Have you taken a look at how much your business spends on energy bills each month? Now’s a great time to consider your monthly spend and see if you can save money by changing suppliers.
We’re currently in lockdown and though it appears everything has slowed down, it’s a great opportunity to use this slow time to review your business expenses. This includes your business energy supplier and how much energy you normally use monthly and annually. Reviewing these numbers could save your business some money.
Did you know that the average small business in the UK uses about 22,500 kWh each month for gas? And the same average small business uses about 32,000 kWh of electricity each month.
While energy prices do vary widely on the business energy market, energy providers are still able to give you a quote, so you can get an idea of how much the business will pay for energy. The quote is based on your postcode and your average energy usage.
However, the quote may be a little different if you’ve recently moved into new business premises. In this case, if you’ve not signed up with an energy provider yet, then you’ll be assigned to the previous company’s supplier. You’ll be given a deemed/out of contract tariff, which usually carries higher rates.
To save money, you’ll need to move to a fixed-term tariff. This is a common move many businesses choose; however, some do choose to go with a variable tariff due to the price fluctuations of the market. This is somewhat of a gamble, but the company is betting that the energy prices will go down, which then saves them money on energy expenses.
What to Look for in a Business Energy Supplier
While many aspects of energy suppliers are the same, there are some that do vary from one to the other.
First, narrow your search for an energy supplier down to those that offer a smart meter and an online platform or app. These tools make it much easier to manage your energy usage by allowing you to see how much you’re spending. It’s also easy and fast to make your energy payments online through the supplier’s platform. And all your payment, energy usage data and more are found in one handy location under your account, which is accessible through the platform.
Next, consider the price of energy with each supplier using the flexible tariff. Remember to check each supplier’s reputation and customer service record, too. This information will show you how well the supplier cares for their customers.
Lastly, if you’re wanting to use an eco-friendly service, choose a plan that offers greener energy.
Now you’re ready to review our list of the best energy suppliers for your small business in the UK!
List of Best Energy Suppliers for Small Businesses in the UK
This is one of the largest energy providers in the UK, and they’ll help you install, maintain and repair your commercial gas boiler. They’ll also assist with maintaining your company’s plumbing and drainage.
- British Gas offers a variety of tariffs including:
- Fixed-rate energy plans (the unit rate state the same for one, two or three years on your plan)
- 30-day rolling tariff: your unit rate and a standard charge may go up and down; however, you’ll be notified 30 days ahead of any change. This tariff is only for those customers who choose a new supply contract. However, British Gas will give you the option to upgrade to a fixed price plan if you give them 30 days’ notice and make sure all outstanding bills are paid.
- Half-hourly energy meter: if you choose this option, you’ll get a price tailored on how and when you use electricity.
- Multi-site & Multimeter electricity: to get this deal, you’ll need to be a new customer to British Gas and use more than 100,000 kWh per year.
They also offer plans called Commercial Landlords, which are great for businesses with one property or portfolio. You can choose from fixed or 30-day rolling contracts, and additional safety checks are also available from British Gas.
This energy provider has some standard packages and is a great company if you’d rather have a larger energy supply company. You can download their app from iOS or Google Play to review bills, enter meter readings, manage payments and even see how much energy you’re using.
- Business Fixed Tariff: this gives you a fixed rate for up to three years.
- Standard fixed: is fixed for up to one year and comes with a 30-day termination notice period. You can also move to a new product at any time without having to pay fees.
- Standard variable: the price varies, but you can move to a new Scottish Power product at any time, without paying an exit fee.
You can expect prices to always be lower than Ofgem’s fair price. In addition, they’ll install and service your boiler. And there’s more! The company allows you to earn up to 7pc cashback on your UW Visa card at Sainsbury’s, M&S, B&Q, Halfords and more. To top it off, the cash back you earn comes directly off your energy bill!
UW doesn’t advertise specific tariffs, as they prefer to work with you directly over the phone. However, if you decide to become a gold member (you’ll need to sign up to 4 or more of their utilities), then you get up to £200 to cover termination fees from your previous supplier, along with an extra 10pc discount after you’re with the company for one year.
Most people know about this company, but did you know they also provide business accounts? These accounts some with switching consultants to help you move as quickly and easily as possible when it’s time to switch energy suppliers. They also provide discounts and offers on Business Rewards including free eye tests and cinema vouchers. One note, while these are some great perks, their customer service leaves a little to be desired, so be sure to keep this in mind when choosing an energy supplier.
- Fixed-term contracts: for up to four years. On this tariff, you can choose to pay by cheque or cash, however, they have a surcharge of 5pc. If you choose Direct Debit, they don’t require a surcharge.
- Business Online Saver: fixed for 12 months.
- Variable tariff: allows you to change suppliers with 30 days’ notice, and with this tariff, the prices will go up and down, depending on the market. You can pay by cheque or cash and of course, this comes with the 5pc surcharge. Choose Direct Debit and you can avoid paying the surcharge.
- Smart Export Guarantee: if you generate energy through solar panels (or another green option), you can sell the excess energy to the company. For this tariff, it’s necessary to apply through E.ON who have eligibility criteria you’ll need to meet.
You’ll find Bulb for Business, which started back in 2015, which offer energy service for companies. Under this program, energy costs will vary depending on the market. If you need a dependable energy bill, then the better option would be their fixed tariff. Bulb also allows you to choose if your energy comes from non-renewable or renewable sources. Keep in mind that this energy provider is one that prefers to supply green energy.
They like to keep things simple and use a single Vari-Fair tariff system. Bulb has calculated that you’ll pay £2,161 for a single business site, with a standard 1 rate meter in the East Midlands region. This is based on a business using 16,000 kWh annually and choosing to pay by Direct Debit with online billing, staring in August 2019.
Their standard charges for gas and electricity are both 27.40p/day.
This is a great choice for micro-businesses that consume up to 50,000 kWh. If your business fits these parameters, then you can get an instant online quote. You can even save more by choosing two or more utilities. And if you’re interested in greener energy, the company is backed by the Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates.
- Fully fixed plans: cover single and multiple sites. If your budget is tight, then you can use a pre-payment method. For 100pc green energy, choose the Pure Green Electricity Plan.
This is another green energy supplier, and they offer 100pc green energy, and the company is approved by Friends of the Earth. The company also believes in fairness and offering great customer service. In fact, their customer service calls within two minutes!
- Octopus fixed: you’ll have fixed energy prices for 12 months.
- Flexible Octopus: they offer a no fixed term contract or exit fees, fair pricing that varies with the market.
- Greenest Octopus: is one of the greenest offerings for dual fuel. It similar to Octopus fixed, but with a carbon offset.
- Electric Juice: is for electric charging companies.
- Local Energy Tariffs: connects local businesses to locally generated renewable energy. You’ll be receiving power directly from local sources!
- Vertical Power tariffs: these are 100pc green electricity tariffs for vertical farms.
We hope this list will help you find a new supplier who can help your business save on utility bills! Please keep in mind this list is not exhaustive. It’s always a good idea to comparison shop in order to find these and other companies who may be able to provide the best energy deal for your business.