Why switch supplier?

You may need to switch your business electricity if:

  • Your business has just started up and you want to change the supplier at your property

  • You have moved into new premises

  • Your current contract has ended

Switching is easy and it could save you thousands of pounds on your electricity bill.

Does it cost money to switch?

No, if you get quotes using our comparison it will not cost you anything to switch.

If you use an energy broker, also known as a Third Party Intermediary (TPI), you may have to pay a one off fee.

You should check if commission is added to the cost of your electricity, or if you need to pay a separate charge before you buy.

How to switch

You need to follow these steps to switch:

  1. Check your existing contract, if you have one, to see when you can switch

  2. Compare quotes from different suppliers

  3. Confirm the switch with your new supplier

  4. Give notice to your current supplier

Switching your business electricity takes more time than moving your home service, because you need to get individual quotes from each supplier. Here is what you need to do at each stage of the switching process:

Check your existing contract

You can switch your business electricity if:

  • Your contract is not fixed

  • Your contract has ended

  • Your current supplier has offered renewal

Your supplier may stop you from switching if:

  • You are tied into your contract

  • You owe them money

Your energy company must explain their reasons if they stop you from switching and how you can appeal if you think their reasons are unfair.

You can get quotes as soon as your existing energy company offers renewal, which may be up to six months before the end of your contract.

Compare lots of quotes

You can get quotes from energy companies using our comparison. You will need to give suppliers this information:

  • Details of a recent bill

  • Your company's registration details

  • The end date of your current contract

  • Your Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN), found on your bill

Get quotes from suppliers who can offer service in your area, and compare prices to get the cheapest tariff. The price of electricity is made up of:

  1. 1.

    A unit rate: The price you pay for each kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity you use

  2. 2.

    A standing charge: The daily price you pay to your supplier for managing your service

You can negotiate the price of your energy with business suppliers by giving details of other quotes you have, or asking for a cheaper price.

Confirm the switch

You can confirm the switch with your new supplier by phone, post or email. You should then get a new contract and welcome pack in the post.

You need to have given your current supplier notice of at least 30 days before your contract ends. Your new supplier can then contact them to complete the switch.

You must then:

  • Give an up to date meter reading to your new supplier

  • Pay your final bill with your old energy company

There is not usually a cooling off period with business tariffs, although some energy companies give you 10 days to cancel your switch if you change your mind.

It may take up to six weeks for your tariff to change. You will not lose service during this time, but it may take time for the price of your electricity to change.

Managing your service

Once you have switched your electricity, you will continue to save by effectively managing your service:

How to pay

You can pay for most business electricity tariffs by:

  • Direct debit

  • Paying online with a credit or debit card

  • Bank transfer

  • Cheque

If you have a flexible contract where you bulk buy your electricity, you must pay for your energy up front.

Check to see which is the cheapest way to pay for your business electricity, because some suppliers offer discounts for some payment methods.

How to read your bill

Your business electricity bill will look the same as your home energy bill. It should include:

  • Your business address and the number of locations supplied

  • A description of which tariff you are on

  • A summary of your charges, including the VAT rate

  • The total bill amount and the date it is due

  • A payment slip, which lets you pay in full

  • Contact numbers, including the number you should call if you lose service

Understanding your bill can help you make sure you do not overpay for your electricity. It also contains the information you need to help you switch when your contract ends.

How to read your meter

Giving your electricity supplier regular meter readings will ensure you only pay for the energy you use.

You can usually supply meter readings by logging into your online account, or by calling your supplier and giving the reading over the phone.

How to renew

Your supplier will contact you at least two months before the end of your contract to offer renewal. You must let your supplier know if:

  • You want to sign up again to the tariff they offer

  • You want to switch to a new supplier when your deal ends

You must let your supplier know at least 30 days before the end of your contract, otherwise your tariff will be automatically renewed and you will be unable to switch.

Problems with your service

If you are having problems with your energy service, you should contact your supplier to report the issue.

If they do not provide you with a resolution, or if the problem keeps happening, you can contact the energy regulator Ofgem to make a complaint.

Moving premises

You may need a new account if you move location, because your tariff is linked to your business address. You will need to cancel your current service and set up a new account.

You can either get a new tariff with your existing energy company, or switch to a new supplier. You must give your current supplier at least four weeks' notice of your move.

Some suppliers let you take your existing contract with you if you have more than five months left on your contract, so check with your supplier.

New build properties

Your electricity may not be connected if you are moving into a newly built property, and there is usually a charge for connecting your service.

Speak to energy companies about the cost of connecting your electricity before you move in, to avoid any surprise expenses.