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The prices that suppliers charge for business electricity, commercial gas and other utilities can vary massively. It’s not unusual for one business to be paying two or three times as much for their gas and electricity as their neighbour or a site nearby, owned by the same client. Over the recent years, we have seen rates for electricity ranging from over 30 pence per kilowatt hour to less than 6p per unit.
Many energy suppliers require your business to achieve a minimum credit rating – so the better score you have, the more options will be available to you. New businesses or those with poor credit can be limited to only 2 or 3 possible suppliers. Other variables which can determine the cost of business electricity for each business for include: postcode, business type (sole trader, Ltd etc), sector (retail, manufacturing etc), annual consumption – including seasonal and time of day variations meter profile (the first two digits in a meter reference number range from 00-08 which is a classification related to consumption – most small businesses are 03/04 profile) and payment terms. Direct debit is the best and only option if you wish to achieve the best possible price.
We are 100% independent and work with all energy companies. In some cases, the rates we have from suppliers have been negotiated and are exclusive to our company. We’re committed to offering you the lowest price and will always present the best available deals for you, no matter what commission we are being offered by suppliers.
Your business electricity or gas bill shows us a unique meter reference number (10 digits ‘MPR’ for business gas or a 21 digit ‘MPAN’ for business electricity) which we need to confirm your consumption. It also tells us what kind of meter you have, which supply area you are in and what kind of electricity/gas user you are. It ensures that we quote you the correct energy prices.
(MPAN/MPR) The number will start with an ‘S’ and is usually printed on a bill
Sadly businesses, in the eyes of the utility companies, include all not-for-profit/community buildings such as churches, village halls and Scout huts. Still, this doesn’t mean they can’t compare business energy prices and switch to the cheapest electricity supplier. Plus, they may also be eligible for a lower rate of VAT and Climate Change Levy exemption. The VAT on electricity bills and gas bills can often make a significant difference alone!
Half-hourly meters are for energy-intensive businesses whose average peak electricity demand was greater than 100kW in any three months of the previous year. There are two simple ways of checking if you are a half hourly customer: usually, a half hourly meter will have a communications link so that meters can be read remotely on a daily basis or if you check your meter reference number on your bill you’ll see that it begins 00. We have a specialist team that arranges for the cheapest electricity prices to be sought from suppliers that cater for the half-hourly market.
If you have just moved into a property, you will be supplied by the same business electricity supplier that the previous tenants used. However, this supplier is likely to be charging you out-of-contract rates which are significantly higher than average. It is important that you arrange a new commercial electricity contract for your business as soon as you can after moving in. If you call us with your new address, we can find out who your current supplier is, your meter serial number, compare energy prices and advise you on the best option going forward. NB A meter serial number (or ‘meter ID’) is different from a meter reference number. It is the 9 or 10 digit reference located on the actual meter itself that usually appears in the following format A12B 34567.
Yes, we have experience in arranging for the installation and upgrading of meters for clients. This applies to both gas and electricity meters. Where you’re dividing a unit in two and what to meter each part separately, for example, if you have tenants. Or if you’re upgrading a site and need a maximum demand or half-hourly supply to cope with the increased usage we can help.
It takes approximately 4-6 weeks to switch suppliers and we will oversee the whole process on your behalf. Rest assured, your supply cannot be cut-off as a result of switching! We will keep you up to date at each stage and you will have the direct phone number of your advisor to ask any questions. Furthermore, we will also be there for you throughout the term of the contract and, significantly, offer you a renewal reminder to ensure that you always have the freedom to choose the cheapest electricity/gas option at the end date.
VAT on electricity and gas for business is normally charged at 20% (as of January the 4th 2011.) However, some businesses will meet the ‘De minimis’ requirements and then would be billed at 5%. This means using an average of no more than 33 kWh per day (1,000 kWh per month) for business electricity and/or less than an average of 5 therms or 145 kWh per day (150 therms or 4,397 kWh per month) for business gas. if a business falls within this criteria they will only attract the 5% VAT on gas and electricity bills.
The Climate Change Levy (CCL) is a Government tax, introduced in 2001, on the use of energy by businesses, agriculture and the public sector which applies to both gas and electricity prices. The aim of the levy is to encourage industry, commerce and the public sector to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse emissions. Current Electricity CCL is 0.554p per kWh and Gas CCL 0.193p per kWh.
The press and Ofgem will frequently talk about the Big 6, how they are dominating the market, limiting competition and so on. But at first glance, there appears to be more than big 6 players in the market. However, when you realise that British Gas and SSE have at least 6 trading names each, it becomes clearer that some of the competition is an illusion. * Eon (also known as Powergen) * Npower (also known as RWE) * Scottish & Southern (also known as SSE, incorporating * Southern Electric, Scottish Hydro Electric, SWALEC, Atlantic Electric & Gas.) * Scottish Power * EDF (incorporating London Energy, SWEB and Seeboard) * British Gas (incorporating Scottish Gas, Electricity for Business, Bizzenergy, Enron and Electricity Direct)
We provide a free service and only receive a commission from suppliers once we have successfully set up your new contract with them.
If you are unsure whether you are currently in a business energy contract or don’t know when it ends, you can find out from your supplier by sending them a contract checking enquiry or authorise us to find out on your behalf.
Yes, one in five UK based energy customers now are supplied by small and medium energy providers who often also lead with renewable energy. Businesses are becoming more conscious about environmental issues and so green energy is becoming more popular as an alternative.
You will have an account manager as your trusted advisor, you’ll have peace of mind that you won’t miss key renewal windows and find your contract being rolled onto “deemed rates” that are higher than necessary. Because our experts constantly monitor the market, we can advise you of the best time to start negotiating your new utility contracts, saving you time, effort and money. And don’t worry about the paperwork or talking with suppliers – your account manager will handle all of that to save you time.
The other most common types of contracts for businesses are ’28 Day’ and ‘Deemed Rates’.
Businesses that do not compare energy prices or have not attempted to switch energy suppliers since the market was de-regulated in the 1990s often find themselves on 28 Day supply contracts. The energy prices charged for these contracts can go up and down with the market and are rarely competitive. As such, we would always recommend a business switches on to a competitively-priced ‘fixed-rate, fixed-term’ contract for a minimum of a year – even with the same supplier. Thankfully, as the name suggests, switching to cheap business electricity can be carried out anytime after giving 28 days notice.
These rates are usually the worst and usually apply to businesses that are either new to the property or have terminated a contract but failed to switch to a new supplier. The good news is that, like 28 Day contracts, there is only a maximum of 28 days notice required to switch to the cheapest electricity rates.
The key thing is to send a letter of termination to your current electricity supplier to avoid getting rolled by them. Because each supplier has different rules about terminating, by far the easiest way to switch is to let us guide you through the process.
Giving sufficient termination notice should prevent your current supplier objecting to you leaving them. However, electricity suppliers may object on the grounds of outstanding debt or existing contract. Our service is geared towards making sure every switch to cheap business electricity suppliers etc happens smoothly and successfully.
• Residential/domestic buildings – including accommodation for children, the armed forces, care homes, rehab centres, hospices, monasteries & nunneries. • An institution which is the sole or main residence of at least 90% of its residents – except hospitals, prisons or similar institutions, hotels, inns or similar. • Self-catering holiday accommodation, caravans & Houseboats. • Charitable organisations