Businesses rely heavily on energy to operate, making energy costs a significant expense for most companies. With the aim of reducing costs, businesses often look for ways to save on their energy bills. One way to do this is by comparing business energy tariffs to find the best deal.
Business energy tariffs are specifically designed for commercial use and offer different rates and terms than residential energy tariffs. By comparing tariffs and performing a business energy suppliers comparison, you can find a deal that suits their energy needs and budget. This can result in significant savings on energy bills, which can be redirected towards other business expenses.
Understanding Business Energy Tariffs
Business energy tariffs can be a complex topic to understand, but it is essential for business owners to know about them to make informed decisions about their energy usage and costs. In this section, we will break down the key components of business energy tariffs and explain how they work.
Unit Rates and Standing Charges
Business energy costs are made up of unit rates and standing charges. The unit rate is the amount a business pays for each unit of energy they consume, while the standing charge is a fixed daily fee that goes towards the cost of physically supplying gas and electricity to the premises.
VAT and Other Costs
Business energy tariffs are subject to 20% VAT, while domestic energy tariffs are privy to just 5% VAT. In addition to VAT, businesses must also consider the Climate Change Levy (CCL), which is a tax on energy use that encourages businesses to reduce their carbon emissions. The current rate of CCL is 0.188p per kWh for gas and 0.541p per kWh for electricity.
Fixed and Variable Tariffs
Business energy tariffs can be either fixed or variable. A fixed tariff means that the unit rate and standing charge remain the same for the duration of the contract, typically between one and five years. A variable tariff means that the unit rate and standing charge can fluctuate depending on market conditions.
For businesses with high energy consumption, half-hourly metering may be required. This type of metering records energy usage every half-hour and provides more accurate billing. However, it can also result in higher costs due to the increased accuracy of the metering.
Comparing Business Energy Tariffs
When it comes to choosing the right business energy tariff, it can be overwhelming to navigate the different options available. Comparing business energy tariffs is essential to ensure that your business is getting the best deal possible. Here are some factors to consider and methods of comparison to help you make an informed decision.
Factors to Consider
- Tariff Options: There are different types of business energy tariffs available, including fixed-rate tariffs, green energy tariffs, and variable rate tariffs. Fixed-rate tariffs offer a set price per unit of energy for a fixed period, while variable rate tariffs fluctuate with market prices. Green energy tariffs are an eco-friendly option that uses renewable energy sources.
- Contract Length: The length of the contract can vary, with some suppliers offering short-term contracts of just a few months, while others offer longer-term deals of up to five years. It’s important to consider how long you want to commit to a contract and whether you want the flexibility to switch suppliers if necessary.
- Additional Fees: Some suppliers may charge additional fees, such as standing charges or exit fees. It’s important to consider these fees when comparing tariffs to ensure that you’re getting the best deal for your business.
Methods of Comparison
- Use an Online Comparison Tool: Online comparison tools can help you compare business energy tariffs quickly and easily. These tools allow you to input your business’s energy usage and location to generate a list of available tariffs from different suppliers. They also provide information on prices, contract lengths, and additional fees.
- Contact Suppliers Directly: Contacting suppliers directly can also be an effective way to compare business energy tariffs. You can request quotes from different suppliers and compare them to find the best deal for your business. It’s important to ensure that you’re comparing like-for-like tariffs and taking into account any additional fees.
- Consult an Energy Broker: Energy brokers can provide expert advice and help you compare business energy tariffs from different suppliers. They can also negotiate deals on your behalf and ensure that you’re getting the best possible price. However, it’s important to ensure that the broker is reputable and transparent about their fees.
How to Switch Business Energy Tariffs
Switching to a new business energy tariff can be a great way to save money on your energy bills. However, it can also be a confusing process, particularly if you’ve never done it before. Here are some steps to follow when switching your business energy tariff:
Steps to Switch
- Find out your current energy tariff: You’ll need to know the name of your current energy tariff to compare it with other tariffs. You can find this information on your energy bill or by contacting your energy supplier.
- Check your contract end date: If you’re currently on a fixed-term contract, you’ll need to wait until the end of the contract before you can switch without penalty. If you’re on a rolling contract, you can switch at any time.
- Compare tariffs: Use a comparison website or speak to an energy broker to compare business energy tariffs. Make sure you compare both the unit rate and the standing charge to get an accurate comparison.
- Choose a new tariff: Once you’ve found a tariff that suits your business’s needs, contact the supplier to switch. You’ll need to provide them with your business’s details and meter readings.
- Wait for the switch to complete: It can take up to 21 days for the switch to complete. You’ll receive a final bill from your old supplier and a welcome pack from your new supplier.
Switching business energy tariffs can sometimes be a challenging process. Here are some potential challenges to be aware of:
- Exit fees: If you’re on a fixed-term contract, you may be charged an exit fee if you switch before the end of the contract. Make sure you factor this into your calculations when comparing tariffs.
- Meter readings: You’ll need to provide meter readings to your new supplier when you switch. Make sure you take accurate readings to avoid any billing issues.
- Credit checks: Some suppliers may require a credit check before they’ll accept your business as a customer. Make sure you have all the necessary information and documentation ready to speed up the process.
By following these steps and being aware of potential challenges, you can switch your business energy tariff with confidence and potentially save money on your energy bills.
In conclusion, comparing business energy tariffs can save companies a significant amount of money. By taking the time to research and compare different tariffs, businesses can find the best deal for their specific energy needs.
It is important to consider both unit rates and standing charges when comparing tariffs. Unit rates are the amount paid for each unit of energy used, while standing charges are the fee that goes towards the cost of physically supplying gas and electricity to the premises.
Businesses should also consider their energy consumption patterns and choose a tariff that suits their needs. Time-of-use tariffs, for example, may be more suitable for businesses that use energy during off-peak hours.
When comparing tariffs, businesses should also consider the length of the contract, as well as any exit fees that may apply. It is important to read the terms and conditions carefully before signing up for a new tariff.
Overall, comparing business energy tariffs can be a simple and effective way for companies to save money on their energy bills. By doing their research and choosing a tariff that suits their needs, businesses can reduce their energy costs and improve their bottom line.