Business Energy Suppliers – FAQs
Here are the most commonly asked questions surrounding business energy suppliers.
Business energy suppliers by size
Here are the top ten business energy suppliers based on the number of registered non-domestic supply points:
- British Gas – 6.2m supply points
- E.ON – 5.5m supply points
- OVO – 4.0m supply points
- EDF – 3.7m supply points
- Octopus – 3.1m supply points
- Scottish Power – 2.8m supply points
- Bulb Energy – 1.5m supply points
- Shell – 1.4m supply points
- Utilita Energy – 0.8m supply points
- Electricity Plus – 0.6m supply points
The data was accurate as of Q4 2021, as Ofgem hasn’t yet published an updated data set.
Who is the cheapest of the Big Six energy suppliers?
The cheapest supplier will constantly vary as the “Big Six” compete.
Each will adjust their tariffs according to the niche they want to dominate, which means tariffs will vary per usage, location, tariff type, contract length and the market’s current state.
All the suppliers quote differently for different situations and generally update their prices daily, so there is no straightforward answer to which big six business energy supplier is the cheapest.
We recommend using our business energy comparison tool to compare the latest business energy tariffs and get rates tailored to your business and property.
Which business energy supplier is best for large businesses?
Energy costs for large businesses can be enormous, and deals offered in the market are complex. See our guide to energy for large companies.
Does Octopus Energy offer business energy rates?
Yes, Octopus Energy does offer the best business energy rates for companies in the UK. Octopus offers a range of business energy contracts; before committing, we recommend you shop around.
Use our business energy comparison service to compare the latest business energy deals and ensure you make the right decision – you can compare business electricity and business gas suppliers individually.
Which business energy supplier should I choose?
This ultimately depends on what works best for you. Are you looking for the cheapest business energy supplier or a multi-site business looking for 24-hour customer service and consolidated billing?
If improved customer service is your priority, you should search for business energy supplier reviews and judge based on what other customers say.
However, if it’s the cost of business energy you want to improve on, our business energy comparison service will help you determine the best energy prices for your business.
Which business energy suppliers offer green tariffs?
Here is a list of the business energy suppliers that offer green energy tariffs:
- Good Energy
- Green Energy UK
- Octopus business energy
- OVO Energy
- SO Energy
Will my business be disrupted by a change in energy supplier?
No. Switching business energy suppliers requires no change in how energy is delivered to your business property.
Your new business energy supplier will continue to use the same pipes, wires and meters used by your current supplier.
The process of switching business energy suppliers is essentially a paperwork exercise. Switching from one supplier to another will never result in physical disconnection or interruption of energy supplies.
Is EDF the cheapest for business energy?
EDF could be the cheapest business energy supplier. However, it depends entirely on your location, usage as well as the current state of the market.
We advise you to compare the latest business energy prices and then make an informed decision. If it’s low-cost energy you are looking for, compare the latest deals out there and switch to the cheapest.
Here’s how to compare business energy with ease.
What are the differences between domestic and business energy suppliers?
Some business energy suppliers are also domestic energy suppliers, but there are some key differences between the two services:
- Business energy suppliers are not limited by a price cap and generally have much more expensive standard variable tariffs.
- Business energy suppliers apply the government support of the Energy Bill Discount Scheme, whereas home energy suppliers apply the Energy Price Guarantee.
- Business energy suppliers charge VAT at 20%, whereas home energy suppliers charge 5%. Business energy suppliers must add the climate change levy to their bills.
- Home energy suppliers offer dual-fuel products, whereas business energy suppliers offer them separately.
How long does it take to switch business energy suppliers?
The switching process for business energy suppliers in the UK can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks, but it’s important to remember that this can vary depending on certain factors.
To ensure a smooth and timely switch, it’s a good idea to start the process well before your current contract end date and work closely with your new business energy supplier to provide any additional information they need.
Factors that affect the time it takes to switch business energy providers are:
- Contract end dates – When switching suppliers, checking the end date of your current contract is essential. It’s not possible to switch before your current contract ends. If your business is already out of contract, then you’ll be able to switch without delays.
- Meter type – The type of meter you have can also impact the switching process. If your business has a half-hourly meter, switching may take longer as it requires more technical work.
- Credit checks – A new supplier may need to perform a credit check before agreeing to provide electricity to your business. If there are any issues with your credit rating, this can delay the switching process.
- Site visits – If your new supplier needs to conduct a site visit, it can add extra time to the switching process. This may be necessary if you have a complex meter setup or if the supplier needs to physically inspect your premises to ensure they can provide electricity to your business.
To ensure a smooth switching process, starting the process well before your contract end date is a good idea. Work closely with your new supplier to provide any needed information or support.
Read our guide on switching business energy suppliers.
How do I switch commercial energy suppliers for multiple business locations?
The best way to switch business energy suppliers for multiple properties depends on your current situation; here we explore these:
- Each of your properties has different business energy suppliers and contract end dates.
- You already have a multi-site meter and a single supplier for all your properties.
For option 1:
Firstly, you will want to assess each site’s current energy consumption, business energy tariff and contract end date. The contract end date of each property is important as most suppliers will only allow you to quote six months in advance of the contract end date.
Once you have collated this information, you can compare the different tariffs. We recommend that you go directly to multiple business energy suppliers and get them to tender for your portfolio of sites. Or, you can use a trusted business comparison site to compare the different deals.
We recommend asking your suppliers to arrange your contract, so all your supply points have a common end date (making managing your contract much easier).
By going to multiple business energy suppliers, you can compare the different options available to you. It’s important to compare each supplier’s rates, the annual total contract cost, the strength of their customer service, and any add-ons they can provide.
Our business experts can help collect quotes for your property portfolio, simply enter your details and select “multiple properties”.
Once you’ve agreed on a new contract:
- Notify your current suppliers – Notify your current suppliers that you plan to switch by providing them with the required termination notice.
- Provide meter readings – Record meter readings for each of your business locations on the relevant switch dates and provide this to your old and new suppliers. This will ensure that you are not charged for the energy you did not use.
- Monitor your first couple of bills – Check your energy bills after the switch to ensure that you are being charged the correct amount and that there are no billing errors.
You are already in a good position. Having all your properties consolidated into one contract is much easier to manage. You will want to contact your current supplier, ask for a renewal quote, and see if you are happy with their pricing and service.
Ask yourself the reason for switching to a new supplier; if it’s the price – reach out to some of the most trusted business energy suppliers and request a tender for your sites.
If it’s due to poor customer service, review a selection of the trusted suppliers feedback from current and former customers. This way, you can ensure you are happy with their service.
If you are happy with your current supplier, contact their renewal team and discuss a new contract with them.
Use our business energy comparison service to collect quotes for your portfolio of properties in the final year of your current contract.
What are the benefits of using an energy broker to find a commercial energy supplier?
Here is a summary of the key benefits of using a broker to find your new business energy supplier.
- Expertise and market knowledge – Energy brokers specialise in the energy market and deeply understand its complexities. They keep track of market trends, business energy tariffs, and supplier offerings, allowing them to provide informed advice and recommendations. This expertise can help businesses navigate the market and find the most suitable energy supplier.
- Time and resource savings – Researching and negotiating with energy suppliers can be time-consuming and resource-intensive for businesses. Energy brokers can handle the entire process on behalf of a company, saving valuable time. They have established relationships with multiple suppliers and can efficiently compare quotes, negotiate contracts, and manage the paperwork.
- Access to a huge range of suppliers – Energy brokers typically have access to a wide network of commercial energy suppliers, including both larger and smaller providers. This allows businesses to explore a broader range of options and find the supplier that best meets their specific needs. Brokers can also help companies to access exclusive deals or rates that may not be readily available to individuals.
- Cost savings and improved budgeting – Energy brokers can analyse a business’s energy consumption patterns and help identify opportunities for cost savings. They can negotiate favourable contract terms, rates, and payment structures that align with the business’s budget and operational requirements.
- Streamlined processes – Engaging an energy broker streamlines the energy procurement process. Brokers handle administrative tasks, including contract management, metering, and billing queries, leaving businesses free to focus on their core operations. This simplification can reduce administrative burden and improve overall efficiency.
- Expert advice on energy efficiency – Energy brokers can provide valuable insights and recommendations on energy efficiency measures. They can assess a business’s energy usage, suggest energy-saving technologies, and advise on sustainable practices. Brokers can provide ongoing monitoring and analysis to reduce energy costs.
What are the benefits of a green business energy supplier?
Here are the key benefits of choosing a green business energy supplier:
- Lower carbon footprint – Green business energy suppliers will provide electricity exclusively from zero-carbon sources like solar and wind farms. A lower carbon footprint is essential to help the UK meet its climate commitment and combat climate change.
- Electricity from renewable sources – Green business energyy suppliers commit to not using fossil fuels (which are running out) when supplying your business with electricity.
- Reputational enhancement – Consumers are increasingly favouring brands that take environmental concerns seriously. A green energy supply is an integral part of an effective ESG strategy.
For more information, check out our complete guide on green energy benefits. The price of green energy is falling as more and more wind and solar farms are added to the British electricity grid.
Can I negotiate prices with my business energy supplier?
It depends; if you’ve agreed to a contract with your current business energy supplier, it will not usually be possible to negotiate rates before your contract end date.
However, if you’re out-of-contract paying standard variable rates, then it is certainly possible. Out-of-contract business energy rates are typically needlessly expensive, and your supplier may offer a cheaper fixed tariff as an alternative.
To get the best business electricity rates, it’s important to negotiate with your current supplier and compare the whole market. Collect quotes for your business today with the AquaSwitch business electricity comparison service.
What’s the difference between a business energy supplier and a distributor?
Business energy suppliers and distributors perform very different roles in the energy market.
An electricity distributor owns and operates the local electricity distribution network, consisting of powerlines, underground cables and substations. The function of a distributor is to transport electricity from the core National Grid to homes and businesses in their local area.
In contrast, a business energy supplier will purchase electricity in the wholesale market and then pay the distributor to transport the energy to the commercial customers they supply.
Business energy supplier directory
The following table lists all Ofgem licensed business energy suppliers, updated quarterly by our in-house business energy experts. The list provides a link to the website of each business energy supplier or lets you know their current status if they are not currently accepting customers.
Sources: Ofgem electricity licensees, including suppliers, Ofgem gas licensees, including suppliers. Updated October 2023.