Before you can start comparing offers from different business energy suppliers, it’s important to make sure you’re familiar with the rather particular features of a commercial energy tariff.
What’s the difference between domestic and business energy?
One of the most striking differences between domestic and business energy is the terms by which each set of customers are bound. Domestic customers can switch tariffs at any point during their contract, although they may be charged an early exit fee. On the other hand, as a business energy customer you won’t be able to change business energy suppliers until you’re within your renewal window. The renewal window typically comes into effect six months before the end of your current contract.
Another big difference is that while domestic customers can simply pick from a marketplace of defined energy tariffs, things are a little trickier for business energy customers. To change your company’s energy deal, you’ll need to approach each supplier individually for a bespoke quote. This gives businesses the advantage of securing deals that are tailored to their individual needs. The flip side is that this means it can be difficult to understand whether you’re being offered a competitive business energy deal or not. The best way to fully get to grips with the benefits and pitfalls of each deal is to compare them using an expert energy comparison site for business.
Do business energy tariffs offer a dual fuel option?
Business energy suppliers don’t package gas and electricity together. This means that you must get separate business energy quotes for each fuel and secure them under separate contracts.
What types of business energy tariff are available?
In general, there are five main types of energy contract available for businesses:
- Fixed term contracts - A fixed term contract allows you to secure a certain cost per unit (kWh) for your energy and lock it in for the duration of your contract. Your bill will still be affected by your level of usage – the more energy you use, the higher your bills will be.
- Variable-rate contracts - This means that your unit rates are linked to market activity and can increase and decrease throughout the duration of your contract adding an element of risk. The nature of these tariffs mean your bills could still increase, even if you’re using the same amount of energy. They could also go down, that’s the risk you need to weigh up.
- Deemed rate contracts - Deemed rate contracts are also commonly known as ‘out-of-contract’ tariffs. These are rolling contracts with expensive rates that are arranged by suppliers for customers with no formally agreed contract. This is usually one of the worst deals on the market and should be avoided.
- 28-Day contracts - This is a contract for businesses who haven’t switched since the energy market deregulation came into effect.
- Rollover contracts - A rollover contract is used when no alternative has been agreed before your current contract’s end date. You will automatically be signed up for another year and rates are usually among the supplier’s most expensive. Again, one to be avoided at all costs.
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