With so many UK business energy providers out there, it can be tricky to know which one to go for.
Some small, some big, some focusing on niche products others focusing on the mass market, some part of multi-national energy businesses, and some independent.
All have something unique to offer, whether it’s their energy sources, service proposition, their prices or their tariff structure.
And with prices hinged on the location of your business, the amount of energy consumption, the metering system installed, creditworthiness, it can soon become a daunting task just to understand what your options are.
So, how do you determine who is the best? By reading our definitive guide to the best UK business energy providers, of course!
The Big Six Suppliers
Here are the Big Six domestic and business energy providers in the UK and their respective market share:
- EDF (11%)
- British Gas (20%)
- Npower (10%)
- Southern Electric (14%)
- E.ON (13%)
- ScottishPower (10%)
Chances are you’ve heard of most of them. That’s because the big six companies supply 80 percent of UK energy.
The Big Six are also the UK’s longest running energy providers supplying electricity and gas to more than 50 million businesses and homes across the UK.
Just like domestic consumers, businesses are also free to select the best business energy provider for their needs.
But with so many variables and options involved in selecting the best business energy provider, many businesses opt to use an experienced negotiator to do the negotiations and research for them.
Other Energy Suppliers
The Big Six might be the UK’s most famous energy providers, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best – the increasing number of smaller energy providers means there’s a better option, so make sure you shop around for the best deals on electricity and gas.
You might even find these little known UK energy suppliers not only offer the best electricity and gas prices but better after-sales and customer care services.
Here’s our review of the independent electricity and gas providers that are taking the UK business energy market by storm. We’ve classified them into 5 groups:
These independent suppliers offer the most competitive rates:
- Extra Energy
- Corona Energy
- Robin Hood Energy
The Most Eco-friendly
These independent energy providers supply electricity of which 99 percent is generated through renewable processes, including solar and wind energy. If your business has set green targets, going into business with one of these providers is a great first step:
- SO Energy
- Solarplicity (formerly LoCO2 Energy)
- Yü Energy
The Best for Customer Services
Interesting enough, clients of independent smaller business energy suppliers are more content than those of the Big Six. In fact, all of these providers are rated highly when it boils down to customer service:
- SO Energy
- Affect Energy
- United Gas and Power (UGP)
The Most Innovative
These aren’t the cheapest, or the greenest, but are well on their way. Either way, these providers are your best bet if you want to go into business with a forward-looking provider:
- Utility Warehouse
- Opus Energy
- Axis Energy
The Best of the Rest
There’re some business energy suppliers that are offering excellent services but didn’t come out on top for our selected groups. Dependent on your business location and its energy needs, any one of these suppliers could easily offer you reliable service and best deal:
- PFP Energy
- Yorkshire Gas and Power (YGP)
- Go Effortless Energy
- Crown Gas and Power
Are the Big Six the Cheapest Energy Providers?
Even though they’re the most recognized energy suppliers, the Big Six are hardly ever the most trusted or the cheapest – for the reason that they are inclined to increase all their rates around the same time, they’re often suspected of taking advantage of their high levels of control to unfairly increase electricity and gas prices.
The Big Six have traditionally dominated the electricity and gas markets, but figures from Ofgem, the energy regulator, shows that an increasing number of independent energy providers are taking up their market share – a situation that has without a doubt been facilitated by the simplicity with which people can compare business energy contracts and switch providers.
This increased competition means you can save a considerable amount of money annually on your gas and electricity bills, just by switching away from the Big Six.
How to Switch Energy Providers
For all businesses looking to switch energy providers, there’re a few things they need to understand:
- You cannot break a contract before it ends
- The process is seamless
Before your current contract expires, your existing provider should get in touch with you with details of a new contract, which you’ll need to accept or reject. Otherwise, you could end up paying a costly deemed contract.
Consequently, the best way of dodging such an incidence is to know when your current deal expires and then devote a little time outsourcing your next business energy contract by comparing different quotations from providers and then make plans for a customized offer.
Once you come across a contract you like from a new provider, inform your current provider, and the switch will take effect as soon as the current contract expires.
The Process to Finding a New Energy Provider
The process of finding a new energy provider can be broken down as follows:
- Switchover window: compare the price from your current provider with potential new providers
- Inform your current supplier if you’re making a switch
Then again, if you want to switch providers after your contract expires and you’ve been moved over onto a rollover or deemed contract, then you’ll still need to give 30 days notice to switch providers.
Businesses that don’t like their current energy supply deal, whether it’s more costly than they like or they just don’t get along with their provider, then getting out of the contract could be problematic.
Contract’s terms and conditions will dictate when the contract can be dismissed, and businesses looking to do so early might have to incur a heavy fine.
Deciding on a UK Business Energy provider needn’t be the hassle that it once was. To get into the best contract for the specific needs of your business, it’s always wise getting quotations from different providers. And remember – with so many suppliers looking for new business, you’re in a power position. Don’t be afraid to engage in negotiations!