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A guide to comparing business energy quotes for a better deal

Most businesses rely on energy in order to operate, and if a business’s energy supply stopped it would likely have a huge impact on their ability to trade. This means that it's vital for business owners to stay engaged with their business energy contract.

However, this doesn't simply involve paying the bills every time they come through the door - it also means ensuring you're on a fair tariff by comparing business energy quotes, which is key when looking to avoid paying over the odds for your business’s energy.

The good news is that you’re in the right place to run a business energy comparison, and with uSwitchForBusiness it’s never been easier.

In the following guide you can find useful information to keep in mind when switching business energy tariffs to secure a better deal, including:

Read on to get started, or click the links above to jump to a specific topic.

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Business energy tariffs and contracts explained

Before switching business energy contracts, it can help to become accustomed to the features of a commercial energy tariff – particularly if you have never run a business energy comparison or switched before in the commercial market.

Differences between domestic and business energy

The first thing to note about business energy is that, unlike domestic switching where customers have the option to pick from a marketplace of defined energy tariffs, a business energy customer must approach each supplier individually to attain bespoke business energy quotes. This is because the energy habits of businesses vary significantly in comparison to the relative stability of households, which makes each business customer unique from a supplier's perspective.

Separate business energy quotes

It’s also helpful to note that when securing a business energy contract, you must secure business gas and business electricity under separate terms – as a commercial energy supplier do not package these fuels together. This means that you, as the customer, must obtain separate business energy quotes for each fuel you are looking to switch and secure them under separate contracts – or work with a business energy broker who can obtain these quotes on your behalf.

Stricter terms

Another difference between domestic and business energy tariffs are the stricter terms by which you are bound. It’s possible for domestic customers to switch their tariff at any point during their contract - although they may have to pay an early exit fee. Business energy customers, on the other hand, are bound to their contract and are unable to switch business energy contracts until they are within their renewal window, which is typically six months before the end of their current contract.

Bespoke quotes

Not only does a business have to secure multiple quotes for each fuel they are looking to switch, but these quotes are entirely unique within themselves. To meet the variety of needs that business pose, suppliers will assess each business’s needs on a case-by-case basis, to offer a bespoke quote based upon their assessment.

Bespoke business energy contracts offer a variety of different businesses the right energy solution to meet their consumption habits. However, it can make it more difficult to understand whether you’re being offered a competitive business energy deal. The best way to understand this is to run a business energy comparison. Read on to find out more.

Comparing business energy prices for a better deal

Once you have an understanding of the market, you’re in a position to start collecting business energy quotes to begin your own comparisons.

First of all, it’s worth noting that, as discussed above, due to rules in place within the commercial energy market, only businesses who are within their renewal window are able to switch. A business’s renewal window will typically open six months prior to the end of their current contract. Only within this window are you able to approach suppliers for a business energy quote, and even accept a new contract. However, any new business energy tariffs that you accept will not take effect until your current deal expires.

Comparing energy prices for business is relatively straightforward, provided you follow these six steps:

  • Step 1 – Check if your business is within its renewal window.
  • Step 2 - Obtain business energy quotes from suppliers.
  • Step 3 – Compare business energy quotes and assess which best suits your business’s needs.
  • Step 4 - Apply for the new business energy tariff.
  • Step 5 - Inform your current supplier that you’re switching business energy contracts.
  • Step 6 - Wait for the switch to take effect (usually, once your current business energy contract comes to an end).

The process described above can be time consuming, and naturally business owners are busy, which is why many are on the wrong business energy tariff for their needs. However, if you use the services of a business energy broker, you will receive offers from a variety of suppliers, so you can make the best decision for your business, without the leg work of individually obtaining quotes.

To switch with a business energy broker today, call 0800 188 4930 to speak with a business savings expert.

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Why switching business energy tariffs is important

Switching is the best way to reduce the amount that you spend on business energy. Just like on the domestic energy market there are a number of suppliers available for you to pick from. However, it’s worth noting that not all suppliers will be able to offer you a business energy quote.

The number of suppliers available to offer you a business energy quote will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • How much business energy you consume within a year
  • Your business’s credit rating

When choosing between the suppliers available to you, it’s important to prioritise your business’s needs and not just cheap business energy prices. Of course cheap business energy deals will always be attractive to a savvy business owner, but you need to ensure that the supplier is offering the level of service that your business requires.

To do this, it can help for you to be aware of the differences between suppliers before switching business energy tariffs to ensure that you’re getting a contract that best suits your needs.

For example, a supplier such as Dual Energy focuses on, and has expertise in, the small business energy market. This makes them a more attractive supplier to smaller business owners in comparison to the Big Six, who can serve all businesses equally, regardless of size.

Click the link for more information on business energy suppliers and their individual benefits.

If you fail to switch business energy contracts, then there’s a good chance that your supplier will transfer you onto out of contract rates. Also known as ‘deemed rates’, these are prices imposed by suppliers when a customer’s contract expires, and a new one is not formally agreed.

Typically, out of contract rates one of the most expensive offered by a supplier, so it’s within your best interests to switch your business energy contract as often as possible to avoid paying these inflated rates.

Fortunately, business energy customers who are on out of contract rates are able to switch with only 30-days’ notice to a better deal.

Once you properly understand what a good deal looks like for your business, it’s time for you to compare business energy prices for business and switch.

Remember, you can contact uSwitchforbusiness.com and we can help you to understand you business’s energy requirements after a short conversation about your business’s needs.

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How to spot good business energy prices

Because each business is offered a bespoke quote based on its circumstances, business energy prices will often vary from business-to-business. This is because a supplier must consider a lot of information about your business before they are able to offer you a business energy quote.

For this reason, it’s often hard to offer an indicative figure for business energy prices without first assessing a business’s circumstances. However, as a rule of thumb you should be paying anywhere between 10.5 pence and 12.5 pence per unit if you run a small or medium sized business.

On top of your unit price, you will also need to factor a standing charge into your business energy prices. This is a charge included on your bill to cover the cost of:

  • Transporting energy to your premises.
  • Maintenance and upkeep of the network used to deliver the energy to your premises.

Standing charge is a daily cost that is added onto your bill, and each supplier will charge a different rate for their standing charge.

Ultimately, your business energy prices will be determined by terms of the contract that you agree with your supplier. This is why it’s important to thoroughly research the quotes available to you before you switch business energy suppliers. However, it’s important to remember that price isn’t everything when looking for a good business energy tariff.

Cheap business energy

A common mistake that many customers make is taking the cheapest business energy quote that is offered to them. In some cases, the cheapest deal may also be the best fit for you business. However, choosing the cheapest quote can sometimes leave you with unsatisfactory service in the event that something goes awry.

When comparing business energy prices, it’s important to properly assess each quote you’re offered to ensure that the one you choose properly satisfies the needs of your business, and doesn’t simply offer a cheap price.

Why use uSwitchforbusiness?

Business energy switching with uSwitchforBusiness.com you can ensure you never have to pay over the odds for your business electricity and gas again. All you need to do is pick up the phone, so call us today on 0800 188 4930.

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