When you’re running a business, you’ll need to keep costs down. This applies whether the business is a one-person start-up, or an established multinational. Among the more significant of your costs are those of gas and electricity. Many businesses end up paying over the odds, because they allow contracts to roll over, or because they don’t put adequate research into the problem to begin with.
Making the switch might plausibly save your business hundreds of pounds in a single year. But by what criteria do you choose an energy supplier? Let’s take a look at some key considerations.
Think About Tariff
Energy companies will offer you different sorts of tariff, and it’s important that you pick the one that best suits your needs. For many businesses, the fixed-rate tariff will be sufficient; it has the advantage of being predictable. Variable tariffs will fluctuate along with the wholesale price, making them a greater risk. Bear in mind that if you allow your tariff to roll over without renewing, then you’ll be charged higher ‘out of contract’ rates. Similarly, if you need to terminate your contract early, then you might be charged an early-termination fee.
Look for Green Suppliers
Environmental credentials are increasingly important to modern businesses. If you want to advertise yourself as a green business, it’s critical that you ensure that your suppliers are just as green as you are. In the UK, energy suppliers are legally obliged to tell you where your energy is coming from, in a percentage-based breakdown. Some suppliers are considerably greener than others, and even offer to plant trees on behalf of the customers each year.
A Reliable Customer Service
If you’re going to have to deal with your supplier, then it’s worth looking for one which offers excellent customer service. That way, when problems arise, you’ll have the security of knowing that someone will deal with it. Among the best ways to gauge the quality of customer service is through review services like Google Reviews and Trustpilot. Consumer groups like Citizens Advice also quantify performance in more objective ways. Always have a look at their social media and look at historical trends to see if you can spot any recurrent complaints.
If your business does well, then you might find yourself quickly having to deal with multiple sites. If you have all of them on different energy contracts, then you might quickly create an administrative nightmare. Moreover, if you were to consolidate them, you might get the leverage you need to negotiate a better deal.
Use A Comparison Site
Don’t be scared to use a comparison site if you want to. You wouldn’t buy a house without doing some research first, well the same goes for your energy supplier. Learn more about the rates, the different plans, terms and conditions, etc. Comparison sites also allow you to find the best deals within seconds, they’ll literally do all the research for you.
Contact An Energy Broker
Just like a mortgage broker, an energy broker will help you negotiate the best business energy contracts directly to the suppliers. Unbiased and with market knowledge, hiring an energy broker could the best way to find the right supplier for you and your business. Keep in mind that you will have to a pay a one-off fee when you sign up but it’s definitely worth it if you want to delegate the hard work to somebody else. In fact, according to a survey from Ofgem, 67% of business owners have used an energy broker to find their supplier.