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There are a number of charges that go into making up your commercial energy bill. But there are two main costs you need to consider when carrying out a business energy price comparison:
Unit cost – the amount you pay for each unit of gas or electricity you use. This usually accounts for the biggest price difference between tariffs. The lower your unit price, the less you pay for your energy (depending upon your consumption rate). Signing up to a fixed rate deal will help your business avoid any price increases during the term of your contract.
Standing charge – a fixed cost, charged by the day, to cover the cost of infrastructure repair and maintenance.Now that you have an idea of how much energy your business should be using each year, you can work out your estimated annual energy cost using the standing charge and unit costs on your current deal.
Once you have these figures, you can find the best business energy deal by running a business energy comparison and using the standing charge and unit costs to see how much you could save by switching.Or, you can save yourself the time and hassle of calculating costs and get in touch with the Confused.com business energy partner, Bionic on 0800 158 5296.
Answer a few questions about your business and its energy use, and we’ll compare business energy tariffs to find the deal that’s right for you.
It’s worth noting there are also a number of other costs and government charges, such as VAT and the Climate Change Levy, that also add to your business energy costs, but these are usually not dealt with by your supplier so won’t be affected by switching suppliers.
It helps to know how much businesses like yours are paying for gas and electricity. But unlike household energy deals, which offer a range of ‘off-the-shelf’ tariffs to suit the needs of different households, business energy contracts are calculated to meet the exact needs of each individual business.
This tailored approach means you can be sure your tariff meets the needs of your business. But it also makes it difficult to put an exact figure on how much your business should be paying for gas and electricity.
Location and the energy efficiency rating of your business property, as well as other factors, may affect the cost of your business electricity and gas. Even two businesses that are exactly the same may still pay different rates, unless they share the same postcode. These regional differences mean businesses in rural areas typically pay more for energy than their city-based peers.
Businesses that are far away from their regional distribution centre may also find costs are higher than others. It costs more to physically transport energy to these places - in short, the further the energy has to travel, the higher the rates you’ll pay.
SME stands for small and medium-sized enterprises. A SME is an independent business that employs fewer than a certain number of staff, and has a turnover under a certain threshold. The UK government currently uses the European Union (EU) definitions of what makes a SME:
Micro Business – employs fewer than 10 staff and has a turnover under £2 million
Small Business – employs fewer than 50 staff and has a turnover under £10 million
Medium Business – employs fewer than 250 staff and has a turnover under £50 million
If you run a larger business with a maximum energy demand of 100 kVA or more per half hour, you’ll be placed on a half-hourly meter tariff. This will affect the overall price you pay for energy Even two businesses that are exactly the same may still pay different rates, unless they share the same postcode.
When comparing business energy, you’ll be given a number of quotes from different suppliers. While it might be tempting to go with the cheapest energy provider, it’s worth remembering that the best-priced deal might not be the best fit for your business.
Because business energy contracts don’t offer a cooling-off period, it’s vital you only sign up to a deal that ticks all the boxes. Once you’ve signed along the dotted line, you’re tied in for the term of the deal - that’s why it makes sense to get some guidance from our business energy experts, who’ll help you find the right deal with the right supplier.
Although getting cheap business energy will cut the cost of your bills, you don’t want to be tied into a long-term deal that offers poor energy supply or shoddy customer service, no matter how much money you can save.
When you compare business energy prices, make sure you properly assess each quote and choose the one that completely meets the needs and budget of your business.
Running a business energy comparison to find the best deals takes a matter of minutes. But your switch won’t be completed until your current deal has ended. So the switch can take anything from a couple of weeks to a matter of months, depending on the length of your switching window.
Your switching window is a timeframe set aside towards the end of your current deal. It gives you time to compare prices and arrange a new deal when your current one ends.
It often makes sense to compare deals and switch as soon as your window opens, to make sure your switch is in place before your current deal ends. If you don’t arrange a new deal, your supplier will simply roll you over onto more expensive rates.
Switching early can also mean you lock in lower rates if prices go up between your switching window opening and your current deal ending. And signing up to a longer-term deal can mean you benefit from cheap business energy for longer. That's because your rates are fixed for a greater length of time, meaning they could be protected from a number of price hikes.
There’ll be no disruption to your business energy supply when you switch. Your gas and electricity will still get to your business premises through the existing pipes and cables, you’ll just be buying it from a different supplier.
Switching with us means we’ll inform both your old and new suppliers of the switch and help to deal with any issues, so you can simply sit back and enjoy the savings.
It’s important to find out how green your deal really is before you switch. Our energy experts can help you with this when you get a business energy comparison with us.
If you’re moving business premises, you should make it a priority to sign up to a new business energy deal in your new place. This is because when you change location, the existing supplier will place you on what is known as deemed rates. This is an expensive tariff that suppliers use when they don’t know the energy demands of a business that has moved into a property they supply.
When moving business premises, always make sure you take a final meter reading at the old place and an opening meter reading at the new one. That way, you can make sure you only pay for the energy you’ve used.