No Nonsense Guides

When to Get a Quote?

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

Why?

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.

Rising prices

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.

Our timing

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.

Contract types:

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?)

Call Energy Solutions to sort out your quote next time your renewal rolls around.

What are Gas Renewals? Why do they matter?

Yet another letter through the door with a scary notice saying something you don’t understand or know how to deal with. This time it’s not a bill, it’s a gas renewal? If you are struggling to remember how you dealt with this last year, or if you have never done it before, don’t worry, the answers are all here.

First answer is, yes, as annoying as it is, you may have to spend a weekday evening sorting this out properly if you don’t want to get ripped off (there is serious danger of being high key ripped off with this one!).
If that sounds like a living hell, click here to find people who can help you out or just do this for you.

Want to deal with it yourself? Okay here we go!

So, what are gas renewals?

A ha! I’m finally answering the question I promised I would!
Most businesses are on contracts for their gas that last a year and then roll over to the next year if not renewed. So, when you get that letter through the door telling you that your contract is up for renewal, you don’t need to panic, it will just roll over to the next year and you can just carry on as you always have done without any problem whatsoever! You can just forget this whole thing and carry on paying your bills.

But here is the catch: you will end up paying a lot more.

Why is this?

Without a renewed (and agreed upon!) contract, the company charges you a premium to cover your usage. Yep, you guessed it, premiums cost more, and like all things that cost more they have fun little names to distract you; for example, EDF’s is called “Variable Price Plan”. Although according to Which, British Gas is the most expensive.

Your gas provider will have to warn you (on average 90-70 days in advance) that your contract is up for renewal.

You can stick with them or you can switch to someone else.

If you switch to a different provider you will have to pay any outstanding bills (unavoidable, sorry!).

Do you have time to comb through every single gas supplier out there and compare prices for your business? If you don’t click here.

If you do, just remember, it’s not only the prices you need to check against each other. You should also be aware of how good the customer service is from each provider. It’s all well and good feeling smug about the extra pennies you’re saving until your boiler breaks, your gas provider is nowhere to be seen and you have to shut business until they show their faces.

Don’t think you can stop at Trustpilot though! Check those staff reviews on Glassdoor too. If you are a business owner, you’ll know that staff who are treated right do their job well. Why do you think Amazon has such a quick staff turnover?

Sound like a lot of work to do just for gas? Remember there’s the electricity to sort out too! Seriously, get some help with this, because even after you put all this work in, it’s still likely that you could end up picking something that won’t work for you for a whole year (maybe more if you forget to sort this out next year!)

If you need help with this, trust us, this is our job.

If you’re looking for quick answers to some FAQ’s, have a look down here:

  • Is it worth fixing your energy prices?

Be aware though that if energy prices rise over the next few years, you could end up switching to a pricier deal when your short fix ends. The less likely you are to switch, the more you should consider a long fix. You may not get quite such a good rate, but it’ll stay relatively cheap, even if you’re inactive.

  • How long does a gas safe qualification last?

12 months

Once you’re Gas Safe registered, it lasts 12 months – so you’ll need to renew one year from the date you registered. All the current fees for registration and renewals are available on our website.

  • How much does it cost to be Gas Safe registered?

You can apply for registration easily online or alternatively you can download a registration form. The cost of a new application is £347 plus VAT. This includes one engineer and registration fees for one year.

  • How do I renew my Gas Safe registration?

If you need to renew your registration with Gas Safe Register you will need to login to your online account and click on ‘Renew’ in the Account Management menu.

  • How do I check if a plumber is Gas Safe registered?

To check if an individual engineer is currently Gas Safe registered you will need to know their unique 7-digit licence number. You will find this on the engineer’s Gas Safe ID card. Please note that we issue engineers with a new ID card annually, and each new card will have a different licence number.

  • How do I get on the Gas Safe Register?

How to become Gas Safe

  1. Undertake an Accredited Certification Scheme (ACS) training & Assessment.
  2. Complete an on-site portfolio of gas work.
  3. Obtain a CCN1 qualification.
  4. Register with Gas Safe Register.

What are Electricity Renewals? Why do they matter?

An electricity renewal is when your contract is coming to an end and you are given the opportunity to switch.

It’s very important to keep an eye on that letter through your door telling you when your contract is up for renewal because energy companies have a few little loopholes to keep you on a contract that might not necessarily be the one best suited to your business. Getting things sorted quickly is the only real way to save the extra pounds you need.
And by the way – this isn’t just a little extra cash; automatically renewed contracts can have a tariff that’s up to 80% higher!

It’s not just saving money that’s important here. Being with an energy provider that has good customer service is essential. You don’t want to be kept waiting or messed about when it’s on your businesses time (and therefore money. Always comes back to bite your wallet in the end!).

Most electricity companies (I’m looking at you EDF) will advertise that you’re able to switch “free of charge” and “with our business plan, you will be warned 90 days before your contract ends”. Now, these things are true, but they are also obligated by law to provide this. It’s like low-calorie ice cream pretending it has more protein than regular ice cream, by simply advertising the existence of proteins present in the milk.

As mentioned before, when it comes to energy for business, it’s all about the timing. According to Ofgem, it can take up to 2 to 3 weeks to renew – so do it fast.
Also, businesses aren’t afforded the 14-day cooling-off period that domestic customers are given, so you have to do your research in advance to make sure you are getting the right deal.

Reasons you won’t be allowed to switch are:

  • They can decline to let you switch if you are still in a contract with them
  • They can decline to let you switch if you are in debt to them
  • You can’t change business electricity supplier until your contract is in the ‘switching window’. This is normally between one and six months before the end date.

What about micro-businesses?

Things are more complicated for small businesses (aren’t they always?). The maximum notice period for terminating a business energy contract has now been reduced from 90 days to 30 days for micro-businesses. However, in your favour – suppliers will also be required to provide micro-businesses with information on how much energy they use and how their new price will compare with their previous deal.

To be classed a micro-business, a customer must one of the following criteria:

  • Have fewer than 10 employees
  • Consume less than 55,00 kWh of electricity a year
  • Consume less than 200,000 kWh of gas a year

Just check to see if your small business actually does meet these stipulations because: suppliers are still not required to provide larger businesses with a renewal letter, so you could be rolled over without even being told first if you have 11 employees! If you don’t meet the micro-business requirement, it’s vital to be aware of when your contract is coming to end.

Frequently asked Questions

  1. What is the best month to renew electricity?

Annoyingly, the best time within your contract to switch your energy deal is when you no longer have to pay early exit fees – which means you actually have to go and check out when that is, as it varies from supplier to supplier. The amount of time it takes to switch supplier varies, and you could end up paying a few days or weeks’ worths of standard variable tariff fees. The process could take up to a month to complete, even with the Energy Switch Guarantee which states that switches should take place within 21 days.
You are entitled to switch to a new deal or supplier from 49 days before the end of their contract, this is because Ofgem states that exit fees should not be applicable to switches from a fixed-term tariff within that window.

You can keep track of these dates yourself, but suppliers (or price comparison websites, if that’s how you switched) should be alerting you in writing so you don’t need to.

  1. When can I leave my energy supplier without penalty?

Before switching, check whether you’ll incur a fee for cancelling your current energy deal. Exit fees are common with fixed-rate tariffs if you switch early. The good news is that all suppliers should now allow you to leave up to 49 days ahead of your tariff’s end date without incurring a penalty.

  1. Are energy prices set to rise in 2021?

Since the introduction of Ofgem’s energy price cap in January 2019, most suppliers have based energy prices on their default tariffs on the rate of the price cap.

Following an increase in the price cap level announced in February 2021, suppliers have begun to raise their prices for customers on default tariffs.

All of the ‘big six’ energy suppliers have announced price rises, each implementing an average £96 annual increase for customers on standard variable and default tariffs. These price rises will come into effect from 1 April 2021.

  1. How do I avoid early exit fees?

There is a small window on a fixed term plan, in which you can switch suppliers, but avoid exit fees. Many people aren’t aware – and it’s not made particularly obvious by suppliers – that if you switch suppliers in the 49 days before your contract with your current supplier ends, you won’t be charged an exit fee.

  1. Is it a good time to switch energy supplier?

When was the last time you changed your gas and electricity tariff or provider? If you’ve never switched, the best time to switch suppliers is right now – you’ll quickly realise you’ve been overpaying for way too long.

Once an energy tariff elapses – they usually last no longer than 12 months – your supplier will automatically place you onto its standard plan. Unsurprisingly, this is often it’s most expensive. But this also means you can make significant savings by switching to a deal with a more competitive rate.

  1. Why is my electric bill so high all of a sudden 2021?

See question 3

  1. Is it better to fix energy prices for longer?

Energy prices change all the time. If energy prices rise over the next few years, you could end up switching to a pricier deal when your short fix ends. The less likely you are to switch, the more you should consider a long fix. You may not get quite such a good rate, but it’ll stay relatively cheap, even if you’re inactive.

Comparing Energy Prices

It would be nice to know you have the cheapest energy supplier. It would also be nice to get up to go for a run pre-work or to always have matching socks available. You can try, you can google, but most of the time for most of us, these are things that get half-arsed, and we end up slightly lethargic, guilty, and overpaying on our energy bills.

You really don’t have to live like this though! It really is possible to save over £800 on your business’s energy bills. Let that sink in for a moment. What would that money mean to you? Really? Smell the sun cream yet?

So how do you save this much? Let’s go on a little journey.

The reason why gas costs so much in the first place is… well it’s complicated. Some of it makes sense, and a lot of it is made up nonsense, but the long and short is that your gas supplier is going to work out how much they are going to charge you based on:

  • Location 
  • Consumption  
  • Date of Contract Start 
  • Broker Commission 
  • Standing Charges 
  • Unit Price 
  • Meter Costs 
  • Installation Costs 
  • Maintenance and Servicing 
  • ‘New Customer’ Status 

And some other stuff too, but let’s be real, you read location and skipped the rest. It’s not important anyway; don’t worry about it. This is essentially a postcode lottery. Let’s focus on the saving money bit, not why you are spending it.

Imagine all the above factors are types of Lego blocks. Working out who is the cheapest for you is kind of like taking all your Lego blocks and seeing what kind of house is most suitable to build from them.

Depending on the specific circumstances of your business, you will have, say, 5 “Location” blocks and 9 “Unit Price” blocks. This means that your blocks are most suitable for making a Helicopter (if a helicopter were British Gas for example).

There are around 60 gas suppliers in the UK, so this is kind of a big job.

In order to demonstrate the utter insanity that is energy contract pricing, we (at Energy Solutions) have concocted the table below. Using all of the data available to us we have calculated (using real, genuine prices) which supplier offers the best prices in three main categories. 

We have split up the table into three sections: The supplier at hand, the particular area of dominance, and the description of the charge.  

Supplier Area of Dominance Description 
EDF Energy Online Annual Cost This is the estimated total cost for the year.  
EDF Energy Online Unit Price The price per unit of energy consumed.  
Utilita Energy Standing Charge Fixed cost per day of supply. 

Based on s small business in London with AQ of 75,000 kWH,
paying by DD, single rate 03 meter, and start date of 1/6/21

Something else to remember:

 I know I just grabbed the names British Gas and EDF here to make a point, but going with one of “The Big Six” does not guarantee you to get the best prices, and it defiantly doesn’t mean you’ll get messed around less!

Don’t believe me? Believe their customers – check their reviews here:

British Gashttps://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.britishgas.co.uk
EDF Energyhttps://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.edfenergy.com
E.ONhttps://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.eonenergy.com
npowerhttps://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.npower.com
Scottish Powerhttps://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.scottishpower.co.uk
SSEhttps://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.sse.co.uk

Energy Solutions

We’ve reached it guys – your get out of jail free card and the bit where I’m going to sell it to you. But before you disengage, remember how jail isn’t a lot of fun.

There is really only one way that you will be able to truly find the cheapest energy contract available, and that is to sit back and relax while Energy Solutions do all the work. 

Seriously I mean this, all the work. And you get to save the money.

Unless you are willing to commit the many hours it takes to understand even the simplest of pricing matrixes, of course. Did you understand that table earlier? I didn’t think so.

Energy Solutions have over twenty years worth of energy procurement experience, which has resulted in a few competitive advantages over competitors: 

  • Incredible prices: Twenty years of building partnerships with suppliers = exclusive prices. 
  • Peace of Mind: For the entire lifetime of your contract, we will validate all bills and invoices sent to you. Always pay what you are supposed to. 
  • Personal Advisors: Ever unsure about something? We’re here to help. 
  • Dedicated Brokers: Our business is finding the best prices for customers; it is what we do. 
  • Knowledge Source: The energy market is forever changing due to legislation and taxes – we will tell you what this means for your business before it happens.  
  • Transparency: We aim to break the mould on how brokers operate. We spend a fair chunk of time preparing informative articles to save our customer’s money. 

So, HAS this ever happened to you? Is it still happening? Theres gotta be a better way! And there is!

The best way to be certain you’re getting a great deal on your business electricity is to contact Energy Solutions today! 

Contact us in the following ways to receive a quote – we look forward to hearing from you! 

Our website: www.energybrokers.co.uk 

Our phone number: 0131 610 1688 

Our E-mail: nick@energybrokers.co.uk 

Google Snippets  

Who has the cheapest gas for businesses? 

There is no way of telling who can offer the cheapest gas for your business without first telling us a little about your circumstance – get in touch now and we will provide a comprehensive quote for you.  

Who has the cheapest electricity for business? 

There is no way of telling who can offer the cheapest gas for your business without first telling us a little about your circumstance – get in touch now and we will provide a comprehensive quote for you. 

How to find the cheapest gas for business? 

It is difficult to complete this research yourself. The simplest way is to contact an energy procurement specialist like www.energybrokers.co.uk 

How to find the cheapest electricity for business? 

It is difficult to complete this research yourself. The simplest way is to contact an energy procurement specialist like www.energybrokers.co.uk 

How to get cheap energy? 

If you are prepared to complete extensive market research, then simply contact as many suppliers as possible to receive quotes. Or, contact an energy procurement specialist to do this for you. 

How to get cheap electricity? 

If you are prepared to complete extensive market research, then simply contact as many suppliers as possible to receive quotes. Or, contact an energy procurement specialist to do this for you. 

How to get cheap gas? 

If you are prepared to complete extensive market research, then simply contact as many suppliers as possible to receive quotes. Or, contact an energy procurement specialist to do this for you.