A Simple Guide to Business Energy Providers
With many business owners facing one of the hardest years to date. Lots of people have been forced to rethink their spending. Lots of company owners may have had the same energy providers for years and years, with payments leaving their banks as direct debits each month. We understand this is easier and when business is booming and time is short, people really do not want to be wasting their free time scaling the internet for the best deals.
Having said that, business energy costs can be one of the top outgoings for a company. So, why are we so focused on working that we forget to ensure we have the best deals that work for us?
What to think about when you choose your business energy provider.
There are several things you need to consider when thinking about your business energy supplier. Lots of these companies will require a contract so you must choose wisely.
You should consider the unit rate and standing charges a provider offers. This can sound confusing, but it is simple. The unit rate is just the price you pay per kilowatt-hour of energy that you use. The provider will then add a daily standing charge. This is basically a fee they will charge you to give you the energy supply. There are two ways to agree on this, you can go with a fixed price meaning the charge will not change. The other option is a variable price, meaning the charge can go up or down according to the market. These will be added to your final bill and will show how much energy you have actually used.
The type of business you run will determine how much energy you are using. For example, a small shop selling goods may only use a small amount of energy. Whereas, a large company that operates machinery or a busy salon with hairdryers, reception computers and straighteners that will be on all day, will use much more.
The budget you have to spend on your business energy supplier is something to recognize. If you have a set amount each month then you may be better suited to a fixed contract. You wouldn’t want to go over one month and then struggle to meet the payment with a variable contact.
If you are a new business that has not been connected up to gas or electricity before. Think about how much time and money it will cost to install a new connection. Make sure you check any contacts carefully for the terms and conditions of the installation.
Business energy meters could also be something you may choose to have. If your business has several different sites, then this could suit you. These business energy meters will measure the amount of energy your business is using. Most will then send the readings back to the provider to create an accurate bill for you. This way you are never overpaying due to estimates that have been made.
Types of meters
There are different types of meter options available. The first, is a single-rate meter. This type of meter charges a flat rate for electricity. These tend to be a standard choice of meter.
Two- rate meters are the next option. These meters’ charge two separate rates depending on the time they are being used. If your business is open during what they classify as off-peak times, then the charge is lower. This could suit the owner of a busy restaurant that opens in the evening.
A Three-rate meter is where the business will be charged three different rates. This again would suit someone who’s business is open later at night, through the night and at weekends. This could be, for example, a nightclub. Please keep in mind that the highest rate being charged with this type of meter will be for daytime use. If your company is open during the daytimes often, then this is not for you.
Half-hourly meters are very efficient and take a reading of the amount of energy used every 30 minutes. They then submit the readings to the provider. Some businesses that use a high rate of energy legally will have to have one of these. This could be a very large office or warehouse.
Most people have become familiar with the Smart meter from Business Energy Providers. This option also will submit readings to your provider more regularly, meaning you do not have to go through the process of taking the readings. These meters will also show you exactly how much energy you are using so you can track your businesses spending.
If your business is situated at more than one location, then you can choose a Multi-site meter. These meters will combine all of your energy tariffs together. This way it is easier for you to see and track.
Recently people have started to realise and accept that it is entirely possible to create environmentally stable energy. Consumers are also developing opinions on this matter. Business owners should take a look at how their clients or customers feel about this matter. Some people could even hold it against a business if they are using lots of energy and not choosing as an environmentally friendly supplier as possible.
The plan for the UK was to be that all businesses and households were to be offered a smart meter by the middle of 2025. Unfortunately, this was pushed back and put on hold due to the national pandemic. It is said that if the UK moved to using completely renewable energy then greenhouse gas in the UK would be removed by 40%.
Business Energy Providers: Who are they?
Many providers supply business energy. British gas business energy is one of them. The great thing about their website is that they let you manage your account online. This secure feature puts you in control of your account and saves time. British Gas business supplies energy to more businesses than any other energy supplier, providing energy to over 350,000 British businesses. They also offer a fixed price for boiler repair.
Eon business energy supplier is now offering 100% renewable energy. They also offer an online account and paperless billing.
SSE business energy supplies around 500,000 different energy points. In their recent news, they say that 60,000 customers are on green energy straight from their UK wind farms. They offer a free triad warning system that you can sign up to alert registered customers when these triads might be happening. Triads are three half an hour periods that happen in the winter, usually between 5 pm and 6 pm. During these periods are the times electricity is in the highest demand. If businesses are on a half-hourly contract, then this could affect their overall bill if a high consumption is used during these times.
Octopus business energy offers customers straight forward fixed tariffs, businesses can see the price they will pay for the year. They also offer 100% renewable energy. The company is fairly new and launched in 2018. One of their tariff’s focuses on businesses that have solar panels fitted. The tariff allows users to use their own solar electricity before using any from the grid. This could reduce your businesses carbon footprint.
Bulb business energy has the added feature of its own app to keep you up to date. They only have one business plan and claim they can save you more than 10% on energy bills. The tariff is a variable tariff and they will give you 30 days’ notice if prices go up. The company also does not offer fixed contracts or exit fees. Bulb also does its bit for the environment they provide businesses with 100% renewable electricity from solar, wind and hydro sources at no extra cost.
Edf business energy providers are currently offering the first 1,000 customers with an electric vehicle who sign up to one of their fixed term contracts, to receive three months credit. The company has also carried out research and found that 6 in 10 small businesses could make easy savings by switching energy provider. They offer online accounts and 24/7 live chat to support their customers, as well as free UK based business advisers. There is lots of incentive here to join.
Considerations to make once you have changed your business energy provider
Always make sure you’ve cancelled your previous contract when it ends. What can happen if you do not do this is a provider could put you on a much more expensive tariff automatically. Be sure to check your new provider’s policy on this before signing up.
When checking your contacts from the provider, make sure you note down your renewal window. This will let you know when you should start looking for a new contact or switch providers. Always use a comparison website to ensure you are getting the best deal.
How you can improve your energy efficiency
It is a good idea to set your business some goals when it comes to energy. You should make sure these goals are achievable and measurable. You can also talk to colleagues and staff to make them aware of these. If everyone is on the same page, then everyone can strive to reduce energy usage. Better for the business and better for the environment. Staff can do an end of the day sweep to ensure all of the lights and energy is turned off.
To ensure staff are adding to this save energy mind-set whilst in the workplace. You could add some posters to give them a daily reminder. This could be something as simple as remember to turn off lights when not using a room or do not leave on standby. Try to keep a track of your businesses energy usage and share with staff if their effort reduces this.
Business owners should ensure their appliances are in good working order. Systems that need of maintenance will use a lot more energy. Switch to LED lightbulbs. Not only do these last longer, but they also use a quarter less energy than normal lightbulbs. LED bulbs give off less heat, keeping temperatures down and potentially meaning the air conditioning needs to be used less. They also need to be replaced less often. If this option does not work for you, then perhaps you could install motion active lights. These will only turn on when someone enters the room.
Encourage doors to be closed this will keep the temperature of rooms regulated. If you need to use fans in the workplace, then turn them down or turn off any unneeded fans. If you slow down a fan by just 10% then you stand to save 25% of energy.
You could hire a company to carry out an energy audit. They will look at your building and identify any areas to improve on. Think long term. If you can install solar panels and become more self-sufficient this will save you lots of money in the long run. Although there is the initial pay out cost, this could be something to consider.
Try using cloud computing this has been proven to reduce energy use. Cloud computing does not require you to maintain computer servers which can use a lot of energy to cool themselves down. Do not just click sleep on computers rather than turning them off. They will of course, use less energy than being fully on but this is definitely going to be eating away at energy costs.
Install a programmable thermostat in your workplace. This will allow you to time when your heating or air conditioning will come on. You should also encourage the team to turn off heating when it is not needed and during the summer months’ open windows. This will avoid air conditioning being turned on and allow fresh air to circulate. Make sure blinds are positioned correctly in your building. This can stop the hot summers sun from shining into the room and raising the temperature.
If you are just opening up and building a new premises you might like to consider adding in skylights. This will increase light in the building and mean your staff will not need to have as many lights on in the daylight hours.
When making drinks encourage staff not to fill the kettle up to full. When boiling a full kettle, it takes a lot more energy to do so. A simple yet effective way to save on energy costs. If you try to only invest in energy-efficient appliances, then this will also add to the savings.
Try to cut down on the amount of printing in your workplace. Take a look if this is a way you waste energy. Many offices waste lots of energy printing but also waste lots of paper. Try to create more online resources or online contracts. If you do need to print, you could try printing on double-sided paper.
You could be saving on energy costs by taking a look at your workplace building. It is possible to add cavity wall insulation, loft installation, roof insulation and underfloor insulation. Initially, this will be a cost to your business but it has been shown that the savings far out way the initial cost in the long run. You could also reduce energy use by replacing single-glazed windows with double glazed windows. Try also to block cracks in the floors or skirting boards and add draught excluders. This will help to make the most of heaters when they are switched on and hopefully ensure they are not needed to be used as frequently.
On top of these suggestions, you may want to encourage the team to think about their carbon footprint. The staff could all think about how they could reduce their own waste. This could be in the form of work travel. Rather than the staff using a car to get to work, they could cycle in. Ensure you also have proper means in the workplace for staff to recycle their lunch plastic for example. Creating an overall more environmentally friendly workplace.
What you should do next
Now you know what you are looking for and all the factors you need to consider. This could feel a bit overwhelming. There are lots of different factors to think about here and each business has different needs. Let us ease the stress. We are a business comparison website. At CompareYourBuisnessCosts you could be saving up to 63% on your energy costs. We will simplify the process for you and provide you with the best options for your company based on the information you give us. All you need to do is go online to our website and fill out the 30-second form to compare providers and get the best deal for your business! Tell us what you want and we will find it for you. We like to keep completely impartial. We understand that more goes into your decision than just price and we want what is best for your business. Find the best deal to suit your business needs and cut costs with us today!