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Guide to Switching Business Energy Suppliers

Healthy competition in the energy market is good news for commercial consumers. Switching from one supplier to another means you can take advantage of lower rates, which benefits the company bottom line. But the overwhelming abundance of options can be overwhelming for a business that is considering changing suppliers.

Change - Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

Here is your ultimate guide on the process of switching energy suppliers as well as the best time to do it.

When is it most favourable to switch?

Commercial consumers need to understand that switching energy suppliers is more complicated than for residential consumers. Before you can compare quotes using sites like Utility Bidder, you need to gather details about your business such as the size, usage, contract length, and contract type.

Your contract has a specified switching window, which is usually around 60 to 120 days before your current contract expires. However, the switching window may be longer or shorter, depending on what your current supplier stipulated in the contract. The danger with not paying attention to the renewal date and switching window is that when it lapses, you will have no choice but to renew with your current supplier and end up paying more on your bills.

Comparing quotes from different suppliers

Once you have identified the switching window in your contract; the next step is to start shopping for quotes. The easiest way to do it is by using a comparison website. But some prefer to use a broker to handle the negotiation and the switching. Here is a comparison of the two methods.

  • Getting online quotes is the most convenient method. Comparison websites have access to some of the best rates offered by big and small suppliers alike. Unfortunately, the services provided by comparison sites are limited only to a few suppliers. If you want to compare the rates offered by almost all suppliers available, it will have to take time.
  • Hiring a broker means you have an expert who will do the legwork for you. One of the main advantages of hiring a broker is the possibility of gaining access to deals that online comparison websites may not offer. However, dealing with a broker is more time-consuming, and you need to make multiple phone calls. There is also a possibility that the broker will make recommendations based on which deal brings them the biggest commission.

Neither of these two methods is better than the other. It ultimately depends on what you feel is best for your business, and which is more convenient depending on your circumstances. While getting quotes online or via a broker is sure to get you the best possible deal, you can also try negotiating with your current energy supplier before you decide to switch.

Another tip if you want to save more money is to change your payment method to direct debit. Consumers get a discount when they pay on time or earlier, but direct debit is a much riskier way, especially if you do not always have control over your company's cash flow. Lastly, buying gas and electricity from one supplier may get you additional discounts. Bundled services are always guaranteed to cost a little bit less than when you are paying different suppliers.

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