Been thinking about switching energy suppliers? No? Well, I can’t pretend I’m surprised. But that’s how they get you! A big reason why most businesses overpay on their energy bills is precisely that no one can ever be bothered to find out if they could be paying less. This is not a dig at you, the business owner, you have other things to be doing – like running a business. But, as Energy Brokers, this is our business, so sit back for a second while we take the wheel.
Time is money, right? Or more accurately, timing is money. The most important factor in saving is not to waste time and end up having to plump for the expensive scraps once everyone else has snapped up the best deals. Don’t leave switching until the last minute.
Essentially here are all the times you need to switch energy provider:
- Switch often (every 12-18 months)
- Switch before winter
- Switch before a price surge
- Switch when your contract runs out
As a general rule, you should consider switching your energy contract every 12-18 months, or whenever the deal you’re currently on comes to an end. This is just so it becomes part of your yearly routine. Like stretching, it all seems fine to just leave it for a bit without checking in, until you wake up one day and realise you haven’t checked in for 5 years now, you cant touch your toes, and you are in danger of drifting into an overdraft.
Haven’t switched in a while?
Once an energy tariff elapses – they usually last no longer than 12 months – your supplier will automatically place you onto its standard plan. Yep, you’ve guessed it, this is going to be way more expensive. Don’t be the complacent guy that falls into this trap. But this also means you can make significant savings by switching to a deal with a more competitive rate.
It is always worth comparing prices, even if you don’t need to/ want to switch right now. Again, its just good practice to be in the know.
You may have heard of the Big Six? The mafia of Gas suppliers all likes to slap about their dominance by rising and dropping their prices. Like synchronised swimmers, when one of these companies pushes its prices up, the rest are never far behind. So, the best time to switch is when one of them goes for the plunge.
To avoid paying the newer, inflated prices, try and switch to a fixed-rate plan before the price hikes kick in, or as soon as possible after the increases are announced.
And remember to be aware that fixed-rate tariffs at pre-price-rise rates usually have a set capacity, which limits the number of customers that can benefit before the supplier removes the tariff from the market. Once the tariff hits the capacity, it will be replaced with a more expensive, alternative plan.
As you can imagine, there are a lot of other people who will be looking to sign up for the best deal, so these tariffs will be hot property once the new prices are announced. You can read more about fixed-rate tariffs and compare the current leading tariffs in our guide
Before winter arrives
The best time to switch is usually in October, just before winter arrives. Everything is getting colder, and darker, so you will defiantly be needing more electricity to heat your business premises. Especially if your business happens to sell pumpkin spice lattes. That coffee machine is not going to run itself! That is why making the switch before the cold sets in will help you to spend less at a time when you’ll be using more.
In terms of how we can make this easier for you, our job is to do all this research and keep tabs on everything for you. It takes about 3 weeks to change electricity or gas supplier if you are a new business just moving into a shop/office. So its defiantly worth responding quickly when your contract runs out, or when winter rears its ugly head.
Keep in mind
It’s also worth noting that, companies that are already in a contract can only change at the end of the contract, not before. Therefore, the second that you get that letter through the door saying your contract is due for renewal, call us!
Before you do call though, its an idea to remember what kind of contract you have, so we can sort you out the best deal.
|Fixed term||This type of contract will charge you a set price per unit (kWh) for the duration of your contract. This does not mean that the total amount you pay each month will be fixed, but that the price per unit will not change. This amount at the end of the month will still vary depending on your consumption.|
|Variable-rate||This type of contract will charge you a unit rate (kWh) that is based on the wholesale market price. Your energy bill will increase and decrease depending on price fluctuations.|
|Deemed rate||This type of contract will take effect if you allow your current contract to lapse without negotiating a new deal or switching providers. If this happens, you will automatically be placed on this rolling contract which is often a commercial suppliers’ most expensive rate.|
|Rollover||This contract type is used just before your expiration date when you haven’t agreed to new terms with your current supplier. Expect that unit rates will be expensive on this.|
|28 day||This is for businesses that have not switched their contract type since the energy market was deregulated.|
So if any of this is sounding daunting, don’t even worry about it. We have your back, and we have the solution! (see what I did there?)