Get The Best Business Energy Rates in The UK With These 10 Tips
- March 21, 2019
- Business Energy
- by Chris
The UK has a deregulated business energy market with many providers offering competitive pricing for renewable energy products, electricity and gas.
Much like with domestic energy, the responsibility is on the bill payer to find affordable rates from an awful lot of tariffs in the market.
Here is a list of 10 tips that’ll help you get the best business energy rates in the UK:
1. Be Aware of Your Current Tariff
If you’re like the majority of businesses owners, you’ve no idea how much your current business gas and electricity tariffs are.
Perhaps you only get quotes in a couple of years and like always forget about it. But, without knowing your current rates, it’ll be impossible to compare prices.
2. Find Out When Your Current Contract Expires
The UK’s business energy providers aren’t the best at notifying you when your current business energy contract is up for renewal and when you can terminate it and switch providers.
Some providers need a cancellation notice in writing up to 3 months before the contract expires if you don’t want to be automatically enrolled in a new contract.
Once you find out the date, and the conditions to switch providers, you’ll be in a much better position to start comparing rates.
3. Clearly Understand Contract Length and Terms
To get the best business energy rates, you’ll also have to determine the length of your new contract. Standard contracts are typically 3 to 1 year, though some providers aim for contracts that last for up to 5 years.
Usually, longer-term contracts provide more certainty with cost being a bit higher than initial gas and electricity tariffs. However, you should also be aware that there might be penalties and fees if you try to terminate your contract early, which includes business failure.
For startups, it’s highly recommended that you get short-term contracts as you’ll have a better idea about your energy consumption and how your business is performing financially.
4. Research Providers
When getting your rates, you’ll most likely get rates from the big six energy providers. However, if you limit yourself to just them, you might be stopping yourself from getting the best deal.
The UK now has countless small business energy suppliers, providing renewable energy only contracts or competitive rates that might better align with your business requirements.
5. Check Provider Reviews
If after getting some quotes you come across a provider offering cut-price rates, your work isn’t done. Before entering into a contract with any provider, it’s always a good idea to read their online reviews and find out what other customers are saying.
There’s no point in getting into a contract with the cheapest supplier if you know you’re going to have a hard time switching or terminating your contract when it expires.
6. Find Out Your Business Electricity Profile Class
Your business profile class is based on your Peak Load Factor and usage. Renewing and new clients in profile class 05 to 08 are now required to use half hourly metering.
Being aware of your business profile class will ensure you are on the right tariff for your business type.
7. Understand Your Current Consumption Pattern and Usage
If you want the best rates for gas and electricity, you should have a clear understanding of when your energy consumption is highest. A nightclub and a small retail store that runs from 9 am to 5 pm will each have different consumption profiles.
Previous energy bills are valuable tools when it comes to understanding your consumption patterns.
8. Know Your Business Electricity and Gas Supply Figures
For business gas consumers this is known as your Meter Point Reference Number (MPR). You can find it on your previous gas bill.
For business electricity consumers this is known as a Metering Point Administration Number (MPAN). It’s the number inside the seven boxes next to the big S on your bill.
The main reason why both of these are valuable is that most business energy providers will want to confirm that these are in good standing and so that they can verify that all the details you provide are correct.
9. Ensure Your Business Credit is in Good Shape
To get the best rates on business energy, your business credit has to be in good standing.
Understandably, energy suppliers want to feel confident that your business will hold its end of the contract and pay its bills on time and in full. Consequently, they might carry out a business credit check before presenting their best rates.
10. Consider How You’ll Pay
Even though you don’t have the best credit, you can still save a lot depending on how you pay your bills. For instance, some energy providers will take up to 7 percent off your bills for paying by direct debit.
Bonus Tip: Get Many Quotes
Lastly, if you want to be sure you’re getting the best deal on business gas and electricity, you need to get many quotes.
Effective Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency
Low energy consumption is one of the key elements in cutting your yearly expenditures.
Though some info in this section is obvious, it’s still worth implementing. Research and surveys suggest that at least 10 percent savings in business energy consumption are possible by applying these changes:
- Switch off the lights. A simple task but one that is often overlooked.
- Get energy efficient products. Make sure you purchase energy efficient light bulbs and appliances wherever possible.
- Turn it off. At the end of the day, switch off any electrical equipment, which is not needed overnight.
- Print less. Try to eliminate the habit of printing everything that crosses your desk. If you’re still sending faxes and memos, switch to emails instead.
- Shut the door. Keep doors closed wherever possible and minimize drafts to contain heating and cooling.
- Upgrade your thermostats. Install programmable thermostats to maximize efficiency and maintain your temperatures.
- Change the mode. Put computers on standby or hibernation mode to save money when they’re not in use.
- Seek help from Government Schemes. See what tax breaks or incentive schemes are offered from your State Government to help your business out.
Because of the variable nature of the business energy industry, it’s hard to tell which providers will be the best for your business.
However, price comparison engines can help you find the best business energy rates in the UK tailored for your specific business wants and needs.