How Does a Business Energy Switch Work?
An important part of running a small business is managing your overheads – and one expense that all businesses have in common is energy. If you don't keep track of your energy contract, the unfortunate fact is that it's likely you'll find yourself paying unnecessarily expensive rates for your electricity and gas.
Switching to a better deal is a simple way to solve this issue, but many small business owners neglect to do so as they believe that it's a complex process – as a result, they're at risk of paying as much as 30% too much for their energy. To avoid this happening to your business, it’s important that you make the effort to properly manage your energy contracts.
The first step you can take is to improve your understanding of how the business energy switching process works, so you aren’t caught out when your contract comes to an end.
Renewal Window Open
Businesses are unable to apply for a new energy contract unless they are within their renewal window, so checking how much time you have remaining on your current deal is the first thing you should do. Typically, your renewal window will open six months prior to your contract end date, and your supplier should send correspondence to let you know your deal is close to expiring. However, it’s recommended that you also make a note of your contract end date in order to avoid being caught out.
Get New Quotes
Once you're within your switching window, you can begin approaching energy suppliers for quotes. It’s worth remembering that you will have to secure quotes for gas and electricity separately of each other, as you will have a specific deal for each – they can’t be supplied on the same contract.
In order to get the best deal on your energy, it’s recommended that you get quotes from a variety of suppliers to find the offer that's best suited to your business.
Decide Which Contract is Best for You
Once you have a range of quotes, it’s time to decide which one best suits your business’s needs. It’s important to note that there are a number of factors that you’ll need to consider before making your decision – and it's likely price will be chief among them. However, aspects such as customer service and your business's consumption habits may also influence which supplier you choose.
Agree the Contract
Once you have decided which deal best suits your business’s needs, it’s time to agree the contract. First, you will need to inform your current supplier of your intention to switch – typically this is done with a letter, although some brokers can do this on your behalf. Suppliers often require 30 days’ notice prior to a customer leaving, so it’s best to act as early as possible to avoid any delays.
Next, you will need to inform your new supplier that you’re accepting their contract offer – again this is usually done in writing or via a trustworthy broker.
Wait for the Switch to Take Effect
Once all suppliers have been informed of your intention to switch, all that’s left is to do is wait for the switch date. Providing your current supplier does not object, your new contract will commence automatically when your current one ends. There are a few reasons why a supplier may object to a business energy switch – for instance if the business’s account with the supplier is in debt.
Using a Broker
When switching energy contracts, many small business owners choose to use the services of a broker to save time and money.
After a short conversation about your business’s needs and consumption habits, a commercial energy broker can find the best gas and electricity contracts to meet your energy needs. Some trusted brokers can also help the switching process by liaising with suppliers on your behalf, and even inform you when it’s time to switch again.
The FSB has named Make It Cheaper as a trusted business energy broker to help its members switch and find a better deal for their business energy.
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