This is a guest post by James from Power Experts
There are numerous small business owners out there who are unaware how they could save large amounts on their energy bills just by taking a few simple steps. There are a variety of things you can do to bring down your energy bills as a business. Here is a quick how-to guide to get you on your way:
To begin, have a thorough check through your business’ energy contract. If you have taken out a business contract, there is usually an 8-week (56 day) termination period before it expires. Failing to do this can lead to a price hike as high as 40% and the contract being automatically renewed. After you have submitted a formal notice of termination of your contract to your supplier and then received a signed confirmation and verification of termination on the expiry date, you can move onto the next step.
That’s when you begin gathering quotes from other suppliers. Most of them will bend over backwards to get you on board by offering you the best deal. It’s worth doing this during the summer months if possible as this is often the time when you can get the cheapest offers on electricity prices. Be sure to have a look at your current rates if you haven’t done so in a while. Prices are usually fixed, which means if the wholesale price of energy was to change, your business energy bill shouldn’t change. The result being that you will continue to pay less should the price of energy rise, but you could end up paying more if energy prices fall.
You may like to set aside an entire day when you get around to making these phone calls as business energy quotes are only valid on the day that you receive them. And don’t expect that your supplier will notify you of when your contract is due for expiration (and therefore when it will automatically renew) as they are unlikely to do so. The tip here is to be organized and prepared.
Call suppliers directly, and avoid price comparison websites. The websites have a fixed baseline for their lowest price deals, whereas staff in the call centre are authorized to give you a much better offer over the phone.
Alternate Ways to Save Money
When your business gas or electricity contract has reached its expiration date, or if you have just taken on a new tenancy, you will automatically be put onto ‘deemed rates’. These rates are excessively high. At this point you should phone around for some quotes as soon as you possible can as you will be able to bring the price down by as much as 70%. Also, paying by direct debit can save you an additional 2%. As well as that, if you pay by direct debit it can stake the strain off small businesses that may not have the time to waste by queuing up in a post office to pay the paper bill.
If you are a large energy user, check out group buying as it is a great way to save money. If need be, get some expert advice to help get you the best price. By buying from suppliers who only use renewable energy sources you are exempt from having to pay the Climate Change Levy (CCL). However, these tariffs may not be in a position to offer you the lowest rates for your business, so it is still worth calling the suppliers directly, or using a registered energy broker to get you the best possible deals.
James writes for PowerExperts.co.uk, providing honest, transparent advice about business energy.
Image by Kuwaiti Londoner