UK is currently operating over 50 energy supplying companies, therefore, you have plenty of options to choose from while switching your supplier. Changing your supplier often after careful market evaluation can get you to lower energy tariffs and business deals for your company.
With all these options, it may be difficult for you to choose the best supplier for your company. Therefore, we have gathered some tips to help to make the best choice for your business.
When should you switch?
When you are facing massive overhead costs in regards to power and gas, it is always an excellent option to start evaluating other alternatives. It depends on the size of your business, total utilization of energy along with the duration and type of contract with your previous supplier.
Renewal Dates & Switching Windows
There is a specific duration of time in which you can switch your supplier or renew it again. This time period is called the notice period or switching window. You can wait for this time if your current supplier does not suit you.
You can get information about this time on your contract or energy bill. It is provided there when your switching window is open and when you are allowed to switch the supplier, also the renewal date is also mentioned. Your renewal date may not come anytime sooner if you have a fixed contract, you may have to wait a few years.
Normally most companies have this date between 2- 4 months before the end of the present agreement. However, some suppliers also require you to give notice 1 month prior or some also require this 6 months prior to the expiration of the current contract.
If you are unable to track this data, you may contact your energy supplier directly. Your energy supplier himself also sends you renewal dates to inform you about them and also he will be able to guide you about the renewal charges in case you choose not to switch suppliers before the contract ends.
Some companies do not send you a reminder. If you have a large business setup you need to keep a close eye on the switching window because it is the only time you will be able to switch without paying a fee. In case you miss this date, you may be stuck with the same contractor for the next year as well and you will continue to pay more than you need to.
Exception for Micro-Businesses
Micro businesses are an exception to the about mentioned data. They should meet at least one of the conditions:
- The total number of employees should not be more than 10 and their annual income should be equal or less than €2 million
- Annual electricity utilization is less than 100,000 kWh
- Annual gas use is less than 293,000 kWh .
Also if your monthly energy bills are not more than £1,000, you also come under this exception.
Suppliers can only impose a maximum time of 1 month as a notice period on small businesses for switching a supplier. Also, it is the duty of the supplier to inform you 120 days prior to the expiration of your contract and additionally provide a comparison of prices between your current and next energy supply.
So, you have an advantage with respect to time if you own a micro-business. You can also be more flexible about the switching of your contract.
Switching Deemed Contracts
In case you start a new business, you can get into a deemed contract with your present contractor. It gives you an advantage because deemed contracts do not require you to give advance termination notice and save you from additional charges.
You fall under the same circumstances if your current contract is expired and you choose to pay tariffs out of the contract with your contractor.
At the point that you have chosen to switch from your current supplier, it is now important to compare the prices of your present supplier to your next in order to estimate the money you can save by switching and which supplier best suits you. You can also make use of our services in this regard.
You need to pay attention to these two important points while comparing prices in switching.
- Price per unit: Unit prices are the price of every kilowatt /hour which is usually paid in pence. Typically rates range between 10-20p/kWh for electricity and 3-6p/kWh for gas. If the supplier you choose costs more than this, you need to switch your supplier because it is costing too much.
- Standing Charges: You have to pay some fixed charges regardless of the energy you consume per day and even if the business is open. These can range very widely, anywhere from 25p/day for small customers to £10/day for large commercial operations. You should keep in mind that you would be charged for both gas and electricity separately.
Energy Quotes: Online vs. Brokers
You can choose between two choices while establishing your energy supply for your new business. You can choose to compare prices yourself on the web or you can consult a business energy broker. Both of these methods are equally effective but are somewhat different. Also, you can always use both of them to make the best choice available. Here are the pros and cons of each method.
You can use a website just like ours on the web or you can contact your suppliers online and request them for a quote for both electricity and gas. You may still need to talk to an expert after consulting the web to make sure that you are making the right decision. Another disadvantage of this method is that you would not be able to access the prices instantly, because of the constantly changing market prices.
- Can get quotes quickly
- Suppliers usually offers their best rates
Business Energy Brokers
Business energy agents such as Online Energy Business and advisors will manage the complete (or possibly a large portion of) the difficult work for you and might have the option to discover bargains from more reasonable providers you may not know about due to their extensive network.
They may likewise even have the option to assist you with decreasing your energy utilization helping you save considerably more cash. Be that as it may, this all includes some significant downfalls.
- You might come across amazing deals which were not posted on the web.
- Some agents handle all the switching arrangements for you.
- No charge for most essential discussion and can help explain extensively to you about your energy needs.
How to Get the Best & Most Accurate Quotes
You can acquire the most appropriate quote for your energy supply by keeping in mind the following:
- Your MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) for electricity meters and/or MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number) for gas meters.
- If you have a renewal letter of your previous contractor which gives an estimate of the energy to have used or will use approximately.
- Previous electricity and gas bills.
- Information about your business and the location(s) being supplied.
How to Get Even Lower Rates
Choosing suppliers by consulting a broker or comparing prices on the web can be very helpful in saving money. You can opt for the following to make your saving much more:
- Work out with your current supplier: After having an idea about the present market rates you may not be able to switch your supplier but can negotiate with your current contractor. On the off chance, you can also consult prices from a consultant and negotiate with the other.
- Pay by direct debit: Most providers need to ensure they get paid on time every month. Thus they are regularly ready to give a concession (most of the times up to 10%) to business clients who pay by means of direct debit, which is thought to be the safest approach to pay.
- Get electricity and gas from the same supplier: Business energy suppliers do not often concession on both gas and electricity. But if you decide to get both the services from one supplier, they may provide you a discount.