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Compare business electricity

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You can switch your business electricity supplier to get a better deal and save yourself some money. With energy costs one of the biggest outgoings for a business, it makes sense to know your options and keep comparing to check the latest business electricity deals.

Our guide answers the key questions you might have about business electricity and how to compare and switch suppliers...

Frequently asked questions

Why should I switch business electricity suppliers?

The average price of non-domestic electricity bills increased by 3.5% between 2016 and 2017. With rates changing regularly, comparing prices often is a practice that could save your company money.

It's not always about cost, though. You might choose to switch for better customer support or a tariff that suits your needs.

It's also worth knowing that suppliers are no longer able to lock businesses into automatic rollover contracts from June 2017. This means that suppliers can no longer charge exit fees or include no-exit clauses in automatic rollovers. This should make it easier to swap suppliers, if you have tried previously and found your business locked in to a contract.

How much could I save by switching business electricity?

Businesses vary quite a lot more than households, so it’s difficult to give an average saving. It will depend on the size of your business premises, the number of people on-site and a few other factors.

The best way to find out what you can save is, of course, to compare the market.

How does switching work for business customers?

As with domestic switching, the new electricity provider takes care of organising things, so you should be able to give them a few details and then leave them to it. The switch should take around two to three weeks, according to Ofgem figures.

There are a couple of restrictions for would-be business switchers. Your supplier can decline to switch if you're either:

  • still in contract
  • in debt to them

Make sure you are choosing the right new supplier because unlike with domestic suppliers there is no 14-day cooling off period if you switch your business energy.

What about microbusinesses?

The rules are a little different for companies that are classified as 'microbusinesses'. These are small companies that either:

  • use less than 100,000 kWh of electricity per year
  • use less than 293,000 kWh of gas per year 
  • have 10 or fewer employees and turn over less than €2 million per year

If you qualify as a microbusiness, your supplier must provide you with extra support with switching, for example putting the end-date and notice period for your contract on all bills, and telling you your annual energy consumption and how your old tariff compares with their latest options.

Will my business electricity be disrupted if I switch?

No, there should be nothing different except the name of your supplier, as the same lines and equipment will be delivering your power.

What are the different business electricity tariff options?

Energy suppliers offer both fixed rate and flexible tariffs for electricity – but fixed rate tends to be the norm as it gives businesses protection from fluctuating prices. The drawback is (as it is with domestic electricity) that prices won't go down if the wholesale price does.

Flexible tariffs reflect the market, so while you could make savings, you could also end up paying more than you would have done on a fixed rate. Some flexible tariffs allow you to switch supplier with just 30-days' notice.

Unlike household energy, you can't opt for dual fuel tariffs with business use.

What if I’m on a deemed contract?

If you move into new premises and start to use power, you’ll be on what’s called a ‘deemed contract’, where there’s no mutual agreement in place but the supplier continues to provide power. A deemed contract situation can also happen if you reach the end of a contract without negotiating a new one.

Ofgem found that the costs with deemed contracts are on average 80% higher than rates charged on a negotiated contract. So if you’re on a deemed contract, you could make serious savings by comparing business electricity.

You have a right to switch at any time and for any reason if you're on a deemed contract, even if you're in debt.

Can I switch business electricity if I have more than one electricity monitor in my premises?

Electricity monitors simply show you how much electricity is being used, hopefully making your business more energy efficient. They are not the same as smart meters and they don’t share information with your supplier. Having more than one shouldn’t prevent you from switching electricity supplier.

What information do I need to switch business electricity?

All the information you need to switch business electricity supplier can be found on your bill. You'll need your:

  • current supplier’s name
  • tariff name and end date
  • supply type
  • details of how much electricity your business uses

It's helpful to know your meter number too.

When you start a quote, the more accurate you can be, the better, because it means we can tailor the search to fit your exact needs. You can still search without all these details, but the results might not be as precise.

If you need help working out how to read your bill, we can help – see our guide to understanding your bill.

How do I compare business electricity suppliers?

First, you'll answer a few questions about how much electricity your business uses and where you're located.

We'll run a search of all the available electricity deals based on what you've told us. You'll be able to see your estimated annual and monthly costs based on 1-5 year contracts, plus some key information about suppliers, like their eco credentials.

I have solar panels. Can I get a business feed in tariff?

Under the feed-in tariff scheme (FIT), businesses that make their own electricity are entitled to money back. Payments are also made by selling excess electricity back to the National Grid.

The amount of money you're eligible for depends on a few things, such as how many solar panels you have. Your supplier will also need to be registered as a FIT licensee in order make payments to you. There's a full list of licensees at Ofgem.

What is a smart meter?

A smart meter is a device that shows how much energy is being used and how much it costs.

Smart meters are being rolled out across the country and the government wants the majority of homes and businesses to have them by 2020.

What is green business electricity?

Green electricity comes from renewable sources – like sunlight, wind, rain, plants and geothermal heat. Using an electricity supplier that sources some or all of its energy from renewables is one way of making sure your business is doing its bit for the environment. Find out more in our green energy guide.

When you compare with us, we'll show you which suppliers provide green energy when you see your prices.

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