Guide to Switching Energy Supplier

Since deregulation, UK Businesses have been able to switch their energy supplier, however, switching your business supply can be a very complicated and confusing experience. Many suppliers seem to make the process of switching as difficult and complex as possible.

Bluemark Consultants Find the Best deals for Business Gas Under the terms of their supply license energy companies are only allowed to block the transfer of your supply for two reasons:

  • You are in debt with them
  • Your are still in contract with them

But anyone who has switched their energy supply will know some suppliers seem to make it up as they go along and will attempt to block your transfer without a valid reason. Hours can then be spent on the phone to a call centre attempting to resolve what should be a very straight forward issue. What we have found is that some suppliers will use this contact with you to try and retain your business. They will often ask what price have you been offered by your new supplier and will then say " stay with us, we will match it".

Your supplier is then banking on the fact that by blocking the transfer and making it as difficult as possible for you to switch you will just accept their price match. The problem is you will find yourself in contract with two suppliers. Your new supplier will have already purchased your energy at the agreed price for you and will now be stuck with it and is legally entitled to charge you substantial penalties (usually running into thousands of pounds ) for cancelling your contract. This issue was first raised by Energy Watch in June 2007 and is still a major issue for business customers.

The simple rule is, if you have agreed a new contract then stick to it , unless you are happy to pay substantial cancellation fees.

Before considering changing supplier you need to check the following to ensure that you can make an informed decision:

  • When your current contract expires and when your renewal window opens
  • The amount of energy you use
  • Details of your premises, including your metering details

Once you have this information you are in a position to look at finding your business the best possible deal for business energy.

Below are key questions you need to know to ensure you get the right deal for your business:

  • What is the charge per unit?
  • Are there any fixed or standing charges?
  • For electricity, are there any capacity charges per KVA?
  • How long is the contract for?
  • Is it fixed price or variable?
  • When is the renewal window?
  • What are the cancellation terms of the contract?
  • What are the payment terms?
  • Am I committed to a minimum or maximum volume of energy?
  • Check the terms and conditions of the contract , they vary from supplier to supplier

Business energy contracts can be very complicated and it is always worth taking professional advice from an accredited consultant or broker. The biggest factor you must consider when agreeing an energy contract is the length. A three year price may look the cheapest on the face of it, but if prices drop by 30% the following year then it will end up a very expensive contract. Or you may be offered an extremely keen 12 month price, but if the market goes up by 30% during that year your renewal price will be extremely expensive. Bluemark Consultants have an in house price trend analysis and forecasting team who have access to the same industry data that wholesale traders in the energy markets use. This gives our customers a massive advantage when deciding on contract length.

If you would like a advice on a business energy contract please call 0800 9875505