Nearly every tariff available on the market has these two elements – the unit rate and the daily standing charge. The price of each supplier differs from one to the next, which means you will need to compare business energy deals to find a plan that is suitable for your company’s needs.
Below we have highlighted eleven top tips to help you find the best quotes for business gas and electricity.
Compare the price of energy online
By far, the easiest and most straightforward way to source the cheapest commercial energy quotes is to use a price comparison website such as Utility Saving Expert. It only takes a few minutes to compare rates from a whole range of industry leading suppliers. You will then be able to select the best option for your business. Our free to use tools allow you to carry out a gas and business electricity comparison.
Check the total quote price
Finding the lowest unit rate per kWh is great but don’t let this metric distract you from your goal. Some tariffs will have lower unit rates but are not always the cheapest option. This is because the daily standing charge within these plans may be much higher to offset the unit rate price. With this in mind, you should compare the overall annual cost of the energy bill rather than honing in on one individual rate.
Set a reminder for when your contract is due to end
Through an agreed contract between you and the supplier, all business energy tariffs will have an end date. Typically, you can expect most contracts to be between three and five years in length. Therefore, entering this date into the company calendar will allow you to terminate the contract when applicable. This nets you a big positive as you will avoid being moved over to a rollover contract.
A rollover or deemed rate contract will often be a supplier’s most expensive tariff, and prices may increase by up to 85%, a good enough reason to avoid these as soon as possible.
Check market prices on a regular basis
It’s highly recommended that you obtain quotes from the Big Six suppliers on a regular basis. This will help you quickly identify whether you’re paying too much for your business gas and electricity, or if you are already on a competitive tariff. Even if you’re not able to make the switch as you’re locked into an existing contract, it is still worth knowing how the price of energy differs from one year to the next.
Take advantage of referral schemes
In the business world, you’re bound to have a number of friends and/or colleagues that are also looking for cheaper commercial energy quotes. Speaking to them can help you get an insight into the different pricing structures, although these will still be determined by the size and type of each business so a direct comparison may not always be possible.
Furthermore, if you opt for a supplier that your friend/colleague also uses, you may both receive a discount for the referral. Just make sure you check that the supplier has a referral scheme in place beforehand. This will also allow you to get a discount for referring new customers to a company that you know is both reliable and trustworthy.
Get in touch with your current supplier
OK, so you’ve compared prices online or used a business energy broker to get a number of quotes for you, but have you asked your existing supplier? You should always get in touch with your current supplier to see what they are able to offer you and ask them if they’re able to match or beat another deal you have found elsewhere. A supplier will not want to lose a valuable customer and may offer you a discount if you choose to renew with them.
Long term fixed contracts
Once you have compared a whole bunch of quotes and found the best price, you may wish to consider fixing it for an extended period of time. A fixed-term contract gives businesses more stability in the years to come, however it should be noted that this doesn’t mean you will always pay the same amount each month, as this will still be based on how much energy your company consumes.
A longer fixed term contract can last for five years and may be the right option if you believe that energy prices are likely to rise. The negotiated price will not differ even with wholesale market fluctuations at play.
Did you know that a large number of energy providers don’t just supply gas and electricity to customers? Some can even offer additional services such as business energy auditing and specialised management software. These optional services can help your company reduce consumption and become more energy efficient through data analysis. Some of these services are free, whilst others may necessitate a small fee.
Renewable energy generation
On the subject of inquiring about what optional services a supplier may be able to offer your company, renewable energy generation will be increasingly important in the years to come. Renewable energy tariffs are now competitive with their fossil fuel counterparts, but there is a lot more that can be done.
Some suppliers may be able to offer your business ways to generate your own renewable energy. Common examples include solar panels and small wind turbines. For more information, check out our guide on renewable energy for business, where we provide a comprehensive look at all the available options.
Pay via monthly direct debit
One simple way you can get an extra discount on your business energy quotes is to pay via monthly (or quarterly) direct debit. You could save up to 5% through this payment method, although this will largely depend on who the provider is.
Group purchasing power
If you are located within a town/city that has a large number of businesses around you, you should consider contacting suppliers as a collective to see whether they are able to offer you a greater discount. This could be a win-win situation for all parties.
You and every other local business gets cheaper gas and electricity and the supplier suddenly has a number of new customer contracts. There are brokers who leverage the purchasing power of a group to negotiate cheaper rates for their clients. You could certainly be a part of this. Just make sure that the negotiated offer is cheaper than what you’re able to find elsewhere.
To sum up, we hope you’re able to combine as many of these top tips as possible to get better business energy quotes and save money on your gas and electricity bills.
Get started today with Utility Saving Expert’s free to use online comparison tools. It’s quick and easy and shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to see how much your business could save on commercial energy quotes. You can filter by tariff type, contract length, price and renewable options too.