Is your business having trouble with energy bills? It is not surprising. Energy prices are at an all-time high. If you are falling behind on your energy bills, you are not alone.
Due to this, the UK government has implemented measures to help businesses such as yours cope with rising energy prices. Businesses, schools, charities, companies, and public sector groups can benefit from government measures.
Aside from that, here are seven ways your business can afford soaring energy costs.
When you switch suppliers, you may find it tough to find fixed rates online since business energy rates depend on individual circumstances. You can resolve this by using business energy price comparison websites.
There are two ways you can switch your business energy:
One is if your contract has expired and it does not bind you by any terms – To be sure, check the terms and conditions in your tariff. Confirm the notice period with your supplier
Second is if your contract is either default energy or a deemed energy contract – You can switch energy suppliers if you are under a contract you did not choose. There are two instances of why this occurs. First is when your business moved to a new location. Second is when your fixed-term contract ended, and you have not yet signed a new tariff.
In case your energy supplier does not allow you to switch, know that they are under obligation to explain themselves. They also need to present your options if you are eligible to switch suppliers.
If you cannot switch to a new supplier because of your contract, you can opt to switch to a new tariff. Seek advice from Citizens Advice if you need clarifications.
Contact your supplier if you are concerned about your business energy costs. Suppliers may offer plans that allow you to pay your energy costs. For one, they may review your existing plan.
Ask them to assess your payments and debt repayments, reductions, or breaks. You can also inquire about payment extensions or access to funds for businesses experiencing financial problems.
When you get offers for contracts, check for the following:
- Your rate per unit of energy and if it is variable
- Duration of the contract and if you need to pay a cancellation fee if you decide to end it
- The time frame for giving notices to terminate a contract
- If it offers a period when you can cancel or switch suppliers if you are unsatisfied with the service
- If there are extra charges like maintenance fees
If you find a contract you agree with, always ask for a written agreement. Check the terms and conditions before affixing your signature. Avoid agreeing to anything over the phone.
If you do not have the time to compare the best supplier contacts, get an energy broker to do it for you. An energy broker will find you the best deals by negotiating business energy contracts with suppliers.
Before entering into a deal, ask how much they will charge you. With some brokers, you may need to shell out a one-off fee. If you are still in a contract, your fee may be part of the cost of your energy.
Ask your broker which suppliers they represent so you can determine if they can provide a full-market comparison. Request a written offer that includes the terms and conditions before you agree to any contract.
Make sure to check the reliability of your chosen energy broker. If they behave inappropriately, file a complaint. Contact your local trading standards office.
If the pandemic affected your business, you can be eligible for government support like the Recovery Loan Scheme. You can access finance that you can use as an investment or working capital. To avail of the scheme, you need to present proof of the following:
- Your business is trading in the UK;
- It has a turnover of £45 million or lower, and
- Your business is viable and not in difficulty.
Ask your local council if they offer energy efficiency grants or business growth funding. Find out if they will pay you if you produce your renewable power.
Check with your energy supplier if they offer energy-efficiency grants or schemes. Your eligibility will depend on your business size, location, and sector. Ask about energy grants and investments that support reduction costs for business wastage.
Contact your supplier immediately if you are struggling to pay your energy bills. Negotiate your debt with them since they can threaten to disconnect your supply.
Avoid disconnection because it will result in more expenses. Suppliers will often add disconnection and reconnection fees to what you owe them.
Disconnections will also disrupt your business and lead to further issues. That’s why you should act quickly. Make arrangements with them on how you can begin to pay your debt.
Switching to an energy-efficient system allows you to save on your business energy costs in the long run. Contact these organisations and find out how you can make your business more energy efficient.
- The National Energy Foundation YouGen
- Energy Savings Trust UK
- GOV.UK’s Energy Technology List
For free independent advice, contact groups like Citizens Advice, Advice Direct Scotland, and Business Debtline. These organisations help businesses like yours that cannot afford to pay energy bills. They also guide you if you want to switch to a new energy supplier.
If your business is struggling to pay your energy bills, find help through the various types of assistance and groups that offer financial support and guidance.
Whether you are a new or an existing business, the methods above will help you endure one of the worst energy crises to hit the globe. Act now and take advantage of their offer so you can get your business back on track.