How to switch your business energy supply
Switching to a new energy deal for your business can be a great way to save money - and it’s easier than you might think.
Here we answer all the important questions about switching your supply.
What's the difference between switching domestic and business energy supplies?
It's easier than ever to switch home energy suppliers, and business energy isn’t far behind. There are just a few key differences to be aware of:
When can I leave?
Home: At any time, but you may incur an exit fee if you’re on a fixed rate tariff.
Business: You can’t switch to another supplier before your existing fixed term contract comes to an end. You can seek prices from your existing supplier and other suppliers at any time.
Who contacts my previous supplier?
Home: The new supplier handles this.
Business: You must inform your previous supplier of your intention to switch by issuing a notification of termination. This can be served between 28 days and three months prior to the end of your current contract.
How long does a switch take?
Home: It should take no longer than 17 days (that includes a 14-day cooling-off period).
Business: It should take no longer than 28 days, providing you have given a termination notice to your previous supplier.
Can I get a dual fuel contract?
Business: No. You will need to secure separate contracts for business gas and business electricity.
How can I get a quote/make a switch?
Engage directly with a supplier.
We offer a dedicated phone line for business customers – 0808 168 3888 (option 1 for sales) – managed by our friendly and knowledgeable team in Bristol.
You can also speak to us in person via our unique customer service point, located on Bristol’s Harbourside.
Appoint an energy broker / Third Party Intermediary to procure energy on your behalf. This needs to be done through a signed letter of authority.
If you’re an SME you can utilise a business price comparison website to compare quotes from across the market. You can often complete the switch directly through the comparison site.
What information do I need to get a quote and switch?
All you need is the following:
• Your business name and supply address
• Your contract end date. It is important for a new supplier to know this to be able to calculate prices correctly.
• Your MPAN/MPRN (the identifying numbers for your electricity and gas meters).
• Your annual consumption. This is to give the supplier an idea of how much gas and/or electricity you use per year.
All the information you need can be found on a recent business gas and/or electricity bill.
If you’d like a quote from Bristol Energy, you can simply send a copy (or a photo) of a recent bill to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll prepare a quote for you and get back in touch.
How much should I be paying? / How do I know what’s a good deal?
The gas and electricity wholesale markets are very volatile and prices can vary significantly within a short period of time. With this in mind, the advice is to shop around, but be aware that the market could go up or down while you’re shopping!
Compare the standing charges, unit rates and actual total annual cost to understand how the deals stack up. It is not recommended to look at the standing charges or unit rates in isolation because they may be misleading to the overall amount your business will pay.
And remember, price isn’t necessarily everything. Suppliers offer various billing and servicing options, so make sure you check a supplier can fully satisfy the needs of your business.
What about renewable energy?
Although the actual electricity supplied to your business premises will be exactly the same, an increasing number of business energy suppliers are now offering green or renewable energy tariffs. These tariffs come with a guarantee that for every unit of energy you use, the supplier will ensure the same amount is returned to the grid from a renewable source.
While renewable tariffs can be more expensive than a standard, fixed rate tariff, choosing a renewable tariff can be a simple way to showcase to your customers the value your business places on sustainability.
By switching to Bristol Energy’s 100% renewable tariff, you’ll not only be doing good for the environment, but you’ll be supporting local communities too.
My business has just relocated, do I need to switch?
Yes, absolutely! Unless you have signed a new contract for your new premises, you’re likely to be on a “deemed” or “out of contract” tariff which can be as much as 80% higher than negotiated rates (Ofgem). If this is the case, arranging an energy contract should be a priority upon moving into the new premises to ensure you don’t get caught out over paying.
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