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10 top business energy tips
Small businesses often don't notice how much money their gas and electricity bills are draining away unnecessarily.
In fact, while four in ten small businesses (39%) say that cutting costs is their prime objective for achieving business growth, just a third (33%) proactively check the market before signing their next energy contract, and three in ten (30%) simply allow their existing energy contract to roll-over. As a result, many businesses end up paying over the odds when a simple switch could save them as much as £1,500 pounds a year.
James Constant, Director of uSwitchforBusiness.com says: “There are many small businesses struggling to make ends meet in the current environment and ensuring that they are on the right energy deal could make a real difference. It is important that businesses understand energy contracts and what, when and how they need to act in order to prevent continual rollover onto uncompetitive terms. By taking the confusion out of the market we hope to encourage many more businesses to actively take control and shop around for the best deal.”
Here are ten tips to help you make sure you get the right business energy contract:
1. Check your contract end date
You'll find your contract end date on your initial correspondence from the energy company, but not on your bills. Put the end date in your calendar to give yourself plenty of time to find a good deal when it's time to switch.
2. Got a renewal letter? It's time to shop around.
Before your contract ends, you’ll get a renewal letter from your supplier. If you don’t act on your renewal letter, you’ll automatically be tied into a new contract, which may not be the best deal for you. So make sure it’s your trigger to get a quote and compare prices - you could save hundreds of pounds by making the switch, so it’s worth spending some time on.
3. Moving premises means moving suppliers.
If you’re moving into new premises, it's the perfect chance to get the best energy deal you can find. Make sure you don't get hassled into signing up with any particular service, nor should there be any need to take on the existing supplier for your new premises - use an independent service to track down the right deal.
4. Get your termination notice in on time.
Don't run the risk of getting tied into a new contract automatically - make sure you check the notice period (it’s usually between 28 and 120 days) and submit your termination notice on time. Be careful not to send your termination notice too early, as it may not get processed. Send your notice by email (or fax) as well as a recorded delivery letter, so that you have proof that it was received.
5. Be careful who you choose, or choose to stick with.
Once you're signed up for a contract it's difficult to get out unless you move property or buy yourself out – there’s no cooling-off period - so it's important to choose a deal you're happy to stick with.
6. Thinking of going green?
It pays to do research when it comes to going green. Go to our dedicated green business energy section to compare the fuel mix of various suppliers and make a green choice without any added cost.
7. Sign up for a smart meter.
How much do you know about when and where your business uses the most energy? A smart meter can help you monitor your energy usage accurately, work out exactly what you’re spending and when, so that you can learn to use your energy more efficiently and cut your business costs.
8. Small suppliers are safe.
If you find a good deal with a small energy company- go for it! Don't worry about the size of the company. Many of the smaller companies have been around for five years or more. If a small supplier goes out of business you'll still get your supply and you'll be looked after by an industry regulator, so you won't lose out.
9. Get a quote before your contract ends.
To be safe, get a quote up to 120 days before your contract end date. There’s no obligation to sign up for a contract when you get a quote but once you've found a supplier with advantageous rates, you can secure them and they will be held for you and your contract with the new supplier will take effect after your current contract ends.
10. Take action or lose out on hundreds of pounds.
Over a third of small businesses don't make the move to find a cheaper supplier when their contract runs out. Don't miss the opportunity! Shopping around is easy; just get in touch with us for free, impartial help and advice.
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