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Commercial

What is a Multi-Site Meter?

Multi-site meters allow businesses with several buildings to manage their energy with one billing account. These business locations can include offices, warehouse or even factories.

Having multi-site meters takes a layer of difficultly out of switching business energy. All buildings can switch energy at the same time.  Cheap business energy deals will be available for companies buying more energy. Using multi-site meters offer businesses more buying power to negotiate prices.

Benefits of Multi-Site Meters

  • Better management over multiple sites- It doesn’t matter if you have just 2 business locations, or 8, a multi-site meter helps you manage your business energy. This means you will have one renewal date. This helps avoid rolling over onto an expensive tariff.
  • Better management for single large sites– Having a multi-site meter will cover all premises. This means you will not need multiple meters to cover larger sites.
  • Larger discounts may be available– Multi-site meters allow companies to leverage great buying power. This allows access to wholesale energy prices.

Which Businesses Have These Meters?

Multi-site meters were designed to large businesses. Smaller businesses with multiple locations can also benefit from these meters. The introduction of multi-site meters makes it easier for business electricity prices to be sourced.

Here’s an example of a business that would benefit from a multi-site meter:

This business has three offices across the North West. As a result, the company has three energy contract with different end dates. This means that the company must search and switch to a cheaper supplier three times. This can be time-consuming and leave them open to forgetting if the end dates are at different times. This could leave them exposed to expensive out of contract rates. Having a multi-site meter would eliminate these issues.

Larger business with high energy usage will benefit from a half-hourly meter. These meters take automatic meter readings every 30 minutes.  These readings will be sent directly to the supplier. This can help a business get a handle on their energy consumption to help them become more energy efficient.

What types of energy contracts are available for multi-site meters?

The main types of energy contracts available are:

28-day contract

28-day contracts are no longer available. They still exist with businesses who have not switched their energy since market deregulation. The rates are variable per unit and can be quite expensive.

Variable-rate contract

The rate you pay for energy may increase or decrease throughout the duration of the contract. This depends on market rates at the time. This tariff means businesses won’t always pay the same month to month. It can be attractive for businesses who want some flexibility with their business energy.

Fixed-term contract

Fixed-term contracts allow businesses to lock in the price of their energy. The price will remain the same throughout the duration of the contract. Companies will not benefit from cheaper rates if the market prices go down.

Rollover contract

A rollover contract happens when a business doesn’t negotiate a new contract.  The business will be signed up for another year. This should be avoided as supplier will charge the most expensive rates.

Deemed rate contract

A deemed rate contract is also known as an out-of-contract tariff. This is a rolling contract with expensive rates arranged by the suppliers. This happens when no contract is formally agreed with the business.

How to switch to a multi-site energy contract

The current structure of the UK energy market makes it difficult to switch your business electricity supplier.

Many companies find tariffs more suited to them and save hundreds of pounds. Switching supplier can help significantly reduce business costs.

Every business tariff is fixed for a minimum of 12 months. Some contracts can last up to 3 years. You’re tied into this agreement until it expires. If you fail to switch suppliers at the end of the agreement you will likely be placed on out-of-contract rates. These are typically very high.

It’s important to know your renewal date. Comparing business energy early can help make the switch go smoothly. Switching suppliers usually takes four to six weeks.

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