What Should Your Company Know Before Purchasing Business Electricity?

In the United Kingdom, energy is sold to businesses via a system known as energy tariffs. These are contracts that allow for either fixed or variable rates, for periods between one and five years. Which tariff your business selects depends on a variety of factors and is best discussed with your business electricity provider. 

Business Electricity Sales

Interested in learning more about business electricity sales in the UK? Here are a few things to know before committing to an energy tariff: 

  • Contracts. As mentioned previously, there are different types and lengths of energy contracts – also known as tariffs. These can either be fixed-rate or flexible-rate. This means that the price per unit of electricity will either remain the same regardless of market conditions or rise and lower as the market trends do. Likewise, these contracts can range from brief, year-long tariffs to those that last 2-3 or even 4-5 years. All of this depends on the options available through your chosen provider and what your company’s unique needs are.
  • Pricing. Just as contracts come in different lengths and types, prices are also different from one commercial customer to the next. Some of the ways these prices are determined include the size of the business, energy consumption levels, and the length of the contract. A larger business with greater consumption levels may be entitled to lower per-unit prices, so be sure to get accurate measurements of these rates. 
  • Metering. The meters used for business electricity customers are different from those used in residential electricity measurement. These include specialized half-hourly meters. These meters measure energy usage more frequently, which provides a more accurate depiction of actual energy use and helps to make billing easier. 

Determining Your Business Energy Needs

There is more than one way to determine your company’s energy needs. Each of these offers different levels of insight and may be combined for the best possible result. Some of these include:

  • Energy audits. An energy audit is the most common way for energy providers to partner with businesses in finding solutions that meet their needs. This includes an observation of energy usage patterns, identification of problems with overuse or inefficient use, and ideas for addressing these concerns.
  • Historical usage. If you plan to base your energy tariff on the levels of use your company has always had, historical use patterns are sufficient for energy auditing. This will show what you can expect in the future based on what you have used before – which is particularly helpful if you are choosing a fixed-rate, long-term contract.
  • Future growth plans. Do you have plans for extensions, new equipment, upgrades, or expansions? These may all impact your company’s energy use. Noting these plans can help your energy provider offer you the best possible electricity contract.
  • Efficiency measures. If you already know you are dealing with energy inefficiency, it may be best to talk to your business electricity provider about improving these areas. Taking efficiency measures can ensure that you are using all the electricity you are paying for – and paying only for what you truly need.

Choosing the Right Electricity Provider

With all this information in mind, you may feel ready to purchase an energy contract for your company – but how do you choose the right provider? Given the vast number of providers, it takes some careful thought to make the right decision. Here are a few things to keep in mind throughout your search: 

  • Compare offers. Not every energy provider offers the same prices or services. Just as you would do in your own personal shopping, your business should consider comparing quotes from available providers. This comparison shopping can be done through either an energy broker or a comparison website. These tools make the process faster and easier, so you can quickly narrow down your options.
  • Review contract terms. Carefully review the terms of any potential contract by considering the energy price per unit, contract length, flexible versus fixed rates, and any additional fees. 
  • Consider reputation and customer service guarantees. It pays to consider the customer service and overall business reputation of any company yours works with. Even in the energy you purchase, your business is making an investment. Make that investment count by choosing a provider your company can have faith in.
  • Discuss flexibility and scalability. Every business hopes to grow. Many businesses do experience growth, although this growth is often nonlinear. The need for growing – and downsizing – to meet the changing needs of your business should be at the forefront of your mind when choosing a provider. Any good business electricity provider should offer flexibility and scalability to rise to these challenges.
  • Ask about renewable energy options. Another concern for many modern business owners is greener energy. Using an energy provider that offers these options is something you can be proud of. It is also something you can pass along to your customers, who are often happy to help offset the cost of greener energy initiatives.

Ultimately, the perfect business energy provider is the one who meets your company’s unique needs and delivers a great experience at an affordable price. Tick those boxes, and you will find the perfect choice for your electricity needs!

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