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Larger businesses with multiple offices and factory locations may have multi-site meters in place to consolidate their businesses energy management into one account.
Multi-site meters allow larger 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 to a better deal, as all locations will have the same renewal date.
- 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 contract more efficiently. This means you will have one renewal date, so your business doesn’t roll onto an expensive tariff.
- Better management for single large sites– Instead of having several meters to manage the energy on one site, having a multi-site meter will cover your whole premises.
- Larger discounts may be available– As you’re buying larger amounts of energy, you can leverage your buying power and purchase energy at wholesale prices per kWh to maximise discounts.
Multi-site meters work similar to every other meter, but instead of tracking energy usage for one building, it will bring all locations together into one billing account. This will make your businesses energy management a lot easier to manage, switch and save.
Which Businesses Have These Meters?
Multi-site energy contracts were designed to help businesses with large or multiple buildings manage their business electricity quotes contracts to save them time and money.
For example, a business may have three offices across the North West with energy contracts ending on different dates. This is not ideal because the business will not be able to utilise their buying power during contract negotiations and they will have to negotiate multiple times as the renewal dates will likely come at different times.
Typically, most larger business who use lots of energy will also benefit from a half-hourly meter. These meters take automatic meter readings every 30 minutes and send them directly to the supplier. This can help a business get a handle on their energy consumption to help them become more energy efficient.
Whilst multi-site meters are great for all large businesses with multiple locations, the tariffs and contracts need to assess the businesses individual needs. The main types of energy contract available are:
28-day contracts are no longer available, but they are still around with businesses who have not switched their energy since market deregulation. The rates are variable per unit and can be quite expensive as they can increase or decrease month to month.
The rate you pay for energy may increase or decrease throughout the duration of the contract depending on market rates at the time. This tariff means businesses won’t always pay the same month to month, but it can save you money depending on how the market is changing.
Fixed-term contracts allow businesses to lock in the price of their energy, so it won’t increase in price throughout the duration of the contract. It’s important to note that businesses won’t pay any less either if the market prices go down.
A rollover contract happens when a business doesn’t negotiate a new contract when it comes to an end. The business will be signed up for another year, and it is not a good idea to let this happen because you’ll be charged at one of the suppliers most expensive rates.
Deemed rate contract
A deemed rate contract, also known as an out-of-contract tariff, is a rolling contract with expensive rates arranged by the suppliers. This happens when no contract is formally agreed with the business.
The contract needs to be selected once a full business energy audit has been completed to understand how your business uses energy.
The current structure of the UK energy market makes it difficult to switch your business electricity supplier. However, it is a worthwhile process as changing to a new and more suited contract can help you significantly reduce business costs.
Every business tariff is fixed for a minimum of 12 months, but 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, or if you do not negotiate new terms, you will likely be placed on out-of-contract rates which are typically very high.
It’s important to know when your renewal date is and take steps to make sure your business switch goes smoothly. The process for switching business energy suppliers usually takes four to six weeks.