Performing an energy comparison in order to find a cheaper deal could be a worthwhile activity for many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as there are significant savings to be had.
According to Ofgem, firms that shop around for the best tariffs can see a range of benefits, though they need to plan ahead and be aware the process is not as straightforward as it is for domestic users.
A spokesman for the regulator explained that while household contracts can allow individuals to switch gas and electricity provider at any time of the year, this is not the case for businesses, which are typically in much stricter deals.
He said it is therefore vital for SMEs to study the terms and conditions of their current agreement carefully so they are aware of when they will have to notify their supplier they wish to switch to a new tariff or provider at the end of their contract.
Those that miss this opportunity could find themselves locked in to rollover deals that prevent them from getting the cheapest tariffs.
Recently, several firms have announced they are looking to improve their service in this area in order to build a better relationship with customers. These include E.ON, which has revealed it is working on enhancing its communication with enterprises that are nearing the end of their contracts so companies will be able to make more informed decisions about their business energy tariff.
Another organisation looking to help businesses control their costs is npower, after a study by the provider revealed 90 per cent of mid-sized enterprises are keen to adopt more tools to help them control their energy costs.
However, it also found time and resource constraints prevent many firms from focusing on this area, with 56 per cent of respondents saying they do not have the capabilities to take advantage of more sophisticated products.
Head of product management and strategy at npower Jon Davies said: "Traditionally, many medium-sized businesses pay for their energy on a fixed price tariff and renew their contract at the same time each year."
As a result of this rigidity, being tied into a renewal date prevents companies on these deals from taking advantage of price fluctuations that are constantly occurring in the energy market, he said.
Therefore, the company has developed a PriceWatch tool that monitors the sector and can give companies the option to renew their deal earlier at a lower price if specified triggers are hit.
As well as performing a price comparison and taking advantage of the tools at their disposal when it comes to renewing contracts, there may be many things a company can do throughout the year to ensure they are spending as little as possible on gas and electricity.
Installing smart meters could be one such method, it was recently noted by British Gas. Research by the firm suggested two-thirds of companies with the devices have used the insights gained to invest in efficiency improvements, such as improving their boilers and fitting insulation measures, the Manufacturer reports.
Managing director of SME Energy at British Gas Business Marc England said: "Smart meters can play a vital role in saving businesses time and money by allowing them to pay for the energy they use as they use it and by giving them the information they can use to reduce their consumption."
However, despite this, only 29 per cent of firms said they have had the technology installed on their premises.
You could save up to £1,300 a year on your commercial energy bills. Contact us today on 0800 008 77 72 to find how much you can save.
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