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Comparing large business energy plans

If you run a large business or one that uses a lot of energy, then you'll need more than a simple comparison and switching service. Our energy experts offer useful market insights, bespoke procurement services, and much more to make sure your business gets the best energy deal with the right supplier.

3 min read

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Is your business classed as a large business?

If your business consumes more than 55,000 kWh in electricity or 200,000 kWh in gas per year, then it’s classed as a large business in energy supply terms. The good news is that big companies are usually offered unique large business energy plans and meters to help them manage such large business energy supplies.

What large business energy plans are available?

Depending on your circumstances, there are a number of different contracts that large business energy customers can sign up to:

  1. Fixed contracts – These are particularly good for new and small business customers who need the security of knowing how much they will pay for their energy in each billing period.
  2. Flexible rate contracts – This contract is a better choice for businesses who aren’t averse to a small amount of risk so that they can benefit from electricity and gas price fluctuations on the wholesale market.
  3. Large site peak day demand contracts – These limit the amount of energy that your business can receive each day. It’s a good choice for businesses that want to reduce the energy they consume, so long as they’re aware that exceeding the defined limit can result in heavy fines.
  4. Uninterruptible contracts – This type of contract is only offered to large business energy customers. It allows you to pay less per unit for energy in return for letting the National Grid temporarily cut your supply during periods of high demand.

Do you need a large business energy meter?

Along with comparing large business energy offers, there are several different types of meters that you can install to help you manage your company’s consumption:

  1. Half hourly meters – A half hourly meter automatically provides your supplier with readings every 30 minutes for more accurate billing.
  2. Multi-site meters – A supplier can cater for businesses that operate from multiple different locations by providing one large business energy plan to cover all of their meters.
  3. Multi-rate meters – This allows a customer to be charged multiple different energy rates, such as one rate for the daytime and another, usually cheaper rate during the evening.

What is P272?

P272 is a mandatory change that was introduced by Ofgem, the energy regulator, to the way AMR (Automated Meter Readings) are collected. If you have an AMR meter with a profile class of 05-08, your readings will be taken every half an hour to ensure your bills are more accurate.

To find out if your meter is affected, check the S number on your Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN) - if this is 05, 06, 07 or 08 it will be changed to class 00 and your meter readings will be automatically taken every half an hour. This means you’ll be billed on actual meter readings so your business energy bills will become more accurate.

As you’ll be on a half-hourly contract, you’ll need a Meter Operator (MOP) Contract, to ensure your readings are collected and sent to your supplier. To find out more, give our energy experts a call on 0800 188 4930, or get in touch with your supplier.

How to cut your business energy bills

Here are some ways that you can reduce what your business spends on energy:

Switch to a better business energy deal

Ultimately, the best way to reduce the amount that your business is spending on energy is to switch large business energy plans regularly. A large business energy broker such as USwitch for Business can help when it’s time to compare energy deals and advise you on the deal that best suits your company’s needs.

Improve your business energy efficiency

Another way to lower your energy bills is to make some changes around your business’s premises:

  1. Lighting – Maximise the use of natural lighting, install dimmer switches and motion sensors, and replace standard lighting with energy-efficient alternatives.
  2. Heating and cooling – Taking measures to control the temperature in your business premises is another way to help reduce how much you’re spending on energy. Try installing draft excluders and overhead door closers to help maintain the temperature within frequently inhabited areas.
  3. Refrigeration – If your business operations rely on refrigeration, you’ll need to conduct regular maintenance to avoid wasting energy. This includes checking refrigerator seals and temperature settings and regularly defrosting your freezers.
  4. Technology – When it comes to energy efficiency, technology is moving quickly. Updating your appliances to more modern, energy-efficient models will require some upfront investment, but in the long run, your business will benefit financially.

How does the Climate Change Levy affect your business energy bills?

The Climate Change-Levy (CCL) is a charge introduced by the government for all businesses that consume over 33000 kWh worth of energy per day. If you would like to reduce the amount that you pay in CCL, then you can sign up for a government Climate Change Agreement (CCA) which can bring down your payments by up to 90%. The CCA is a government agreement that outlines:

  1. The ways that you’ll reduce the amount of energy that your business uses
  2. The methods that you intend to use to make your business more energy efficient

Another option is to power as much of your business as possible from renewable sources as these are exempt from the CCL charge.

For more information on how you can save on your business’s overheads, contact USwitch for Business on 0800 188 4930. Our savings experts can help gather and compare large business energy quotes quickly from a wide variety of suppliers. We can then advise you on which tariff and meter best meet the needs of your business.

Is your business classed as a large business?
What large business energy plans are available?
Do you need a large business energy meter?
What is P272?
How to cut your business energy bills

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