Are the energy bills you are paying for your business above average? If so, it's time to move on to a much better deal. The only way to ensure you get the simplest contract available is to search what a variety of commercial energy suppliers offer.
But before you start comparing electricity and gas prices, it makes sense to find out more about how commercial energy differs from household energy and better check the types of contracts offered.
How is business energy different from home energy?
If you've changed your home power supplier right now, you may think that commercial power supply could be that easy, only to find that changing commercial power isn't as easy as changing home power. Below are the differences between commercial and home power switching.
Commercial rates are generally cheaper
The tariffs for both energies are very different, as household energy suppliers pay monthly for energy and commercial energy pays the majority. Commercial suppliers purchase enough energy for the duration of their contract. While this suggests that you will enjoy a cheaper unit rate, it also makes it harder or more expensive to finish your rate sooner.
Commercial energy contracts tend to be longer
Commercial energy contracts are longer-term, although fixed and variable rates are also offered in commercial energy, but the contracts are nevertheless concluded for a logarithmic period of time that can go up to 5 years. The agreement limits the consumer to schedule any changes until the "renewal window", which is six months before the expiration date of the contract with the current supplier.
No cooling period
It takes 17 days to complete the gas and electrical switches of the house, 14 of which are included within the cool-down period, during which you will cancel the contract without any penalty. Energy trade deals don't give you this option, so choose wisely and make sure you're happy with the company before entering into formal deals.
Trade deals on energy are just fuel
You will find a dual fuel offer, where the common supplier supplies you with gas and electricity, saving you on your domestic energy bill. You cannot avail this advantage while choosing business energy supplier, you will be charged for gas and electricity separately.
There are no standard solutions
When you switch your home gas supplier, you will choose from multiple rates to find the cheapest offer, but commercial energy contracts don't add up equally. Instead, suppliers evaluate each company's requirements on a case-by-case basis and offer a customized quote accordingly. In this way, you will get the best tariff for you company but you will have to face the hassle to search for it by contacting different suppliers repeatedly. But comparing quotes through a broker means you simply have to make a call and it ensures you get the simplest offer available.
What types of commercial energy contracts are offered?
Energy suppliers present variety of tariffs for different businesses so you should be attentive while choosing yours to avoid spending excess money.
Five main commercial energy contracts are available:
- Charges: A group price per unit (kWh) for the duration of the contract. This does not fix the total amount; you simply pay monthly, which can constantly vary with your usage.
- Variable rate: Unit rates are linked to the connection activity, which means that they will fluctuate for the entire duration of the contract.
- Estimated Rate: If you let your current rate end without switching providers or accepting a replacement contract, you will be assigned one of these out-of-contract rates and pay your provider's most expensive rates.
- 28 days: this contract is available to companies that have not changed supplier since the energy market was liberalized.
- Renewal: A contract that is used when no alternative has been agreed before the end date of the current contract. The rates are generally among the most expensive for the provider.
If you currently have a deal that doesn't fit your business, otherwise you think you are paying too much for gas and electricity, please reach out to us and we’d love to be of service!
What happens when your commercial energy contract ends?
Once your commercial energy contract expires, you will automatically be transferred to a higher out of contract rate, so you should do a commercial services comparison and move on to a much better deal before that happens.
Don't worry if you have no idea when your current offer is about to expire; As soon as you enter the renewal window, your provider will contact you with their offer for a replacement contract, but we strongly advise not to accept any offers until you have compared all other offers available.
If you choose to change the supplier, your old supplier will send you a final invoice and need a final meter reading to make sure this invoice is correct. You will also be given a date by which to pay the final bill. If you have not entered into a replacement contract, you will be transferred to a transfer on the contract or estimated rates, depending on the circumstances and the supplier.
How much energy should your company use?
Energy needs for ach business are different but below breakdown of energy consumption rates by different business will give you a rough estimate about your business energy consumption. Check out how much a small, medium and average business consume energy under normal circumstances.
Average consumption of commercial electricity
Company sizeLow range usage (kWh)High-end usage (kWh)Micro-enterprise5,00015,000Small business15,00025,000Average company25,00050,000
Average prices of commercial electricity per kWh
Company sizeAverage annual consumption (kWh)Average price (per kWh)Permanent load (daily)Average annual priceMicro-enterprise5,000 - 15,00014.4p - 15.9p23p - 29p£ 900 - £ 2,244Small business15,000 - 25,00014.3p - 15.1p23p - 28p£ 2,367 - £ 3,660Average company25,000 - 50,00014.3p - 14.7p23p - 27p£ 3,774 - £ 7,234
Average consumption of commercial gas
Company sizeLow range usage (kWh)High-end usage (kWh)Micro-enterprise5,00015,000Small business15,00030,000Average company30,00050,000
And to help you determine if you're getting a good deal, here are the average commercial energy prices per kWh for micro, small and medium-sized businesses.
Average prices of company gas per kWh
Company sizeAverage annual consumption (kWh)Average price (per kWh)Permanent load (daily)Average annual priceMicro-enterprise5,000 - 15,0005p - 5.1p19p - 25p£ 400 - £ 820Small business15,000 - 30,0004.5p - 5p19p - 25p£ 820 - £ 1458Average company30,000 - 65,0004.3p - 4.5p24p - 25p£ 1458 - £ 2239
How to compare quotes and move on to a better offer
Online Energy Business eliminates the effort of comparing commercial energy contracts; Instead of calling every single supplier to look for a great deal on gas and electricity, a quick call to our energy experts is all we need to get matched and then enter the energy market to find a suitable offer for the your business.
Once we all know more about your business and energy consumption, we will search the entire energy market to find the right deal for you. So we will perform more accurate citations. It is useful if you tell us the following:
- The name of your current gas and electricity suppliers
- The name of the packages and their end dates
- Your type of supply
- The average consumption of gas and electricity in your company
We can then provide you with a number of quotes from a variety of suppliers to compare gas suppliers. Only then will you have to decide which deal is best suited to your business and we will discover your new contracts together with your new suppliers.
The change should take approximately six weeks.
Your new supplier will coordinate with your current supplier, so they will let you know the date of the change and there should be no interruptions in your electricity supply, not even on the day of the change. Gas and electricity are supplied through the old pipes and cables, so there is no need to dig or drill at the workplace.
When the step is complete, you will be able to take one last meter reading from your old supplier, issue your final bill, settle any money you may have owed on the old contract, and enjoy the luxury of the savings you are making together with your new one.
Saving Money On Energy Bills
If you want to save a little extra on your energy bills then you must apply more ways of energy efficiency and perhaps an audit request to your new supplier may help you find out the issues in your current setup and help you reduce the energy you consume and save money
Whether your energy costs are high or not, knowing how to compare the value of gas and electricity could save you money or at least help you check what's included in your energy bills.
Comparing business energy prices is more than just having a comparison site and third parties trying to do the work for you. By understanding what types of contracts are available to you, as well as factors such as the difference between fixed costs and unit rates, you will be in a better position to negotiate a deal that you are happy with.
Since we would like to make sure you are proud of the value and therefore the service you receive from your energy supplier, we have put together this handy guide on how to compare corporate energy quotes. From this, you'll gain a better understanding of the types of contracts available and how to match prices, as well as tips on things to keep in mind before planning a deal.
What type of commercial energy contract should I choose?
One of the main hurdles you face when finding business energy deals is selecting the type of contract that truly meets your needs. There are several contract options available when comparing gas and electricity prices for your business, so it's helpful to understand what they are, how they work, and whether they provide any advantages or disadvantages.
Here, we take a look at the various commercial energy contracts available, what they offer, and which type of business is best suited to which business energy contract.
- Fixed rate
A fixed rate commercial energy contract means that the unit rate and the fixed fee will remain the same for the duration of the contract. Fixed rates are offered on 1-3 year contracts, although some go as high as 5. Typically, the longer the contract term, the more you pay, but that means you get excellent protection against future price increases. - which can be a valuable benefit for cash-strapped companies that need long-term monetary security.
Fixed rate contracts are great for companies that want simple and profitable trading power. However, one thing to remember is that your bill will go up if your consumption is high. The term "fixed" refers only to the unit rate and fixed costs, not the specific cost of energy consumption.
Another thing to keep in mind is that while some suppliers and products correct all items on the invoice, others include third-party costs, such as shipping and measurement, which may vary. So always read the fine print before you make an agreement.
- Transfer speed
With a transfer rate contract, the unit rate per kW / h will fluctuate due to several factors, including the cost of wholesale energy and associated market activity. This suggests that you may find yourself paying more or less for gas and electricity throughout the contract, but your usage remains the same.
One of the main benefits of a transfer rate contract is that you save money if the wholesale energy price drops during the life of the contract. While those with a strict rate offer would not see the benefit of that discount, their bills would go down. Of course it could be the other way around and therefore the wholesale price could go up, in which case you would see higher bills. However, for companies with an energy strategy, this may be a risk worth taking.
- Usage time
While it's not as standard as fixed or transfer contracts, it might be worth considering a time-of-use contract if your business meets the appropriate criteria. With this type of contract, the unit rate per kW-h will change, energy tariff change with the time of day and you can be charged more at peak hours. So you must consume energy wisely to save money.
Time of use contract is a perfect deal for business with limited consumption. A sensitive meter or AMR device is also required for businesses with a usage time contract, as these leave accurate meter readings every half hour.
Typically, most small and medium-sized businesses will consider these three types of energy contracts when comparing commercial energy contracts.
Compare business energy prices
How do business energy prices compare?
When it comes to securing the simplest possible deal in the commercial energy industry, comparison sites will only get you this far. While suitable for estimating PE costs, comparison sites only offer indicative quotes, which may not accurately reflect the special price you will pay. This suggests looking for the most competitive offers that you would like to place within the base.
We then provide practical recommendations on how to compare energy trade agreements to find the simplest option for your business.
Please take the contract expiration date into consideration.
To avoid the danger of switching to a higher rate out of the contract, confirm that you’re aware of the contract expiration date. Most commercial energy contracts require termination at least 90 days before the contract expiration date (30 days for micro-enterprises). Remembering the commercial energy contract allows you to shop and find the easiest deal for your business.
Suppliers are not required to publish the contract expiration date (with the exception of micro-enterprise contracts), but knowledge can often be easily found by contacting the supplier.
For companies looking for the long term, it is possible to sign new contracts years in advance. If your contract is expected to run for another three years, you can sign a replacement contract right away, potentially taking advantage of ongoing offers and providing details.
Business Energy Comparisons
Get an Advantage Using A Comparison Service
Start by testing the waters and feeling the prices using a comparison service. Even if they will only offer you an estimated figure of annual energy prices, it is a good starting line from which you will reach out to suppliers and look for a good and better deal.
When you find an offer you want to explore, consider the unit rate and flat rate offered as part of the contract, and don't forget to check if the rates are fully fixed, fixed for the parties or transfer. Using these actual figures will facilitate effective price comparison. Here are further indications for understanding unit rates and permanent rates.
Compare Gas Suppliers
With unit rate and fixed rates in mind, consult with energy suppliers for an accurate energy quote that provides a more detailed breakdown of future energy costs than the indicative sum provided by comparison sites.
To provide an accurate quote, energy suppliers will need to know your company name, address, what it does and how energy is routinely used. They will also need a recent meter reading, which can help make the quote even more accurate and reflect your actual energy usage.
Unlike home energy, during which customers are not ready to bargain for a much better deal, most suppliers will be ready to negotiate the value of your commercial energy contracts. This is why understanding the different types of contracts and unit rates is so important to ensure the most beneficial deal.
Difference in standing charge and unit rate
What is the difference between fixed costs and unit rate?
Take the time to learn the difference between unit rates and fixed costs, and you will be able to make an informed decision on the right commercial energy contract for you. Here, we'll do best to see what these terms mean and how they will help you in your quest for energy.
What is a unit rate?
The unit rate is the cost of each unit of energy, measured in kWh. Unit rates vary depending on several factors, including the cost of wholesale energy, which is why many companies choose a fast fixed rate contract, which means the unit rate is locked for the duration of the contract.
For example, suppose your unit rate is 11 cents per kWh, the total cost will only change based on consumption. If you select a fast fixed rate contract, it can stay the same, while a transfer contract means it could go up and down.
What is a standing charge?
A standing charge is the cost of maintaining power connections. These charges are always fixed at a daily rate, for example:
Your standing charge could be as low as 24 cents a day. This suggests that an additional £ 87.60 will be added to the bill each year.
Of course, the unit rate and standing charge aren't the only figures you'll see detailed on your energy bills.
Once you recognize the meaning of the unit rate and fixed rate, you will compare gas offers at the micro level and use the numbers to trade a much better effect on your preferred energy supplier.
Elements of business energy to consider
With the plan to raise savings or enjoy much better service from your supplier, the question is which energy contract to make. So, before planning a replacement contract, here are a couple of things to remember that could influence your decision on which commercial energy contract is good for you:
- It is not possible to obtain a dual fuel business energy - a clear but crucial point. Unlike household energy, you want to receive separate quotes for gas and electricity. While this means more work, it also gives you the option to request a small additional discount if you are signing gas and electricity contracts with a common supplier.
- It is not possible to change during the contract - One thing that all commercial power contracts have in common is that it is not possible to change mid-contract, which is why it is so important to push it right the first time.
- The cheapest energy offer may not be the simplest - As attractive as an inexpensive energy quote may be, price is not the only thing you need to consider when looking for the simplest energy offer. Service and reliability are essential when the smooth running of your business is at stake, so read reviews, do your research and find the supplier you are 100% proud of before committing.
- Always check the renewal period - One of the main things to do after starting a replacement business agreement is to write down the renewal period and write it down in your journal. If you miss this window, your suppliers will automatically renew, which means you will face expensive out-of-contract rates.
ONLINE ENERGY BUSINESS can be a leading and award-winning commercial energy supplier, helping thousands of small businesses manage their gas and electricity contracts. To find out more about what we will offer your business, visit our home page. Choose us to find the cheapest gas and electricity in the UK
Promote "champions of energy" in your business
So far, we have highlighted a few ways in which you can save energy for your business.
There is no point in exploring the main stages of adjustment if you are unable to effectively manage your energy consumption. If you're going to do this, you'll also want to vary the culture of your business.
Promote "energy awareness" training within your company. You'd be surprised by how much you will save each year if people do simple things like turning off the lights, once you leave the room!
We understand that not all your employees will be on board with your energy saving tips. Realistically, not everyone will be serious about saving energy, and in fact old habits will prevail. This is often why appointing "champions of energy", someone whose role is to encourage changes in energy behavior in the workplace, would be the perfect initiative to change this.
Make sure your business is fully compliant with the latest laws
Even though you have purchased the cheapest energy tariff, taken correct measures for energy efficiency and train your staff for energy efficiency. Still you can lose your money to penalties if your business is not compliant with laws. It is compulsory that your business meets basic compliance standards, ESOS, EPBD, TM-44, EPC and DEC. Ensure that you will stay out of trouble and fulfill your goal of saving money on business energy.
If the solution is none, it is time to act. If they don't fit all three, significant changes can occur. An energy consultant should be ready to conduct a brief analysis of your company's energy procedures and identify if any outstanding issues will cost you in the future.
Energy saving tips for companies
Saving energy can lower your business cost as well as leave a good effect on the environment. Understanding your energy use and taking steps to achieve greater energy efficiency can benefit your business in many ways. Saving energy will help your business reduce carbon emissions, lower costs and improve its image.
Energy efficiency and savings must be part of the business planning. There are many low-cost steps businesses can take to start saving energy now, as well as more detailed actions that can happen over time.
This guide provides tips on energy conservation to help your business save energy and adopt energy efficiency practices.
Whenever you save energy within your business, you are also saving money. Electricity costs contribute to your company's bottom line, so the more energy you save in your business, the more profitable it can be.
Some energy saving actions, such as using more energy efficient equipment, may require an initial investment. However, this investment can often translate into significant energy savings that will reduce energy costs. Energy rating labels can help you choose energy efficient appliances, which can also save you money.
It's important to take a close look at energy costs and start finding out which areas of your business use the most energy. Typically, equipment that involves heating and cooling uses most of the energy.
Your business can benefit from an energy efficiency assessment. An assessment measures current energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions to provide priority recommendations for energy efficiency actions.
Here are some energy saving tips and tricks to help your business reduce energy consumption and save on energy bills.
- Turn off the lights when you don't need them. For example, turning off fluorescent lights can save energy, extend overall lamp life, and reduce replacement costs. Myth: Turning lights on and off consumes more electricity than leaving the lights on.
- When replacing old lighting fixtures, consider new technologies that may require fewer fixtures and / or lamps within existing fixtures.
- Reduce all the inefficient lighting with energy efficient bulbs and ensure that you use lights that are not consuming unnecessary lightning.
Heating and cooling
- Establish a preventive maintenance schedule for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment and systems. Make sure that regularly:
- Change or clean all air filters, preferably every month.
- Clean all surfaces of the heater, water and refrigerant coils, condensers and evaporators.
- Repair leaks in pipes, air lines, coils, fittings and units.
- In the winter, set your office thermostat settings between 65 and 68 degrees during the day / working hours and between 60 and 65 degrees during idle hours.
- In the summer, set the thermostats between 78 and 80 degrees during the working day / time and above 80 degrees during the rest hours.
- Set the thermostats higher when cold and lower when heating an occupied building or unoccupied areas within a building, for example, on weekends and non-business hours.