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Finding the right energy provider for your business

To help you run a strong, efficient and reliable business operation, your company should have a good energy supplier, providing you with affordable services to power your company successfully.

So what should you consider to help you find the right energy provider for your business? This blog aims to help.   

Finding the right energy provider for your business

Consider your business’s energy needs

When it comes to finding an energy supplier - like most things in business - a good place to start is to  assess your business needs.

It’s a good idea to think about things like:

  • Your finances – incomings and outgoings and the money you have available to pay bills and additional costs, like rising energy prices
  • The type of business you run – an IT company, a restaurant, or a manufacturing firm, for instance
  • How you will mainly use the energy provided – is it to power a major server and office of computers or run high-voltage machinery?
  • How often you need access to sufficient power – does your business operate only Mondays to Fridays on a 9am till 5pm basis, for instance, or are you open to the public every day?
  • Does your company have an environmentally friendly focus – are you looking to use renewable energy, such as wind or solar power, for instance?

Choosing a supplier with the right deal

A big part of finding the right energy supplier is finding one that can provide the right tariff and contract for your business.

There are different things to consider when finding the most suitable tariff and contract. This includes energy prices, how often they fluctuate, and how flexible your contract needs to be. Considering the points in the above section, like when and how you use energy most, can also help you find you the most cost-effective contract.

Also be clear in understanding exactly what different supplier tariffs include. For example, do monthly fees include charges for transmission and distribution or are these set as additional costs.  

You might also want to choose a supplier tariff that combines your gas and electricity payments, offering a dual package, rather than being charged  for them separately. Deals like this could save you money on your bills in the long run.

When it comes to energy contracts, there are different types on offer that can vary from supplier to supplier. They include:

Fixed term – You pay a set price until the end of a fixed term, such as 12 months. This provides you with protection against rising prices, but you may have to pay a fee if you leave before the contract ends.

Pass through contracts – The price you pay can vary as non-commodity prices rise and fall. However, this contract is usually only available to larger SMEs.

When entering into any type of contract, it’s important to be wary of roll-on contracts. These automatically renew, regardless of changes in energy prices. While energy suppliers should inform you before a contract is renewed, in a fast-paced business it can be easy to miss these notifications.

Shopping around and doing your research

It’s important to do your research and shop around  to find the best energy supplier. Consider comparing prices for electricity and gas, according to your needs, to see if you can find cheaper or more beneficial deals. It’s also a good idea to work out your annual savings and check how they will vary across different suppliers.

Some deals might offer benefits outside your business, like providing energy for your home, while others might offer advice in how to become more energy efficient. You can learn more about developing your business into an energy-efficient company in our blog, How can I make my business more energy-efficient?

When doing your research, it’s a good idea to contact energy suppliers to ask them about their offerings, and their approach to providing energy for businesses.

Checking for good customer service

Finding an energy supplier with a good track record of customer service is also wise when running a business. The day-to-day occurrences of a fast-paced company mean that you should have a service that is responsive. This includes getting back to you about general queries quickly, as well as dealing with issues that might temporarily harm your business operation, like a power outage.

It’s a good idea to look at whether a supplier has good experience in providing energy for businesses like yours, as well as taking into account reviews and service recommendations from  customers.

It’s worth speaking to suppliers to better understand their approach to customer service, and to get a snapshot of how responsive they are. The less time you spend managing your energy needs, the more time you can spend focussing on what matters – running your business.