The Energy Advice Line has welcomed a new energy tariff dedicated to SMEs but has warned businesses it is still essential to shop around for the best deals.
Julian Morgan, managing director of the UK’s leading business electricity price comparison and switching service, said EDF’s New Start contract, aimed at entrepreneurs, start-ups and businesses that have moved into new premises, was a step in the right direction for SMEs.
But he said firms should avoid signing up to the deal without comparing the market first to ensure it really was the best tariff for their needs.
“It’s positive news that EDF is designing products based on the needs of start-ups, which are particularly financially vulnerable during the early years,” Mr Morgan said.
“But energy is like any other business supply – you should never accept the first price you are offered regardless of how appealing it sounds and particularly if it comes via a cold-caller.
“It is sound business practice, particularly when business electricity prices are rising, to compare the market to make sure you are getting the best deal that’s out there. In the current climate, you should also think about locking good deals in for at least 12 months.”
The New Start deal features a fixed daily charge of just 5p and a short-term contract of 6–9 months. Businesses are free to leave the contract if their circumstances change dramatically. In addition, when firms come to the end of their New Start deal they will not be rolled over automatically onto an expensive out-of-contract tariff.
Mr Morgan said the New Start contract sounded appealing but it was still essential for firms to shop around to ensure it was the best possible deal for their circumstances.
“It’s essential to compare products like-for-like because a deal might not seem so appealing when you drill down further.
“Using a reputable business electricity price comparison and switching service like the energy advice line is by far the quickest and simplest way to compare prices, get the best deal and save money.”
Mr Morgan also questioned why EDF was not making New Start deal available through business energy brokers or switching service.
“If the deal is genuinely as good as it sounds, EDF should have noting to lose from making it available through services like the Energy Advice Line,” he said.
The Energy Advice Line is the UK’s leading impartial business electricity price comparison and switching service exclusively for business. It has campaigned for utility companies to change their business energy contracts and billing arrangements to make it easier for firms to switch suppliers to get the best business electricity rates and gas deals. It is also lobbying energy regulator Ofgem to ban the practice of cold calling by energy suppliers or their agents.
For further information visit www.energyadviceline.org.uk