So, your business’ electricity contract is finally coming to an end and you’re about to embark on the seemingly arduous task of switching business electricity suppliers online.
Before you start googling away trying to find the best quote for your business it’s important to have a good idea of exactly what it is you’re looking for so you don’t end up trapped in a contract that’s less than ideal.
Here are five things to consider before making the switch.
How much electricity your business uses
When switching your business electricity supplier online, make sure you have a clear picture of how much electricity your business is currently consuming, as it can affect how much you end up paying with your new supplier.
What time of day or night your business consumes the most electricity can also affect costs. Imagine you run a social distanced silent disco in the evenings and on weekends to help stressed out work-from-homers let loose after a long, hard day.
On weekdays, your electricity usage will be far lower than it is when you’re running your disco. If you’re armed with this information when you’re making your switch, you might be offered a cheaper evening and weekend tariff.
Before you make the switch, make sure you talk to an expert to gain a more solid understanding of your business’ electrical needs. That way you won’t be distracted by sweet-sounding deals that leave you paying higher rates in the long run. Which is something else you need to consider before you switch your business to another electricity supplier…
The rates the supplier offers
There are two different rates that are added together to make up your final bill but if you’re not in the energy business and you don’t have time to analyse every bill, it can all start getting a little confusing.
Not to worry though, at Wildfire, we like to make things as simple as we can for readers, so we’ll give a quick run through on what electricity rates are so you can get the best deal for your business. Tips for finding a cheaper business electricity supplier.
A unit rate is the amount you pay per unit of electricity you use (calculated in pence per kilowatt hour. How much you pay changes depending on the amount of electricity your business consumes.
Let’s say our friends at the silent disco usually use smoke machines and flashing lights that consume a lot of electricity but then decide to tone it down once a week by using lightly scented candles instead to set the mood. Potential fire hazard aside, for that one week, they’ll be using less electricity than they usually do and thus their unit rate for that week will be lower.
Next we have standing charges
Your standing charge never changes no matter how much electricity to use and they are usually charged on a daily, monthly or quarterly basis, for example you could pay £2 a day or £60 a month.
Standing charges vary wildly between suppliers and some don’t offer them at all, so how can you use this information when switching suppliers?
This is where knowing how much electricity your business uses comes in handy. For example, if your business doesn’t use much electricity then you’ll want to choose a tariff that combines your per unit rate and standing charges in a way that reflects your business’ needs.
If you’re still a few months away from the end of your contact, then it’s a good idea to see if there are ways you can reduce your electricity consumption before you make the switch. If your business consumes a lot of energy, then why not book a free energy survey with us – we’ll visit your premises and offer advice on how your business can become more energy efficient helping you save more money on your business’ electricity bill.
And if you want to become a more energy efficient business, there’s another question you need to ask yourself before switching:
Find out about other customers’ experiences
We’ve all been there. Sitting on the phone for your entire lunch break, listening to the ‘I’m only human’ song playing in the background as you slowly make your way through the queue only for the line to mysteriously cut off the moment you finally get hold of an actual person.
No one wants to spend their free time on hold trying to sort out an issue that shouldn’t be happening in the first place, so make sure you read reviews on Trustpilot and other review sites to find out if there’s anything you need to be wary of with the supplier you’re thinking of switching to.
While online reviews aren’t always trustworthy, a quick tip is to read 3-star ratings which often give a more balanced picture of how well a supplier is doing in terms of customer service.
The fifth and final thing all businesses should consider before switching electricity suppliers is:
Using an energy broker
Okay, we’ll admit it, we’re a tiny bit biased when it comes to this point. That being said, if the idea of spending hours trawling through an endless list of quotes and punching numbers into a calculator sounds like hell on earth, then you should definitely give an energy broker a try.
Energy brokers take care of everything mentioned in this article and help to make the switching process simple and efficient. Wildfire’s switching service is completely free to use and we’re always happy to have a chat, if you’re feeling unsure about your next steps.