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Business Energy Prices

Business energy is crucial to the smooth operation of any business. However, may companies actually overpay for their utilities. Many overlook business energy comparison and how much they could save by switching energy supplier. This leads to business leaders finding themselves on expensive energy tariffs.

Since deregulation the UK has produces over 75 business energy suppliers. This means that pricing is very competitive for gas, electricity, and renewable energy products.

Switching business energy supplier may be a little more difficult than the domestic market. However, the savings are much higher. It is advised to compare business energy regularly to ensure your company is getting a great energy deal.

Prices & Business Energy Tariffs

The best way to find great energy deals is to compare business energy prices. All businesses can negotiate the price of their business energy. The greater the energy usage, the easier it is to negotiate.

Many business energy contracts include a standing charge. When looking through your business electricity quotes, this doesn't automatically mean that they are the more expensive energy supplier. Some suppliers offset no standing charge tariffs with higher business energy prices.

Business energy tariffs vary by supplier, region, and the amount of energy the company consumes each year.

All business energy contracts comprise two variable components:

  • A rate for each kWh unit of gas or electricity you use that’s fixed in price for the length of your contract.
  • Plus a daily or quarterly standing charge.

Fixed Rates & Terms

Small and medium-sized businesses only have the choice of a fixed priced contract. Most business energy suppliers offer terms up to five years. However, you can fix your business energy for any set amount of time up to that. The best way to find the best deals is to company business energy suppliers.

Unit prices increase by a large margin over a standard one-year deal. Standing charges remain the same. The chart below illustrates this point.

Example Energy Prices for One to Five Years

Example rates from British Gas for a 03 profile electric meter based in region 10 (Eastern).

Contract Term Unit Price/ kWh Price Premium Daily Charge
One Year 11.83p 0% 27.00p
Two Years 12.18p 3.0% 27.00p
Three Years 12.48p 5.5% 27.00p
Four Years 12.88p 8.9% 27.00p
Five Years 13.32p 12.6% 27.00p

Below is the same data pictured graphically for a business using 15,000 kWh of energy each year.

Example Business Energy Prices

Fixing your energy prices for five years means no hidden surprises on your rates, but you’re paying a 12.6% premium until unit costs increase.

Other Charges and Discounts

The default method of payment is direct debit. This is great for businesses as energy suppliers often offer a discount for this payment method. Discounts range from 2% to 6% depending on the business energy supplier you choose.

All regular businesses pay 20% VAT.

You may be eligible for a discount if you are a charity or not-for-profit. The discounted business energy rate is currently 5%. These businesses are also exempt from paying the Climate Change Levy (CCL).

Climate Change Levy (CCL) Rates

The table below shows the current CCL rates by fuel type. The rates increase by 45% for electricity and 67% for natural gas from 1st April 2019. Despite the large increases this change just adds £39.60 to an annual electric bill using 15,000 kWh per year.

Fuel Type From 01/04/2018 From 01/04/2019 From 01/04/2020 From 01/04/2021
Electricity (per kWh) 0.583p 0.847p 0.811p 0.775p
Natural Gas (per kWh) 0.203p 0.339p 0.406p 0.465p
LPG (per kg) 1.304p 2.175p 2.175p 2.175p
Other (per kg) 1.591p 2.653p 3.174p 3.640p

Data source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/climate-change-levy-rates

How to save on my business energy?

The best way to save on your business energy bills is to shop around. When you use a business energy comparison tool, you can quickly gather tariffs and deals from a large portion of the market.

Many businesses can lock-in new prices up to 12 months before the end of their contract. It is almost guaranteed you can get a cheaper business energy rate than your renewal.

Never accept your renewal letter offer as you’ll always find cheaper prices elsewhere. A quick comparison of the market will show your savings.

Quotes & Business Energy Switching

You will likely need to switch your tariff at the end of your contract. This helps keep business energy prices under control. The switching process doesn’t mean you need to change your supplier. You may be able to transfer to the lowest rates on the market. To put negotiation power in your own hands, a business energy comparison will provide a great benchmark for what you should be paying.

You must notify your suppler that you wish to end the contract three months before the end of the contract. Once you’ve sent that notification, you can start searching for the best deal in the market.

Five Steps to Switch Business Energy Contracts

  • Step 1: Cancel your existing contract if it’s within three months of ending.
  • Step 2: Get new quotes from all market operators for electricity and gas.
  • Step 3: Select the tariff most suited for your needs.
  • Step 4: Sign your new contract for the next one to five years.
  • Step 5: The switch happens automatically and managed by your existing and new provider.

Your power supply is never interrupted during a switch. You will receive a final bill to cover your existing contract and a new one approximately one month after your new start date.

Just remember to take meter readings on the day you’re switching to keep your bill accurate.

Depending on your meter type, you may be offered a new smart meter to replace any legacy meters. This change means the meter gets read automatically by your supplier to reduce errors in billing. Note that not all smart meters are compatible with all the energy companies so you may not be able to change supplier at a future date.

Three Options to Get Live Business Energy Quotes

For business energy quotes, you have three options:

  • Option 1: The DIY approach where you search yourself.
  • Option 2: Use a price comparison website.
  • Option 3: Utilise the services of a professional energy broker.

Option 1: Find Deal Prices Yourself

It takes time to search the entire market as there are lots of business energy suppliers. You will have to manually gather all the contact information. You may not receive the best prices as some consolidators and brokers may have an exclusive deal not generally available.

Additionally, you may find that if you call back after a few days, the price could change depending on any movement in wholesale prices or other external forces.

Therefore, we recommend businesses use one of the following routes to market.

Option 2: Use Price Comparison Websites

A business energy comparison website will show you live rates from a large selection of energy suppliers. This is a much faster way of quickly finding business energy prices and gathering information.

Our online service shows the average percentage savings you could make by moving your business to a different contract. There are never any charges for these services.

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Option 3: Utilise Energy Brokers

Outsourcing the process to an accredited business energy broker will save you time because they use bespoke technology platforms to quote the entire market on your behalf.

These brokers can also manage your contract submissions, conduct invoice validation analysis, and ensure you’re always on the best tariff for your meter. There are no charges for these services as they receive a commission directly from your new supplier.

Just ensure you obtain new quotes for all your meters and switch to a lower-priced deal rather than letting your contract roll over at higher rates.

Choosing The Right Business Energy Tariff

For the majority of customers, it’s simply selecting the lowest price offered by the market or broker. Your supply pipes and cables won’t change. The only thing that changes is the company name on your new invoice.

When comparing prices, look at the total cost for the year. Be sure to check the unit price per kWh and the standing charge. This comparison is important for low consumers of electricity. There could be a high standing charge that wipes out any savings made.

High consumers of electricity or gas, such as multi-site meters or those with a half hourly meter installed may require additional support to manage their energy efficiency so the lowest cost may not be the most important factor.

Business Energy Suppliers

Not sure which business energy supplier to choose? Here's a quick summary of your options:

The Big Six/ Big Five Providers

Traditionally just six business energy suppliers controlled 90% of the B2B space, but gradually other companies are starting to make an impact. Two of these companies, SSE and Npower, announce a merger so if that progresses just five organisations will control the market.

Get a Business Energy Quote

 The current “Big Six” business gas and electricity suppliers are as follows (market share data source: /suppliers/):

Smaller Independent Companies

The list of the current 35 independent power companies for businesses.

  • Affect Energy
  • Airtricity
  • AvantiGas
  • Axis Energy
  • Better Energy
  • BES Utilities
  • Bristol Energy
  • Clear Business Energy
  • Contract Natural Gas (CNG)
  • Corona Energy
  • Crown Gas and Power
  • D-ENERGi
  • daligas
  • Dual Energy
  • Extra Energy
  • Engie (Formerly GDF Suez)
  • First Utility
  • Flogas
  • Gazprom
  • GnERGY
  • Go Effortless
  • Haven Power
  • MA Energy
  • Opus
  • OVO
  • PFP
  • Power NI
  • Regent Gas
  • Robin Hood
  • Simple Gas
  • Total Gas & Power
  • United Gas and Power (UGP)
  • Utilita
  • Utility Warehouse
  • Yorkshire Gas and Power (YGP)
  • Yu

This is not an extensive list of business energy suppliers, and many independent energy suppliers offer much better deals and customer service than the traditional suppliers. It's important to do your research when you're selecting a new business energy supplier.

Renewable Business Energy Suppliers

All the suppliers below offer 100% renewable energy tariffs. Most generate their power with wind farms, solar power, hydroelectric or biofuels. For those companies supplied by non-renewable sources, these suppliers match the consumption with a Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO).

Green Energy

The REGO is a unit of sustainable power generated for the National Grid matched to each kWh unit supplied from traditional sources such as coal, natural gas or nuclear.

Most business energy suppliers provide great options for renewable energy tariffs. However, some suppliers are more committed than others and only provide renewable energy. Most notably, Octopus Business Energy and Bulb Business Energy.

Generate Your Own Business Energy

Government green levies and investment only continue to increase. Many businesses consider investing in this to cut long-term costs.

Most of today’s options are greener. Many businesses do want to use fossil fuels that produce harmful carbon dioxide. Businesses can sell any electricity you don’t use to the National Grid using feed-in tariffs.

Some companies could be eligible for a grant or low-cost loans for green investment. Options include solar power, wind turbines, Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs), or biomass.

It comes down to keeping on top of your business energy contract. Comparing business energy prices every six months will help avoid expensive tariffs.

Call our UK-based utility team on 0800 690 6008. You can use the quote form at the top or bottom of this page for instant prices.

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