The average UK SME spends £5,000 a year on mains electricity and around £4,000 on gas, according to Ofgem. That’s the equivalent of 10% of a small business’ running costs, making it well worth finding the right contract. Comparing energy suppliers doesn’t have to be onerous. This page will help you navigate the different types of contract, whether you should decide on price, and what to ask energy suppliers.
Price is always a vital consideration. Paying as little as possible for your energy can free up cash to put towards training or better equipment, for example. However, it’s not the only consideration.
Choosing the right energy supplier for your business could ensure low prices for the future, as well as a host of other advantages, including customer service that takes the stress out of switching and ensures you’re on the right tariff for your energy needs. In short, the right supplier could save you time as well as money.
Consider matching your business to a supplier that has experience dealing with similar customers. As businesses vary hugely in their energy consumption, a business energy expert will take your opening hours, business type, location, and premises into consideration.
It’s also worth noting that the biggest reductions in energy bills often come from cutting down on your usage. Before you start comparing prices, take a walk around your premises, identifying any equipment or lights left on. Some energy suppliers can give you a toolkit to do this.
Specialist business energy suppliers should be able to talk you through your bill. Before deciding on a supplier, it’s also worth getting a snapshot of how responsive their customer service is. You might want to ask about the takeover process: do they have a new start team that will actively call you to check all the details are correct?
Customer service should play a part in your decision – after all, the less effort you have to expend on your energy needs, the more time you can spend making your business successful.
Switching supplier should make your life easier, freeing you up to focus on more important things. Unfortunately though, that’s not always the case. Don’t be afraid to question your supplier to understand their approach to contract terms, as they do vary enormously.
Beware of being ‘rolled’. That’s where a supplier simply rolls your contract over at the end of your initial term, which could leave some businesses paying over the odds on a higher tariff. Not all suppliers do this – and the ones that don’t include auto-renewals in their T&Cs ensure that you won’t get caught in a contract at a higher price for another year. It’s worth asking your supplier about their policy on this. Many will send you a letter informing you as to the change in price and giving you the option to leave the contract, but this can easily get lost if you’re busy running your business.
Ready to start comparing suppliers? Make sure you have a previous bill to hand (if you have one). If you’re starting from scratch, they should help you to estimate your energy consumption, find your meter details, and give you a better idea of your supply size. You’ll also be asked for your company name, status, and whether you have any previous energy payment history. Having a poor credit history can create barriers, but some suppliers will offer options such as paying a percentage of your annual bill upfront.
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Hudson Energy UK is working with Informi to enable businesses to receive outstanding service and support with their energy needs and to help them to reduce costs.
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