How to find the best energy supplier for your small business - Small Business UK -

How to find the best energy supplier for your small business – Small Business UK –

It is an uncertain and turbulent time in the energy market and small businesses are no exception.

The high demand for gas after the lockdown, especially in Asia, has led to a significant increase in wholesale gas prices. Centrica, which owns British Gas, expects the price increases to continue for two years.

More than half (54 per cent) of UK small and medium businesses already spend £3,000 or more a year on energy, according to Tail from Natwest. In fact, 65 percent of small and medium businesses spend up to one-fifth of their total business costs on energy consumption.

Inflation is putting pressure on small businesses that may have to close due to higher prices, along with other pressures such as the National Insurance increase introduced in April.

> See also: How much does it cost to increase your national insurance for your business

Since the market is very unstable at the moment, we will not be covering specific trades. Instead, we’ll tell you how you can find the best energy supplier for your small business.

A quick guide to finding the best energy supplier for small businesses

Save money on small business energy

Running a Business from Home: Should I Go for a Local or Commercial Tariff?

If you’re running your business from home, you don’t need a commercial energy contract and can claim a tax refund on some of your home’s energy costs.

> See also: What expenses can I claim through my work?

Businesses tend to have lower energy costs per unit, and the higher the turnover, the lower the unit rate overall. However, homeowners pay 5 percent VAT on their energy as businesses pay 20 percent so savings can be made there. Businesses also pay a Climate Change Tax (CCL). Not applicable if companies use renewable energy. Furthermore, they may only pay 5 percent value-added tax if they use less than an average of 33 kWh of electricity and 145 kWh of gas per day. (This equates to 12,045 kWh of electricity and 52,925 kWh of gas per year, well above the amount of energy most people use at home.)

You also do not pay CCL and only pay 5 percent VAT if you have a residential component in your business. This means that you are running an overnight hotel, a campground, or a nursing home.

You’ll need to use a lot of energy in the home to justify moving to a commercial tariff, at 50 percent minimum. Taking meter readings at the beginning and end of the day will give you a better idea of ​​how much household energy your business uses versus your normal household use.

It’s best to compare local and commercial tariffs to see what works best for you – remember to include VAT and CCL in your bottom line.

Recommend a friend

You may have seen these before because they are a useful magnet for consumer credit cards and other services. Refer a friend schemes give you and/or your friend a bonus if you switch to their energy supplier. Usually it is financial incentives such as cash or credit in the account.

It’s not usually a huge draw for business clients, but if it’s put on top of a good deal, this could be a winner for you.

Remember the little things

Small changes really add up. Start with direct debit and paperless invoicing to cut costs.

What should you look for to find the best energy supplier

You’ll already have an idea of ​​this, but here’s a summary. Pay attention to the following:

  • Customer Service Reviews
  • fixed vs variable
  • What is the contract term?
  • What type of energy is used
  • Prices and fees
  • Protection (such as a price cap if you run your business from home and have a local energy tariff)

Find out how long the switch will take – usually in 17 days but at most 21 days.

While you’re here, it’s worth more than the time you spend making sure you’re aware of your rights if:

What small businesses energy suppliers are there?


energy bulb supplier

Bulb is in “special management” at the moment which means it still works as Bulb but is run by someone else. The company promises green energy without contracts.

good energy

Good Energy provides 100 percent renewable energy and is carbon-neutral.

octopus energy

Octopus Energy has 100 percent renewable energy rates and no “exorbitant” out-of-contract fees. Fixed tariffs last for a year.


SSE provides 100 percent renewable energy, sourced from its own wind and hydro power assets. It has fixed power plans for small business budgets.


Utilita Energy Supplier

With Utilita, there are no hidden fees and you get a dedicated business account manager. Customer support is available through a number of channels, including high street power hubs.

> See also: Renewable Energy: Why Small Businesses Should Be Green

Where to get more help

Citizens advice And Citizens Advice Additional Assistance Unit (England and Wales)

Citizens Advice will give you independent advice online, over the phone or in person for free.

The ACU raises complaints with energy suppliers on behalf of individuals and small businesses across Great Britain. Upon your referral, a specialized case worker will be assigned to work on your behalf until your case is resolved.

If you have a power related issue, you are in a vulnerable position and your business:

  • Has less than ten full-time equivalent employees and has a total annual turnover or annual balance sheet of less than €2 million per year, or
  • Uses less than 293,000 kWh of gas per year, or
  • It consumes less than 100,000 kWh of electricity per year

The first step is to contact Citizens Advice customer service at 0808223 1133. (Scotland) is aimed at the small business consumer, offering free practical advice and information on energy-related matters.


Resolver is a web-based service that is suitable for most disputes with your power supplier. Simply submit a dispute online and Resolver will help you through the process.

Energy related financial support is also available. Check out 150 UK Small Business Grants to Apply Now and Where to Find Green Small Business Grants to find plenty of schemes, including energy efficiency grants for small businesses.

Read more

How to eliminate uncertainty in your company’s energy bills

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