The Ultimate Guide to Energy Providers for Small Businesses and How to Find the Right Provider for You

19th Apr 2022 | Mollie Pinnington | 4 minute read

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The basics of energy providers

Starting a new business is time-consuming and can feel overwhelming with so much to do. One task that can take up a lot of time is trying to find the best energy provider for your business energy contract or wondering what your energy supplier does.

An energy supplier buys wholesale energy and sells it to customers through the national grid. However, there is a competitive market out there, so you need to make sure you pick the best supplier for your business.

That is where we can help, we will go through where to find prices and how to compare energy providers, and what is best for your business. We want to make sure you have the energy supplier possible in terms of price, supply, and service.

How to find the best provider for your business

First, you will need to check your current energy contract to see if you are in your renewal window or check for exit fees. However, if you are just starting your business you will need to get this from the previous owner of the building.

 If the contract has rolled over to default or deemed rate tariff, then you will be able to switch. You should then find out how much energy you use (this will be on your bill in KwH) and how much you are currently paying per unit.

Do not worry if you don’t know any of this information as we can still help. However, the more information you have from your energy bill the simpler the process will be and the more accurate the results you get.  

Once you have all your current information you need to start comparing prices from different energy providers. When starting up your business, your budget may be tight so making sure this step is done properly is critical to ensure you get the best price.

One of the easiest and best ways to compare a lot of suppliers quickly is to use a price comparison website such as Online energy. We compare prices from all our trusted energy suppliers and show you the best energy contracts for your business.

Once you have found the best online business energy deal with us our energy experts will take it from there. All you will have to do is sit back and wait for the switch to be made which should take no longer than 21 days- depending on when you want the contract to start.    


Before just signing your energy contract with a supplier there could be some things you want to look at first such as:

  • What is the supplier’s customer rating? - having a cheap energy price is important however you should not compromise on customer service for this.
  • How long is the contract- You need to assess how long you are going to run your business from your current location. You want to try to avoid having to pay exit fees if you need to cancel your tariff early for any reason.
  • Is the tariff fixed or variable rate- a fixed rate tariff will stay the same throughout the energy contract whereas a variable rate will vary depending on market prices? To learn more about these read here.
  • What type of energy is being used- with the state of the current climate it is becoming increasingly important to make sure that everyone is doing their best to reach net zero. Therefore, green tariffs are becoming more popular for business energy. If you want to know more about renewable energy, then read here.


Three things to consider when it comes to your business energy bills:

Switching suppliers when needed

Ensuring you switch your current energy contract when it ends is critical in keeping your bills low. When you are coming to the last six months of your current energy contract or when your energy renewal window comes it is best to start shopping around for a new energy deal. If you stay on the same energy contract and allow it to roll over, you will be put on a deemed rate tariff by your energy supplier which will be amongst the highest rates within the market. Ensure you stay on top of our energy bills to avoid these steep prices.    

Time of use tariffs

If you would only like to use energy in your building throughout certain hours of the day and completely switch off at night a time of use tariff might be best. This is a tariff that  provides cheaper electricity for a certain number of hours a day. You could either have an Economy 7 tariff which provides cheaper electricity for 7 hours a day or an economy 10 meter which provides cheaper electricity for 10 hours a day. By using this type of meter, you will be charged a cheaper rate during peak hours of electricity usage. This will make your overall energy bill cheaper if you use electricity throughout the night as you will be charged a cheaper rate for theese offpeak hours.     

Smart meters

For small businesses on a variable rate tariff, it might be a good idea to have a smart meter. This takes meter readings every half hour and sends the information to your energy supplier, therefore you can see where your energy is costing the most and can make more of an effort to cut back if necessary. This can also help give your supplier more accurate information to ensure that you are billed more accurately.



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