British Gas business blog

7 tips to sharpen your business energy deal

Digital signature on smartphone with papers - Business energy deal

You’re busy, right? Most people have plenty on their plate besides organising a business energy deal. But you’d be surprised at how just even a little bit of thinking now could save you a lot of hassle and even a fair bit of money in the future. You need to ensure that you’ve got the right energy deal for your business. And you can do that just by answering 7 quick questions.

1) What’s best? Fixed or flexible?

If your business uses energy intensively, you may want to manage your energy intensively too. That means a highly bespoke flexible contract. For most businesses though, the budget security provided by fully fixed rates provides the most effective overall solution. That way, you can plan your energy spending with confidence.

2) Is it worth looking at longer-term fixed options for my business energy deal?

By fixing now, you can protect your business against future price fluctuations. There’s another often-overlooked benefit in choosing a longer-term fixed contract with a trusted supplier too. When you’ve got a lot on your plate already, it’s one less thing to worry about here and now.

3) Would a ‘time-of-day’ tariff suit your business better?

Some businesses naturally have a different pattern of energy use and can take advantage of lower off-peak rates. Logistics and freight businesses could be an example of this. Some businesses could modify their usage pattern quite simply and make significant savings by moving to a seasonal time-of-day tariff.

4) Do you know your Maximum Import Capacity (MIC)?

Energy industry jargon can sometimes be baffling. Over the decades, the electricity system has been designed by engineers and snappy self-explanatory terms are not their strong point. However, there are a few terms that are really worth knowing. For example, your MIC is the agreed maximum amount of power that your site can pull from the Distribution System. This really matters since – like going into an overdraft at the bank – excess withdrawals attract higher charges. Its worth speaking to your energy supplier about this.

5) What’s a ‘red rate’?

Your electricity bill probably seems reasonably straightforward. That’s because most businesses pay a blended rate which smooths out the reality of the underlying cost base. Yet, there are actually a range of underlying ‘Power Hours’ which determine the cost of supplying you with energy. The year-round peak demand period is the ‘red rate’ – typically between 4pm and 7pm – when kids come home from school and families make dinner. And it’s by far the most expensive energy to produce and consume. If you can adapt your energy demand to lower cost periods, our specialists can use your half-hourly data to help you achieve genuine savings.

6) Do you have access to energy market insights?

British Gas Business produce hundreds of energy market reports a year. Indeed, the market moves so fast that we update our reports daily. If you’re a serious energy professional, these market snapshots are gold dust. If energy is one of a number of challenging tasks in your working life, you may only need a few straight answers. If you have high energy consumption, we can work with you as a partner to look at your energy use.

7) Is sustainability part of your energy strategy?

Reducing energy use is a key part of cost control in any business. But it’s also an important way to cut carbon emissions and help combat climate change. Interestingly, the old-fashioned ideas of simply ‘switching off’ lights, devices and machinery were often blocked by basic human behaviour. Nowadays, real impacts are more likely to be achieved by modern technology, alternative energy sources and new ideas such as demand side response.

Related links

British Gas Business can offer your business a full suite of solutions to help monitor, manage and reduce energy spending. Take a look at the business energy plans we offer business customers:

Business energy price plans

 

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