The Energy Advice Line has urged more UK firms to reduce their spending by thinking ahead, after a survey showed that most businesses don’t plan beyond the next 12 months.
Julian Morgan, managing director of the UK’s leading price comparison and switching service exclusively for business, said firms were missing out on significant savings by being short-sighted.
“This is particularly the case when it comes to business electricity costs,” Mr Morgan said.
“Fixed-term energy deals that only last 12 months might cost less than 2 or 3 year contracts, but with energy prices still rising, many businesses could be much better off in the medium and long-term by locking in prices for longer.
“We have calculated that some businesses could have saved hundreds of pounds, or even more, per year on their energy bills if they had taken out a 2 or 3 year contract at the start of 2012 instead of a 12-month deal.
“That’s because prices rose by 15% over the course of that year. This is not just the benefit of hindsight. Energy prices will only go up further and we always advise our customers to consider all the options.
“Taking a cheaper short-term contract could well end up being a false economy.”
The survey of 500 businesses by Big Six energy supplier npower found that 57% of small businesses only planned six to 12 months in advance.
Around the same number reported wishing they could forecast further ahead, but said an uncertain economy and shortage of finances were stopping them from forecasting.
“Actually, business electricity prices is one area where firms can take control amid this economic uncertainty,” Mr Morgan said.
“Locking in prices for a 1, 2 or 3 year term gives businesses the certainty over one key overhead.”
Nearly 60% said businesses surveyed took a planned approach to their businesses’ energy consumption, but 25% admitted they had not put in place any energy efficiency measures.
“Shopping around for the best business electricity deal is essential these days, but so is ensuring that the energy your business uses isn’t being wasted,” Mr Morgan said.
“Many businesses are astonished at how much they can save by implementing a basic workplace energy policy. For example, by identifying which pieces of equipment are switched on when, and who is responsible for turning off the lights at the end of the day.”
The Energy Advice Line is the UK’s only impartial business electricity price comparison and switching service exclusively for firms. It actively campaigns for reform of the UK’s energy market so that businesses get a fairer deal and cheaper prices from the major suppliers.
It also offers a free and independent price comparison and switching service that enables businesses to shop the market and identify the cheapest available deal with the click of a mouse. The service includes a complete contract management arrangement to help firms with problems that arise in the course of their energy contract.
For further information and to compare business electricity prices visit www.energyadviceline.org.uk