, and you will be able to see the rate you’re paying on your business energy bill.
What’s the difference between domestic and business energy?
Here are the main differences between domestic and business energy:
- Business energy tariffs usually charge less per unit – because businesses tend to use a lot more energy than homes, business energy deals are charged less per unit of energy. Think of it like a discount for bulk buying.
- You can only switch business energy tariffs in the switching window – unlike domestic energy tariffs, which you can switch anytime you like (subject to any exit fees), business energy can only be switched when you’re in the renewal window. This is typically between one and six months before the end of your contract.
- The market works differently – for domestic energy you can pick from energy tariffs that are available across the market. For business energy, you’ll need to get a bespoke quote from suppliers. This is because businesses use energy differently from domestic properties and can vary greatly depending on the size, type, and location of the business you own.
Are dual fuel business energy tariffs available?
How do business energy contracts work?
While domestic energy contracts usually last for 12 months, business energy contracts can last anywhere up to five years, maybe longer. Business energy is also priced on a per unit basis, with both gas and electricity being contracted separately.
With a business energy contract, you won’t usually be offered a cooling off period, and you won’t be able to switch suppliers until you enter the ‘switching window’ which can be anywhere from one to six months from the end of your deal.
You should also be wary of being put on a deemed contract. These are typically among the most expensive on the market. You can be placed on a deemed contract if:
- You cancel with your existing provider but then don’t sign up with another provider
- You move into a new business premises and don’t agree a contract with a supplier.
How are commercial energy plans calculated?
The costs of a commercial energy plan are calculated using several factors, including:
- Your business’ energy usage – naturally, using more energy will cost more
- The size and type of business – certain types of business are expected to use more energy, which may then pay less per unit.
- Your business’ location – energy is priced differently between regions, so you may pay more as a business in London, than one in Scotland.
- Contract length – locking your business into a longer business energy contract may reward you with a cheaper per unit price. Just keep in mind that locking yourself into a longer-term commitment means you won’t be able to switch to a better deal if prices fall.
How can I save on my business energy bills?
Here are some tips to help you save on your business energy bills:
- Compare quotes and switch supplier – if you’ve been on the same business tariff for years, you may be paying more than you need to, and a simple switch could see you making savings with little effort. If you’re on a good rate, now may not be the best time to switch, but it’s always good to see what’s out there.
- Install technology to improve your business’ energy efficiency – there are a variety of energy-saving devices for businesses. For example, you could install lights that activate with sensors, meaning they won’t be on unless people are in the area and need them. When you buy new equipment, check out its energy efficiency and take that into account when choosing between suitable options.
- Introduce energy efficient workplace habits – you could give employees training and other guidance to get them into the habit of adopting energy-saving practices. For example, people should turn their computers and printers off when they leave for the day, rather than leaving them in sleep mode.
- Run a business energy audit – this helps you find out how and where your business uses energy the most. Not only will it highlight your company’s energy usage, but it can also highlight areas where energy is being wasted. Simple things like changing lightbulbs to more energy efficient LEDs could save money.
- Get a smart meter installed – ask your business energy provider about installing a smart meter at your business premises so you can track your company’s energy usage more closely.
Will my business energy be disrupted when I switch?
There won’t be any disruptions to your supply when you switch commercial energy suppliers. 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.
What should I do if my business is moving premises?
You can take your existing energy supplier along to your new premises with you or switch to a new one. Either way, here are the things you need to tell your current supplier:
- Where you’re moving – they’ll need your business’ new address.
- When you’re moving – they’ll need the date you’re leaving your current business address, as well as the date you move into your new premises.
- Provide meter readings – both when you leave your old address and when you arrive at the new one.
You should ideally give your supplier a month’s notice of your business’ move, but you may want to give them more than that to be safe. Make sure you don’t leave it too late, as you could be charged expensive out-of-contract charges. If you end up cancelling with your old supplier without arranging a new one, you’ll be put on a deemed rate, which can be much more expensive.
How do I find out when my energy contract ends?
You should be able to find out when your energy contract ends by looking at a recent energy bill. If you can’t find the end date or it’s not clear, you should get in touch with your business energy supplier.
Being aware of when your energy contract ends is important, because you’ll be able to start looking for a new tariff before you roll onto a variable rate, which is much more expensive.
How long does it take to switch?
How long it takes to switch business energy suppliers can vary between businesses, but the general rule is about four to six weeks. If for some reason your current energy supplier attempts to block your switch, this can slow things down.
With it taking four to six weeks to switch your business energy, you should plan ahead and compare quotes to find the right deal in plenty of time, before your existing tariff ends and you’re rolled onto a standard one, which will usually cost a lot more.
What our expert says...
“Wholesale energy prices have skyrocketed and they show no sign of dropping anytime soon, so it’s more important than ever to make sure you don’t slip onto volatile out of contract rates. When it comes time for you to switch, we can help you compare what’s out there, with the help of our trusted partner and industry experts Bionic.”
- Sofia Hutson, Utilities expert
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