The average business uses a lot more energy than the average household so it’s important that they have more control over how they are charged. To reflect this, business energy tariffs are designed with the individual needs of the companies they serve in mind.
If you compare business energy rates and suppliers, there are two main contracts that you’ll be offered, a fixed or a flexible-rate tariff. Both types of tariff relate to your unit cost and both have their benefits and disadvantages. It’s important to thoroughly compare commercial energy tariffs before making a decision.
Fixed-rate contracts are the most common type of business energy tariffs. These set the cost that you pay per unit kWh of energy for the duration of your contract. Fixed-term business energy best rates provide a measure of security as the amount you pay should remain stable allowing you to estimate in advance how much you have to pay each month.
The total you’ll pay will still rise and fall depending on how much energy you use in each billing period. While this will protect your business from rising energy costs, if prices fall, you won’t be able to take advantage of cheaper rates.
Fixed-rate business energy tariffs usually charge large penalty fees to end contracts early. Compare business electricity tariffs and gas deals from as many suppliers as you can to make sure you get a favourable deal with business energy best rates.
Flexible-rate contracts, also known as variable-rate contracts, link your unit rate to market activity. This means that it can increase and decrease throughout your contract.
Temperatures, supply and demand and weather conditions can all affect variable business energy tariffs. Flexible rate contracts can make it more difficult to calculate your bills through usage but you’ll be able to take advantage of business energy best rates when there are dips in the market price.
Flexible-rate tariffs involve a level of risk, so it’s important to assess whether your business’s finances are strong enough to weather rate rises. To properly understand what’s available, compare commercial energy tariffs for both fixed and variable contracts.
Alongside fixed and flexible-rate tariffs, there are several other types of business energy tariff but these are generally not considered to offer the business energy best rates.
A deemed-rate contract, also known as an out-of-contract tariff, is a rolling tariff arranged by suppliers for customers with no formally agreed contract. These are expensive rates so it’s important to compare business energy rates and switch to a better deal as soon as you can.
Rollover contracts occur if a business fails to arrange a new deal when its contract comes to an end. In this case, the supplier will automatically sign you up for another year, and the rates you’ll be charged will be among the supplier’s most expensive. You will have to wait until your switching window comes up again before you can compare business energy rates and switch.
When your business energy contract is about to expire, your supplier will offer you a new deal in writing. These deals are rarely competitive and it’s a good opportunity to compare business energy rates. If you don’t formally accept this deal or sign a new deal with another supplier, you’ll be moved to your supplier’s expensive out-of-contract rates. To avoid this happening, follow these steps to compare business electricity tariffs and gas deals and switch before your contract expires:
Six months before the contract end date - this is a good time to compare business electricity tariffs and gas deals from different suppliers. Once you find a deal you’re happy with, inform your current supplier and the switch will happen automatically when your present contract expires.
60-120 days before the contract end date - if you haven’t already agreed a new deal by this stage, your supplier will send you a Statement of Renewal outlining their new contract offer. These usually aren’t competitive rates so don’t accept it and instead use it as a reference point to compare business electricity tariffs and gas deals.
After your contract ends - you’ll be asked to give your supplier a final meter reading so they can issue you a final bill. If you haven’t organised a new deal, you’ll be put on an expensive rollover contract, or deemed rates, depending on your circumstances and your supplier.
Give the Confused.com business energy experts a call on 0800 158 5296, and we’ll compare commercial energy tariffs to find you a great new deal. Or, if you’d prefer, click ‘GET AN ENERGY QUOTE’ at the top of the page, and we’ll call you back.