Comparing cheap business electricity prices and tariffs for commercial enterprises is generally a little less straightforward than comparing rates for consumers.
The reason is that there are far more business electricity plans out there than there are for home consumers. Which plan is right for you, and how much it will cost, will depend on the type, size and location of your business.
The table below compares the current electricity tariffs and rates UK energy companies are offering on their variable rate deemed contract. We’ve included both the unit price (price per kWh) and the standing charge.
These rates are essentially the worst case scenario. You can almost certainly pay far less just by entering into a formal contract (either fixed term or variable) with a business energy supplier.
Business Electricity Prices*
* Notes about tariff comparison (Updated 03/01/2019): Prices were believed accurate at the time of publication (03 Jan, 2019) and are based on non-half hourly contracts, (profile classes 01-04) at deemed rates unless these were not available, in which case default and/or out of contract were used. Both standing charges and price per kWh (unit price) are shown. If tariffs differed across regions, the price in London was used. The first 6 companies listed are all the big six energy suppliers. Sources for all data can be found at the bottom of this page. While we attempt to provide the most accurate information possible, we take no responsibility for any inaccurate pricing displayed above. Contracts and prices are the sole prerogative of the energy companies themselves and we have no control over them and are subject to change at any time.
How To Get Cheaper Electricity Rates
The tariff comparison above is effectively comparing the worst rates offered by each electricity supplier. Deemed/Out-of-contract pricing only occurs when there is no other pricing agreement in place.
For example, E-On offers business customers with half-hourly meters nighttime rates as low as 10.60p per kWh and Bulb offers business rates as low as 12.05p per kWh (in London).
However, you may be able to do even better than 12.05p/kWh with a fixed term contract.
Fixed term contracts often offer savings of 40-60% below the rates listed above, with some still offering electricity at prices below 10p/kWh.
Therefore, the single best thing you can do to save money on your business electricity bill is to compare contracts. You can get started now by filling in the form at the top of the page.
Regional Variations In Business Electricity Rates
Some UK suppliers charge different rates depending on which part of the country your business is located in. This can be due to the location of their power plants, demand and/or the availability of energy infrastructure.
The more it costs them, the more they’ll charge your business.
For example, the map below compares how British Gas’ electricity prices vary by region for large businesses requiring Low Voltage electricity based Half Hourly Standby / Deemed Rates.
In the example above, prices vary between a low of 17.38 p/kWh in Merseyside & North Wales all the up to 24.77 p/kWh in the East Midlands, a difference of 42.5%!
Of course, large customers would never generally pay that much, as they generally try to buy as close to the wholesale electricity price as possible, which over the lat year has never gone above 8.2 p/kWh, even at peak times.
However, the example does show why it’s important to compare prices. Just because a given energy company offers the cheapest electricity prices in one region, does not mean it will offer the best deal in all regions.
Other Important Things To Understand About Commercial Electricity Pricing
Fixed term contracts will save you the most money on your electricity bills, but they are by no mans the only thing that affect your rates. The single biggest factor is the wholesale price of electricity.
The following will all also have a major impact on how much you pay and which contract will ultimately be best for you and your business:
The amount of electricity you use will have a big impact on the tariff you end up paying. While the more you use the more you’ll pay overall, you may qualify for a lower price per kwh.
Moreover, if your business uses less than than 100,000 kWh of electricity per year, you may be considered a micro-businesses.
Electricity Supply Type/Meter Type
What type of meter you use and what type of energy profile your business has will affect how much you pay. Business with profiles 03 or 04 generally will pay less than those with profiles 05-08. However, this is in part because of when electricity is expected to be used.
Half-Hourly Metered (HH) & P272 Plans
If your business falls under profiles 05-08, then P272 makes it mandatory to be use advanced half-hourly metering. Using this type of metering may have an impact on the tariff you end up paying and should be something you ask about when getting your quotes (see example above).
Company Credit Rating
Some UK energy suppliers will look at your credit rating before offering you a contract. Generally speaking the better your business’s financial health, the lower prices should be.
Some energy companies, such as Bulb, NPower, Ecotricity and Good Energy are now offering plans that only include electricity from renewable sources. While these plans are much better for the environment, they may cost more than plans offered by other companies.
You can generally save money by shopping around just before your current contract ends. If you don’t sign a new fixed term contract, you may be rolled over into a deemed rate or default contract and end up paying the prices listed above.
Most commercial and business electricity contracts are on fixed 1 year terms. However, most energy companies are now offering 2 and 3 year contracts. While these contracts can save you money, just be sure to read the fine print as you may face steep cancellation fees if you try to get out of your contract early.
5 Things To Know To Get The Cheapest Business Electricity Quote
- Know how much electricity you’re using each year
- Know at what time(s) of day you use the most electricity
- Known your MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number)
- Know your business profile and metering type
- Know when you’re contract is up for renewal
What to do next?
Sources for prices listed above: