Business Energy Comparison
The expert guide: ensure your business has the
best energy provider to fulfil your needs
The complete business energy comparison guide
UK businesses currently boast the overall lowest energy prices throughout Western Europe, but if you made a business energy comparison, would you be confident you’d find that you’re on the most cost-effective tariff for your business?
Of course, energy prices rise and change continually too, so you may have been with the most suitable supplier 12 months ago, but now, you may stand to reduce costs considerably by switching.
Subject to your contract, you have the right to change your energy supplier whenever you want, so keeping an eye on the changes in energy supplier tariffs could save your business a lot of money.
That’s where Expert Comparison comes in. We answer any energy comparison questions you may have, such as ‘who is the cheapest business energy supplier?’ and ‘how much should I pay per kWh?’.
With the Expert Comparison business energy comparisons, you can find out the average cost of energy, how much you should be paying, and who the best business energy supplier is for your company.
Why choose Expert Comparison for your business energy comparison?
Our business energy comparison services make finding the perfect deal for your company easy. You don’t need to research all the facts and figures to discover which energy provider is best for your business. We do it all for you. Our comprehensive comparisons and guides include finding the latest updates and the best business energy deals for you. We answer the questions you want the answers to most.
Easily find the answers to the questions that matter, and much, much, more:
- Are business electricity rates cheaper than domestic?
- How much does electricity cost per month for a business?
- What is the average cost of energy for a small business?
- Who is the best business energy supplier?
- Who is the cheapest business energy supplier?
- Comparing the top six business energy suppliers
- The best independent business energy suppliers
And our guides and comparisons are straightforward and impartial. We appreciate how hard it is to find genuinely valuable information when you’re busy. That’s why our experts are dedicated to providing you with the best business energy comparisons so that you can be sure you’ll get the energy deal that’s right for your company.
Are business electricity rates cheaper than domestic?
When comparing average unit rates, businesses typically use a lot more energy than domestic residences. In fact, the average small business spends over £12,000 on electricity and over £7,000 on gas per year.
That’s a lot of expenditure, so if you’re paying more, you should compare business energy suppliers to see how much you could save.
You should also take into consideration VAT and the Climate Change Levy (CCL). For a domestic energy tariff, you’ll only pay five per cent VAT on your energy, while businesses typically pay 20 per cent.
For businesses, the current CCL rate is 0.541p per kWh for electricity and 0.188p per kWh for gas.
If you’re working from home, there are a number of factors you should consider, many of which you can benefit from when you choose a business energy tariff over a domestic energy tariff:
- A cheaper business ‘profile’
There’s no need to install a new meter when you switch to a business energy tariff, but your meter will be given a new ‘profile’. This will assess your consumption differently than a normal household energy tariff. That’s good news for your expenditure as the profile will assume you use more energy in the day – when it’s cheaper.
- Fixed tariffs and flexibility
Tariffs from business energy suppliers are usually fixed price. This means you can pay the same rate from the start to the end of the contract. And this doesn’t mean you have to be tied into a long contract – business energy supplier contracts can be anything from one month to five years. This can help with your budgeting and helps protect you from price rises.
- Energy usage and business status
If you want to switch to a business tariff, you need to be using about 50 per cent of the energy in your home for business purposes. And you need to be a registered business. Proof you’ll need to provide to a business energy supplier may be as simple as a business rates document or even your website or a compliment slip.
How much does electricity cost per month for a business?
When measuring how much you should be paying for electricity from your business energy supplier, you should assess the price per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
For SMEs, recent rates have varied from 13.2p to 16.7p plus VAT for unit prices per kWh. A standing charge is also added.
What is the average cost of energy for a small business?
As well as comparing electric usage for your business, it’s a good idea to look at the typical overall energy you’re likely to be using, and how much it will cost.
If you’re paying too much for business energy, you could save hundreds of pounds by switching. But before selecting the right energy supplier for your business, it’s best to look at the averages for companies of similar size.
Here, we compare business energy costs for small businesses to large businesses.
Find the average electricity usage and bill relevant to your business size in the table below. Prices may vary according to your meter type and location.
BEWARE OF THE CONTRACTUAL TERM
When choosing your business energy supplier, you’ll probably be offered a fixed price for a fixed term – how most business energy prices are calculated. As wholesale prices are likely to fluctuate, it may benefit you to try to negotiate for a one-year contract. This means, if you spot an energy deal that’s better than your current provider offers, getting out of your contract to switch will be much less difficult.
Some tariffs come with a standing charge while others have a split tariff where the initial units are charged at a higher rate. Whether or not a standing charge applies to you will depend on the amount of electric consumption you have per month.But not all companies need business internet. And it doesn’t just depend on your business size, it could be the type of work you do.
The big six energy suppliers
Who is the best business energy supplier?
Although there are currently over 50 business energy suppliers in the UK, most company’s choose one of the big six as their supplier of choice. Undoubtedly, a big part of this is opting for a trusted and well-reviewed brand. However, although there are obvious benefits to choosing one of the big six, it’s always worth comparing them against some of the other energy providers in the UK who may be able to give you a more personal service and even lower costs.
Here, we’ve listed some of the main benefits of the big six business energy providers as well as some of the independent, smaller energy suppliers.
Smaller Energy Suppliers
- Dual fuel supplier
- Get up to £200 when you switch
- Also offers phone and broadband
United Gas & Power UGP
- Some contracts with no standing charge
- Dual fuel discounts
- Dedicated account manager
- Competitive tariffs for gas and electric
- Optional independent, outsourced bill validation service
- Offers base tariffs that are within the top 10 UK cheapest tariffs
- Up to three-year fixed-price electricity contracts
- Budget plans offering fixed monthly payments
- Free smart meters
- Award-winning business-only electricity and gas supplier
- Dedicated rebates team for charities
- Assists with renewable energy, with a focus on biomass
Who is the cheapest business energy supplier?
So, let’s get down to cost – who is the cheapest energy supplier? After all, reducing your cost is probably what you’re here for.
Customer service is also important, so we’ve included the consumer rating (calculated by combining the Which? consumer rating and Trustpilot score), and you can also see the time taken to speak to customer services over the phone for each of the energy suppliers.
As well as comparing the big six energy suppliers for cost, we’ve also looked at some of the cheapest independent business energy suppliers.
The big six business energy suppliers' rates
This graph shows the cost of electric for a small business which is out of contract in 2019.
This graph shows the cost of electricity based on usage of 20,000 kWh/year.
This graph shows the cost of gas for a small company that is out of contract in 2019.
Comparing the top six business energy providers customer service
This graph shows the average time a business customer has to wait to speak to customer services in 2019.
The best independent business energy suppliers
For decades, the big six monopolised the market, with customers automatically assuming they offer the most competitive deals. But that was not always the case, and it certainly isn’t now with the emergence of some genuine independent rival business energy suppliers. And these new energy companies are finding it easier to connect with a public that is increasingly savvy, and increasingly dismayed by the big corporate energy companies.
Since 2005, the big six have enjoyed between 10 and 30 per cent of the electric market each. But although independent energy suppliers were almost non-existent in terms of market-share around 2005, over the years they have grown to take just under 20 per cent for themselves combined.
A similar trend is evident with gas (although British Gas had over 55 per cent in 2005, steadily dropping to just over 30 per cent in the last couple of years).
Independent business energy suppliers don’t have the stature any of the big six can boast, which is why the focus their efforts on making sure their service is the best and cheapest it can be.
Bulb’s customer service is as impressive as its low prices and green focus. Here is a business energy provider that is intent on providing a simple, straightforward and transparent service. Their Trustpilot score says it all – 9.8!
Sample small business electricity quote: £2,120.01/year
Affect Energy provides business energy services that are straightforward and great value for money. As well as an exceptional Trustpilot score, Affect Energy won a commended award for energy provider of the year at the Moneyfacts Consumer Awards 2018.
Sample small business electricity quote: £2,120.01/year
SO Energy is one of the business energy suppliers that offer the ‘Energy Switch Guarantee’, which prioritises a hassle-free switch from your previous energy supplier. And SO guarantees this process takes no longer than five minutes.
Sample small business electricity quote: £2,460.00/year
Not only is D-Energi one of the best business energy suppliers for customer service and being green, they offer some competitive prices too. On top of a great deal for new customers, D-Energi is committed to offering equally competitive rates to their existing customers.
Sample small business electricity quote: £2,390.13/year
This graph shows the cheapest independent business energy suppliers in 2019.
Choosing the right business energy supplier
As utilities are a significant part of your overheads, in order to minimise cost, choosing the best energy supplier for your gas and electricity needs is vital. Make a smart choice and you also stand to reduce the valuable time you spend on the phone, dealing with issues and troubleshooting.
With Expert Comparison, choosing a business energy provider doesn’t need to be the gruelling process it once was. We provide you with relevant, impartial tips and guidance to help you make the best decisions for your business.
The prices above are only estimates, and rates will vary depending on region, supplier, usage, contract length and meter type. But they should give you the guidance and platform you need in order to help make an informed choice when selecting the business energy supplier that’s right for your company.