Various shops and small businesses such as cafes, restaurants, and other close-contact services including beauty salons in the UK are already set to reopen in the next coming weeks of November as the government slowly eases lockdown restrictions in selected regions.
Business owners are expected to adapt to new regulations as they face a familiar challenge: overpaying on their energy bills. It is even sad to say that small businesses suffer the most during the ongoing pandemic. As a matter of fact, 80% of UK-based SMEs had no other choice but to cut back on expenses just so they could push forward and save money on utilities. On top of that, 52% of those SMEs unfortunately have delayed payments to their energy suppliers.
Did you know that eight out of ten SMEs in the UK pay by up to £1,100 a year on their energy? On top of that, these businesses pay up to £289 a year for electricity alone, which is equivalent to 12% of the average annual bill, according to the data provided by Bulb, one of the UK’s biggest energy suppliers. The common cause? Complicated and not to mention overwhelming tariffs and expensive exit clauses!
It is no surprise that businesses are opting to achieve the goal of saving thousands on energy bills, especially during this year where things aren’t getting any cheaper due to high demand. All we ever want is to watch our businesses propel forward as our revenue grows.
If a business wishes to prematurely terminate their fixed deal contract with their supplier, they can be charged the ENTIRE value of the contract they have signed up for. In turn, this has caused hundreds of small businesses to disregard the importance of switching to another supplier that could have benefitted their business immensely.
There are business energy customers that often fail to notify their respective suppliers about their desire to switch to a new supplier at the end of their fixed deal. Due to this common mistake, a lot of them have been rolled over to variable business rates — which is known to be one of the most expensive tariffs a business could ever be on.
Thousands of small firms do not know whether they’re on the best deal or not. On numerous occasions, suppliers bombard them with hundreds of different deals which leaves them overwhelmed and confused! It makes it hard for them to compare these options all on their own to pinpoint the differences. For example, a supplier offered a business energy consumer 10 tariffs that are all under the same name, but all 10 come with different pricing calculations.
A lot of business energy consumers want to leave their current suppliers for cheaper deals, but are oftentimes still left facing higher costs with a lot of major energy suppliers that make up at least 80% of the UK’s business energy market. Should these business energy customers decide to switch suppliers as early as possible, they get forced to pay off the full amount of their contract. In worse cases, some firms are even blocked from being able to switch.
However, we were able to collate a long list of secrets that could help small firms and shops save money on energy bills as they opt to reopen this November!
The Secrets to Saving £1,000 On Your Business Energy Bill:
1. SWITCH TO A DIFFERENT BUSINESS ENERGY SUPPLIER
If you own a small firm and you desperately wish to reduce your energy bill, we 100% recommend switching energy suppliers as it can be one of the quickest ways to save thousands on your annual bill. In fact, it’s the best move a business of any size can do. Even domestic customers benefit from making the switch.
It’s hard to believe that there are still THOUSANDS of small businesses that have NEVER compared business energy quotes! That means they have stayed on the same contract from the same energy supplier for years. This explains why 80% of small businesses all over the UK still overpay on their energy bills until today.
We won’t be surprised if you were already told that switching suppliers can help you save. But do you really know how it’s going to help cut down costs on your energy bill? Let us tell you how:
- By switching to a different supplier, your business will be able to avoid ridiculous price hikes that often come with rolled-over contracts. You might have enjoyed the initial deal with your current provider. However, it’s highly unlikely that this specific deal will be available again. Why? Because only new customers get to benefit from the best deals.
“What? Shouldn’t LOYAL customers get better deals?” Supposedly, yes. But unfortunately this sort of practice is often performed by most providers. That being said, when you’re nearing the end of your contract, it’s important to start scouting for better deals with a different supplier.
- When switching, you can take advantage of fluctuating rates in the business energy market! As soon as your renewal is due, we suggest that you monitor the market so you can find awesome deals that can easily be striked! Energy rates change day in and day out. Once you make the switch AT THE RIGHT TIME, you’ll surely be able to get a better rate for your fixed-rate contract.
- Lastly, switching suppliers lets you avoid deemed contracts. When you have just moved into a new business premises or continue to consume energy despite your existing contract coming to an end, you will automatically be on a deemed contract, which is an informal agreement of sorts. This type of tariff can be EXTREMELY expensive. In fact, it’s 80% higher than standard tariffs. So, if your current contract is about to come to an end, switch to a different provider as early as now to avoid being in an unfortunate situation!
Additionally, we wouldn’t recommend limiting your options. If anything, There are plenty of small and independent energy providers that sometimes offer better deals!
More things that you need to know about switching energy providers:
If you’ve never switched providers before, you must know that the entire switching process is different between domestic customers and business customers such as yourself.
Luckily, business energy consumers tend to get CHEAPER rates as opposed to domestic customers. The reason behind this benefit is businesses consume much more gas and electricity as opposed to the latter. However, businesses could actually end up paying more once you factor in the 20% Value-added tax (VAT) (domestic customers only pay 5%), AND the Climate Change Levy (CCL).
Business customers are normally provided with prioritised service and customer support since, again, these types of customers tend to be energy intensive compared to household consumers.
Businesses also get more sufficient time to shop around and compare deals. Unlike domestic customers where their switching window only lasts for up to 49 days, a standard switching window for business customers usually lasts up to 6 months, which gives them enough time to hunt for tariffs and collect business energy quotes. This can make it easier for them to arrange the switch as soon as their current contract ends.
Businesses can also avoid yearly price hikes for up to 3 years, since they have longer-term fixed rates as opposed to domestic deals. Domestic customers are usually locked in for a year.
To know more about switching suppliers, you may check out our related article.
2. BEFORE MAKING THE SWITCH, USE A PRICE COMPARISON SITE
We’ve said it once, and we’re not afraid to say it a million times more: using a price comparison site is extremely beneficial as opposed to manually requesting quotes from different energy suppliers all by yourself (which involves having to contact them one by one too. Yikes). A price comparison site offers a great selection of deals that could work for you and your business.
Sure, for some people, comparing prices can be an easy task that costs nothing but your time. But as a business owner, don’t you think it’s important to dedicate that time to something else? Perhaps, maintaining your business, watching out for your employees, and thinking of the next best campaign that could boost your sales, right? In fact, in this day and age, 60% of UK businesses are struggling to shop around for energy due to the limited time they have in their hands.
Well, with the help of price comparison sites, you can find energy quotes in a matter of minutes. Now that’s quick! On top of that, it’s extremely easy to use, and you can score competitive rates from a wide range of energy suppliers in your area.
When comparing quotes, there are 2 things that you should keep a close eye on:
- Unit Prices: Unit Prices are the fee you must pay for every kWh of energy (both electricity and gas) you consume. It is priced in pence per kWh.
- Standing Charges: This is a fixed fee that is associated with installation, maintenance, and overall services and provisions by your supplier. Most energy plans include standing charges, but it still varies. Some set their standing charge to £0.
Comparing business energy quotes is the best and simplest way to stay afloat. Better Business Quotes is known for providing their clients with the best prices and unbiased deals available in every region! All you need is your postcode and you’re all set to find how much you could be saving on your business energy!
3. FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH YOUR HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM
Winter is coming, and we’re certain that your heaters will be on full blast. While staying in a warm environment can and will help you and your employees work much more efficiently, it’s good to make sure that you know how your heating system functions.
Take advantage of the timer function and adjust the temperature settings accordingly. Turning down your thermostat by 2-3 degrees can cut at least £150 on your energy bill! Most heating systems come with energy-saving settings. Look out for those as well.
Additionally, make sure your firm’s heating system is well-maintained to avoid any conflicts and disasters. We suggest sticking to a regular maintenance schedule if you have not yet. This can save you 10% on your business energy bills.
During hot days, however, defrost your A/C and clean its filters to get rid of all the dust. Doing so will promote better air circulation and you won’t have to blast your A/C on a full turbo.
4. TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR EQUIPMENT AND TURN THEM OFF WHEN NOT IN USE
This is a pretty self-explanatory advice. Leaving your office equipment plugged in for several hours when not in use can actually hike up your bill. On top of that, it’s just plain wasteful. So, make it a policy to switch off all equipment—that includes coffee machines, printers, kettles, and computers—when they are no longer in use.
At the end of each day, make sure everything is all switched off and unplugged before you and your employees head on home.
Leaving your office computer on 24/7 could cost around £50-60 a year.
My business has temporarily closed due to the pandemic. Do I still have to keep paying for my energy?
Unless you are currently on a no-standing charge tariff, you will still be billed whether your business premises is empty or temporarily closed.
If your firm is temporarily halted due to the ongoing pandemic, make sure that all your equipment is turned off and the main switches are all off as well. The cost of your bills should be cheaper, since no one will be using gas and/or energy, but switching everything off and unplugging all gadgets is good for extra measure.
If you think that your business will continue its operations, but only for limited days or shorter hours, we suggest switching to a new business energy tariff that might work better for your requirements. No-standing charge tariffs normally work better for instances like this.
More From Us:
- Everything You Need To Know About Your Business Energy Bill
- Smart Meters Are A Must Have For Small Businesses, here’s why
- 7 Energy Suppliers That Have Updated Their Prices in 2020
- How To Tell if Your Business Is Being Overcharged For Electricity (And What You Can Do About It)
- Climate Change Levy (CCL): What You Need to Know