How to change your business and your commercial energy supplier
Want to save hundreds, if not thousands, on your business energy bills? Find out how to change commercial energy in our step-by-step guide.
Why change professional energy supplier?
One of the most important things in running any type of business is to keep running costs to a minimum. One easy way to cut overhead is to make sure you’re paying a fair price for your gas and electricity bills.
Like domestic energy prices, commercial electricity and gas contracts often go up automatically at the end of the initial fixed period. This is why it is important to check if you are paying more than necessary for your business energy plan. If there is a cheaper offer, it is easy to switch providers.
How to change professional electricity and gas supplier
From comparing corporate energy prices to deciphering corporate energy contracts to comparing corporate energy brokers, Uswitchforbusiness can demystify the process of changing corporate energy prices.
Unlike home energy deal comparisons, you cannot compare and switch online for commercial energy.
The easiest way to compare a company’s energy offers is to use a corporate energy broker like Uswitchforbusiness. Instead of contacting vendors directly to check rates, taking note of each vendor’s best deals, your broker can do this for you on your behalf. Here’s how to change commercial energy using a broker:
Step 1: Know your energy contract
The first step in being able to compare a company’s energy suppliers and switch between electricity or gas plans is to research your energy contract.
This contract will provide you with important information about your energy tariffs for companies and how compare commercial energy prices per kWh at the end of the contract.
You can start comparing and planning a change up to six months before your contract ends. This will give you time to consider the different plans in the market and take the time to choose the right one for your business.
If you can’t find your contract, you should be able to find the same information on a recent energy bill.
Step 2: Find a business energy bill
Now that you know where you stand on your company’s current energy contract, including what you’re paying and when it ends, you’re ready to compare offers.
For this you will need a recent invoice. This commercial energy bill contains the following:
- Your unit rates and ongoing charges
- Your consumption / how much energy you use annually
- Your counter numbers
- Your contract end date
- The notice period of your contract (when you need to inform your supplier of your departure)
If you are not the business owner, you will also need the owner’s permission to take responsibility for the contract change. You will simply need to confirm that you have this authority at the time of the change.
Step 3: Contact a broker
The next step in changing energy supplier is to contact a broker. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a service like Uswitchforbusiness. Simply enter your business zip code and the information you collected previously, and we’ll compare the energy market for you.
We will contact you for a 5-10 minute call to discuss your options and find a new commercial energy contract to suit your needs.
How Corporate Energy Brokers Work
Business energy brokers are specialized intermediaries who work with both business energy consumers and energy suppliers.
One of the main differences between home and business energy switching is that using a service like an energy broker is not free.
Energy brokers bill customers in different ways; the most common method being a commission, but also via a part of the savings or in advance.
Taking the commission method as an example, here is how your energy broker is likely to operate:
Once a broker is contacted by an energy consuming company, the broker in turn contacts the suppliers, asking for prices that include their commission per kWh – 0.04 p / kWh for example.
The unit kWh rate that the consumer sees includes this commission, and the broker bills the supplier directly based on the consumer’s consumption.
Since the commission is paid through the provider, it is common for companies to think their broker is working for free. This is not the case, so make sure you know your broker’s commission rate.
Step 4: Confirm Your Company’s Power Switch
Once your chosen energy broker is on file using your energy bill information, they will come back to you with a selection of offers from different vendors.
The broker should be able to answer your questions and apply their expertise, but that’s ultimately your decision – be sure to ask questions and understand all aspects of the rate before committing.
The broker then confirms the change with your chosen provider and you will receive a contract by email. Once you’ve accepted the contract, it will start the day after your current rate ends.
The broker should take care of all the administrative tasks, such as making sure the activation date goes as planned, and when your new contract is up and running, he or she should get back to you to review your rates.
Understanding the energy contracts of companies
The two prices you should focus on when comparing commercial electricity and gas quotes are unit cost and fixed cost:
- Unit cost: this is the price you pay per unit of energy (kWh)
- Permanent charge: this is a daily charge that helps maintain the national grid and the cost of transporting energy directly to your company
There are five types of energy contracts you can choose from when switching your business’s energy supply:
1. Fixed-term contract:
These contracts have a fixed price on the unit cost (kWh) for the duration of the contract. The total you pay per month will always vary as it depends on how much energy you use – the cost per unit will not vary, however.
2. Variable rate contract:
On variable energy rate contracts for businesses, the cost per unit will vary throughout the term and will often be linked to market activity, for example when demand is high, the cost per unit increases, and vice versa.
3. Deemed rate contract:
The deemed rate is the rate your supplier will transfer you to if you fail to secure a new contract or move into new premises and start using gas or electricity (or both) without an energy contract. in place. A deemed tariff is also known as an off-contract tariff and has higher tariffs.
4. 28 day contract:
A 28-day contract is for companies that have not changed since the deregulation of the energy market.
5. Rollover contract:
If you have not informed your supplier of your intention to switch to another supplier, they will renew your contract.