Switching to a better business energy deal is a quick way to cut your overheads, but comparing commercial gas and electricity deals isn't quite as simple as comparing domestic energy. That's why it makes sense to enlist the expertise of a business energy broker, who could help you save both time and money.
Energy brokers compare business gas and business electricity deals on your behalf, pulling together a range of quotes that can save your business money. Depending upon the type of broker you use, these quotes can be pulled from the entire energy market, or from a panel of preferred suppliers, so always make sure you clarify before getting a quote from a broker.
In short, using a business energy broker is the simplest way to save time when comparing business energy deals and the most effective way to save money on your business utility bills.
Comparing business gas and electricity deals can be time consuming and frustrating, if you decide to do it yourself. All business energy contracts are arranged to meet the specific needs of your business, which means that - with no 'off-the-shelf' tariffs to choose from - the only way to make sure you're on the best rates is to get quotes from each individual supplier.
And with no dual fuel options available on business energy deals, you'll need to run separate quotes for business gas and business electricity. This can take up valuable time that many business owners simply don't have.
Using a business energy broker immediately takes away the time and hassle involved in business energy comparison. When you switch with The Energy Shop, our commercial energy experts will run a comparison on your behalf, meaning one quick call to us is all it takes to find the best business gas and electricity deals available in your area.
We can also talk you through the various tariff options that are available, including:
And if your business has a high electricity demand or works across more than one site, we can help you with half-hourly metering and multi-site energy.
There's also the added bonus that business energy brokers can use their industry knowledge and utilise their good relationship with suppliers to get you an exclusive deal.
Considering whether to engage an energy broker for your energy needs? To help you decide, here's a balanced view of the advantages and disadvantages:
While some energy brokers will openly charge a fee for using their service, others will offer a free comparison and switching service. If the service is free, the broker will be working on a commission from suppliers, so you should always find out who is paying for the cost of the comparison before you switch.
Here are our top tips on choosing the right energy broker for your business:
Make sure the broker is reputable - Before switching, make sure your broker has signed up to the Third Party Intermediary (TPI) Code of Practice, which outlines a set of minimum standards to ensure a good quality of service for customers.
Find out how many suppliers are on the panel - Most energy brokers will work with a panel of suppliers, as this helps them to negotiate better rates. But the downside of not comparing the whole of the market is that you might not get the very best rates. So find out how many suppliers are on your brokers panel, bearing in mind that fewer suppliers means a less extensive comparison.
Don't be fooled by the hard sell - If your broker tries to put the hard sell on you to sign up right away, consider this a red flag. Although energy prices are volatile and you can only switch within a certain window, a reputable broker will give you the breathing space to consider your options.
Transparency is key - You put your trust in a broker to find you the best deal, so make sure they're open and honest about commission and charges and whether you need to enter into a contract with them when you switch. If the broker isn't forthcoming with this information, or needs to enter into an agreement with them (not the energy supplier) it's probably worth looking elsewhere.
Look out for a Letter of Authority - Most supplier's would sooner work without a broker, so it's important that you give your broker the authority to act on your behalf, else supplier's can be a bit obstructive when negotiating deals. A good broker will need you to sign a Letter of Authority (LOA), which you can find yours on your suppliers' dedicated website page. Make sure the Letter of Authority makes very clear what you are giving them permission to do and if you are in any doubt, ask for clarification. If you are not happy, again walk away.
Check customer reviews - Before you engage with a broker, check their online reviews and keep an eye out for after sales care. Not all business energy switches go as smoothly as they should, but some brokers only want to seal the deal and aren't very forthcoming with help if there are any snags. So make sure any broker you choose offers good after sales care and a robust complaint procedure.
It's normal to verbally agree to your contract when going through a broker, but you should still get written confirmation via email and/or post once your deal has been agreed. If not, you need to chase this up with your broker.
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