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Running a company means walking a tight line between incomings and outgoings. A typical business uses far more energy than the average household, and electricity and gas are essential expenditures that can take their toll on your company’s finances.To properly look after your company’s best interests, it’s important to compare business energy deals and be confident that you’re signed to the most competitive business energy suppliers. To do this, run a business energy comparison.

How is business energy different from household energy?

Business energy and household energy are different beasts. While households don’t differ much when it comes to the energy they use, businesses have vastly differing power needs. These differences can make running a business energy price comparison a little complicated.


Tariffs: to reflect the individual nature of each business, commercial gas and business electricity quotes are designed on a bespoke basis. While domestic energy customers can choose from a range of premade tariffs online, commercial energy consumers must run a business energy comparison. This entails contacting business energy suppliers directly for tailor-made commercial gas and business electricity quotes.


Cheaper energy: whereas domestic energy suppliers buy energy on a monthly basis, business energy suppliers buy energy in bulk for the duration of a company’s contract. This makes commercial energy cheaper. What’s more due to the size of their purchases, big businesses have bargaining power that can help secure them cheaper commercial gas and business electricity quotes. On the other hand, businesses must pay VAT and the Climate Change Levy unlike households.


Negotiation: while negotiation on domestic energy contracts is strictly against Ofgem’s rules, business energy customers can bargain with commercial electricity and business gas suppliers.


Dual fuel: unlike households, businesses can’t avail of combined electricity and gas contracts. However, if you choose to go with the same business energy supplier for both fuels, you may get a discount. It’s important to take this into account when running a business energy price comparison.


Contract length: business energy contracts typically last for five years or so, far longer than domestic energy contracts. Lengthy contracts mean cheaper unit prices but higher standing charges, and they also mean you’ll have to wait longer to run a business energy price comparison. Business energy customers must wait until their ‘renewal window’ comes up, typically three to six months before contract expiry, to run a business energy comparison and switch deals. Commercial electricity and business gas suppliers also don’t offer cooling-off periods so it’s important to thoroughly conduct a commercial gas and business electricity comparison and to read the terms and conditions of contracts before signing.

What if you run a micro business?

The European Commission classes microbusinesses as ventures with less than 10 employees, a turnover of less than €2 million and an annual energy usage of less than 200,000 kWh of gas or 55,000 kWh of electricity.


Ofgem rules designed to protect microbusinesses make it easier for them to compare business energy quotes and switch commercial electricity and business gas suppliers. Microbusiness energy contracts allow for cooling-off periods as well as reduced notice lengths of 30 days to facilitate commercial gas and business electricity comparisons and switching. Commercial electricity and business gas suppliers are also obliged to get in touch with microbusinesses 60 days before their energy contract is due to expire and to let them know how much energy they use each year and how their deal compares with any new offers. This makes it easier for them to conduct commercial gas and business electricity comparisons.


Do you need a business energy contract if you work from home?

If you work from home as a sole trader, you may be eligible for a business energy deal. While you don’t need to sign a business contract, doing so means you can take advantage of cheaper business rates by running a commercial gas and business electricity comparison.


To qualify for a commercial business contract, you’ll need to prove that you work from home and that more than half of the energy you use is for business use. This might sound like a lot, but just using heating and lighting while conducting your business may take you over the threshold. You’ll have to deduct any power used by appliances that would be on regardless of your business, such as fridges and freezers.


How to compare business energy quotes

If you work from home as a sole trader, you may be eligible for a business energy deal. While you don’t need to sign a business contract, doing so means you can take advantage of cheaper business rates by running a commercial gas and business electricity comparison.


To qualify for a commercial business contract, you’ll need to prove that you work from home and that more than half of the energy you use is for business use. This might sound like a lot, but just using heating and lighting while conducting your business may take you over the threshold. You’ll have to deduct any power used by appliances that would be on regardless of your business, such as fridges and freezers.


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