Bespoke services are available for large business energy customers using more than 55,000 kWh of electricity, or more than 200,000 kWh of gas per year.
For this gas and electricity demand, preferential rates may be available as energy plans can be built to your company’s requirements.
Finding the right business energy plan can be difficult when demand is so high, so you will benefit from expert advice when switching with Energy Helpline.
What Impacts Large Business Energy Rates?
Whilst some large business energy users may be able to negotiate better rates, putting a heavy strain on the National Grid may increase your prices. There are two scenarios to consider:
- Peak Demand - this is the amount of energy consumption that is the highest during a 15 to the 30-minute period during any given month.
- Large Site Peak Demand - you may need to pay a penalty fee if you go over the maximum amount of energy your business can receive each day. This is set by your energy supplier.
What Is Different About Large Business Energy Plans?
There are significant differences in how business energy usage is monitored. For example, large consumption users will be required to have a half-hourly meter installed and adhere to stricter regulations. The upside is that higher consumption users have more buying power to negotiate better business energy rates.
What Tariffs Are Available To Large Companies?
Depending on usage and circumstances, there are several contracts available to large business energy customers:
- Fixed-rate - available to all types of users, fixed-rate tariffs are great for businesses who need the security of knowing what they will be paying for their energy each billing period.
- Variable rate - businesses that require more flexibility that are not afraid to take some risks are attracted to a variable rate tariff. This is great for when wholesale energy prices are trending downwards.
- Large site peak day demand contracts - this limits the energy a business can receive in one day. Energy-conscious businesses that would like to reduce consumption may opt for this type of tariff.
- Interruptible contracts - this is a tariff exclusive to large business energy users. It allows the business to pay less per unit for energy in exchange for the National Grid temporarily cutting supply during periods of high demand.
What Sector Consumes The Most Energy?
With population growth, so does the demand for energy to deliver vital goods and services.
The latest figures published by the UK Government show that manufacturing demands the most amount of energy taking up 16% of total business energy consumption. To take this a step further, here is a breakdown of how the energy was used across the different types of businesses in the sector:
- Manufacturing and industrial services – 16%
- Chemical manufacturing – 16%
- Food, drink and tobacco manufacturing – 13%
- Mineral products manufacturing – 12%
- Paper, printing and publishing – 8%
- Mechanical engineering – 7%
- Iron, steel and metal manufacturing – 7%
- Other industries – 7%
- Vehicle manufacturing – 5%
- Electrical engineering – 4%
- Civil engineering/construction – 3%
- Textiles/leather manufacturing – 2%
Source: Office of National Statistics
Half-hourly meters send readings every 30 minutes to your energy supplier. These energy meters are compulsory for any business with a maximum demand of 100 kWh or higher during a 30-minute period at any point.
Half hourly meters are specifically for large business users but they carry some great benefits:
- Better data analysis on energy consumption
- More accurate billing
- Data can be used to become more energy efficient and improve the organisation's green credentials
- Ability to charge different gas and electricity prices for energy used in high peak periods and lower demand periods.
You can read more about half-hourly meters here.
What Is P272?
P272 is the regulatory name that requires all qualifying businesses to move over from a standard energy meter over to a half-hourly meter. This regulation is regarded as the biggest change to the business electricity market since the deregulation of the sector.
Multi-site meters allow companies operating across several buildings to combine their business energy bills. The convenience of all your gas and electricity being on one bill helps office and building managers to easily manage all the company's energy use at the same time with one supplier.
You can read more about multi-site meters here.
How Do I Reduce Business Energy Bills?
It can often be hard to find the time in a large business to address energy consumption. However, it is an exercise that usually yields large rewards. Reducing energy bills even by a few per cent can free up a lot more cash that can be invested in other areas of the business.
Here are some ways you can reduce business energy bills:
Business Energy Audit
A detailed business energy audit can expose cost-saving opportunities around the building. You do not need any special equipment. In fact, all you need is a little bit of time and our handy checklist here.
Switch Equipment Off At Night
Switching off the computer at night can save you £100s each year. According to the Energy Savings Trust, this simple habit change can save £10 per computer each year. Doesn't seem like a lot, does it? Well, think about how many computers operate in your business every day and multiply that saving by the number of computers. It adds up quickly.
Blocking radiators, heaters and windows can cause unintentional inefficiency when heating and cooling the office. A simple look around the office area and a change around can really improve the building's energy efficiency.
You’re not going to be able to carry out any of these incentives without the support of the wider team. Engaging the team will make things much easier and you’re more likely to succeed in cutting the annual business energy bills.
Switching To A More Suitable Tariff
You may think that you’re not able to get a great business energy deal with rising energy costs. However, have you ever thought about the tariff you usually select for the business. Is it the right one and does it fit your needs? A simple phone call could save you a lot of money.