If you’re a business owner setting up at in a new building, one of the first things you’ll need to organise is your business energy contracts.
The gas and electricity tariffs you select will have a huge impact on your company overheads, so choosing the right deal is key.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about setting up your business gas and electricity for the first time. We’ll also advise you on how you can compare business energy deals to find the most suitable option for your company.
How do business energy contracts differ from domestic energy tariffs?
The first thing you need to understand about business energy contracts is that they are different from standard domestic energy tariffs.
Here’s a breakdown of the main differences between business and domestic energy contracts:
- Business contracts often have cheaper rates – Domestic customers purchase their energy on a monthly basis, meanwhile businesses are required to buy their energy in bulk. Due to this, business energy rates are usually cheaper, however companies are required to pay a higher VAT charge (20%), and they are also charged a Climate Change Levy fee.
- Business contracts have longer term lengths – Whilst domestic energy tariffs usually last 1/2 years, business energy contracts can have term lengths of up to 5 years. These longer contracts mean that once you have agreed to the terms, it will be very difficult for you to cancel before your renewal window. Business energy renewal periods are usually 6 months prior to the official contract end date.
- Business contract prices are based on your specific needs – With domestic energy, you can compare a range of different tariffs to find a suitable option. However, business energy contracts are based on your specific needs, so they can be more complicated to compare. We recommend using a comparison service to compare business energy prices.
- Business contracts do not usually offer dual fuel contracts – Unlike domestic energy tariffs, dual fuel contracts are not typically available to businesses. You’ll therefore need to get separate gas and electricity contracts. However, both contracts can be with the same supplier if this is preferred. Try our quick and easy comparison tool today to find suitable deals for your business gas and electricity.
- Business energy supplier switches take longer to complete – If you decide to switch business energy suppliers, the overall process will take longer than a domestic supplier switch. Business energy switches typically take 4-6 weeks to set up, whilst domestic switches can take around 21 days. There is also no cooling-off period with commercial energy contracts, so it’s essential that you choose suitable tariffs.
Business energy switches are quicker and easier to complete when you use a comparison service like Business Energy Prices.
How to set up your business’ gas and electricity
There are four main steps to setting up your business’ gas and electricity. These are:
- Locate your meters and take a reading – This is the first task you should complete when you move into your new business premises. Taking gas meter and electricity meter readings will provide a measurement of the energy you’ve used since entering the property and helps to ensure that your future bills are accurate.
- Find out your current supplier – Once you’ve recorded the meter readings, you’ll need to provide them to the building’s current energy supplier. You can find out who this is by enquiring with the property seller or the previous tenants. Alternatively, you can use the Meter Point Administration’s online tool to find out your gas supplier and use the Energy Networks Association tool to find out who supplies your electricity. These services will also be able to inform you of your MPAN and MPRN
Once you’ve found out who supplies your gas and electricity, you can either choose to negotiate a new deal with the current supplier or compare energy prices to find better tariffs.
- Choose a tariff – Your business energy needs may be different to your building’s previous owners, so you should consider the different types of energy tariffs available. For example, you can choose between fixed-rate contracts, variable-rate contracts, multi-site contracts, as well as Economy 7 and Economy 10 meter tariffs. Here at Business Electricity Prices, we can help you decide which type of energy tariff is most suitable for your company.
Depending on your planned level of energy consumption, you may need to get new meters installed. For example, businesses that use 100kW of energy or more per 30 minutes are legally required to get a half-hourly meter installed.
- Compare energy deals – Finally, once you have an idea of the type of energy contracts your business requires, you can compare business energy tariffs to find the best deal. This is where the energy experts at Business Electricity Prices come in. We can find the most suitable gas and electricity deals for your business in a matter of seconds. Simply enter a few details about your business into our free comparison tool and we’ll be in touch shortly with your free quote.
What are the average electricity costs for businesses?
Different businesses have different energy demands, so it can be difficult to estimate average electricity costs. The average costs for a business’ electricity will depend on factors such as its size and overall energy consumption. Visit our page on average business electricity prices for a detailed breakdown of estimated yearly business electricity costs.
How do I pay for my business energy?
A monthly direct debit is typically the most effective way of paying for your business energy. With this method, your payments are secure and organised. Some suppliers may also offer you a direct debit discount.
What if I work from home?
If you run your business from your home, you are still permitted to have a standard domestic energy tariff. However, if your work causes a significant increase to your energy consumption, you could be better suited to a business energy tariff. Compare business energy prices here.
What if my business has multiple sites?
If your business has multiple locations, you may be better suited to a multi-site energy tariff. With this type of contract, you can consolidate all your business energy meters and bills into one account. This can make it easier for you to manage your energy usage and payments in all your locations.
Our experts can provide you with all the help and advice you need to select a suitable multi-site contract.
Can I get a green business energy deal?
Yes. Plenty of suppliers offer green energy deals for businesses in order to help companies boost their green credentials and do their bit for the environment. If you’d like to get a green energy deal for your business, simply make us aware of this preference when you contact us.