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What is the difference between business and domestic energy?

Business energy tariffs work in the same way as domestic energy tariffs but are designed exclusively for business use. As a business customer, you’re more likely to sign up for a set period (typically 1-3 years) and pay a set fee for your energy use, rather than opt for a rolling contract. This obviously protects you from price changes and allows you to better predict costs.

Business users also pay more for their energy use than domestic customers. That’s because business energy rates are charged at the current rate of VAT (20%), while VAT on domestic energy is just 5%. You will also be required to pay the Climate Change Levy (CCL) charge on your gas and electricity use. 

Which energy suppliers offer business energy tariffs?

You should find most energy suppliers working in the domestic market also offer dedicated options for businesses. The big six are popular options of course, but you may be able to find better value from smaller names looking to establish themselves in the business energy market. If you’re struggling to find a full list of energy suppliers, get in touch with the team at a business energy comparison broker, who should be able to present you with the options you’re looking for.

How do I choose the best business energy supplier?

Your individual circumstances and requirements mean that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to selecting the best energy suppliers for your business. That means you should look to compare business energy prices through a business energy price comparison broker to see what deals are available.

What should I consider when choosing a business energy deal?

There are several things to think about when choosing a business energy deal:

  • Location – your business address will naturally affect how much you’re charged, as some locations are more expensive than others. If your business runs from multiple locations across the country, you may need to compare business energy prices separately for each office to ensure you get the best rate for each location.

  • Business size – the size of your business premises, any energy efficiency measures you’ve put in place, plus the number of staff you employ, will influence your energy consumption. Make sure you have your latest bill to hand with an accurate measure of your business consumption to help the broker steer you to the right deal.

  • Unit rates and standing charges - these make up the bulk of your energy bill. The more energy your business consumes, the more you’ll pay – and it’s always defined by the per kWh unit rate and daily standing charge.

  • Out-of-contract rates - if you stay with a supplier past the end of your contract with them, you could be moved on to a more expensive variable-rate contract, which could see your bills skyrocket.

  • Discounts – look for plans that have built-in discounts. Dual fuel tariffs aren’t usually offered to business customers, so you’ll likely have to purchase gas and electricity separately.

The best deal will be different for each business, so make sure you take the time to compare business energy tariffs to see what fits best for your individual business needs.

How to perform a business energy comparison

Unlike domestic energy customers, businesses cannot compare potential energy deals online. You have two basic choices: contact each business electricity and/or gas supplier individually to get a tailored quote for your company or make use of a price comparison broker.

Business energy comparison involves calling brokers rather than going to a website and entering your details, as you would if you were looking for a domestic energy deal. They’ll then compare business electricity and/or gas rates for you, informing you of all available business energy prices and deals that match what you’re looking for.

How can I get a cheap business energy deal?

The best way to get a cheap business gas or electricity deal is to first check your existing contract to see whether you can switch without incurring an early exit fee. If you’re able to do so, get in touch with a business energy price comparison broker who will put together a shortlist of the best deals based on your business location, consumption, and requirements for you to examine. Once you’ve made your final decision, simply confirm the switch of your business energy supplier.

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