The Energy Advice Line is the only impartial online gas and electricity price comparison service run by business energy experts for business energy customers, You, the customer, can view the 5 most competitive energy offers from the UK’s leading suppliers on the Energy Advice Line website, simply compare their prices with your renewal quotation, and switch to your preferred option at a click of a button.
We are the premier impartial online Business Electricity and Gas price comparison service that allows you, the customer, the opportunity of viewing and comparing some of the best prices on the market. You tell us what your contract preferences are and we do the rest. If you can also provide the Energy Advice Line with the renewal price being quoted by your current supplier, we will present a summary, displaying the five most competitive prices on the market with a percentage saving against your renewal offer. You do not need to shop around to compare your renewal offer from your current supplier because we do that for you.
The Energy Advice Line will provide all the information you need to make the switch in confidence. All you the need to do is make your selection online and we do the rest.
The Energy Advice Line service offer is built on honesty and integrity. Industry expert advice is a free phone call away at any time if you require further assistance or just need to ask us a quick question.
Our obligation to provide the best advice and save you as much money as possible does not stop when you move to your new supplier. The Energy Advice Line customer management team will be available at any time during the contract period to answer any questions or speak to your supplier about any queries you might have.
Given your response to your current suppliers service we will also able to form a picture of who is providing the business energy customer with a satisfactory service and who could improve. Please feed back any information over the phone or online and the Energy Advice Line will build a star rating that will measure all suppliers service performance thus making it easier for you and future business customers to make a more informed decision on who they switch to.
For a market to function properly, customers can identify which product is best for them and switch if they want to get a better deal. This in turn encourages companies to compete vigorously to retain customers and attract new ones. It ensures that companies cut costs and innovate in order to offer products to meet customer’s needs at low prices.
In theory, if you do not switch supplier, the active switchers improve competition in the market, which in turn benefits all consumers including inactive consumers. In practice however, suppliers are unlikely to offer all existing customers the same benefits as new customers. Inactive customers are at risk of becoming a target for price discrimination by the suppliers.
Make sure that you leave yourself ample time to gather the key information as before making your choice, as follows:
1. Confirm the termination conditions of the contract you have with your current
2. Gather some key information regarding your premises such as the supply number for Electricity Supply ‘S’number (also referred to as Meter Point Administration Number or MPAN for short) and Meter Point
Reference Number (MPRN for short) for gas together with your company name and address. All of this will be available from your current invoices.
3. Obtain and compare a number of offers from a range of suppliers. Remember to compare all details of the offers – a low price may not look so attractive when paired with difficult cancellation or termination conditions or other contractual obligations.
Before asking for quotes from energy suppliers, or issuing a formal tender document, make sure you have as much of the following information as possible for all the premises you wish to transfer:
Please note that suppliers are not obliged to respond to your request to provide
a quote for supply.
The change of energy supplier process should operate smoothly, but you can help by being able to provide accurate information to your supplier, particularly:
The change of supplier process should take about four to six weeks. The Energy Advice Line will advise you of the expected timescales and key elements of the process.
Your new and current supplier will be transferring important site and metering information between each other, and their metering service providers. If data mismatches occur, this can prevent a successful transfer or lead to delays. The Energy Advice Line may contact you during this period to clarify details or arrange a visit to the premises.
In order to help ensure the process runs smoothly, it is recommended that you do not change meters leading up to a transfer, as this increases the risk of a delay or complications.
Your current supplier will write to you at some stage prior to the end of your supply contract quoting a renewal price. This is something that you must not ignore as the price will most of the time be much higher than a price another supplier might offer you as a new customer.
This discriminatory tactic is employed by your current supplier in the hope that you will not take any notice of the offer and they can lock you in for a further contract period on very high prices.
As soon as you receive your renewal offer you should compare the rates being quoted with other rates on the market. This might appear to be a lot of work for little money saved, but experience has proved that significant sums of money can be saved if you research the market and obtain competitive offers for your businesses energy.
You should contact your current supplier and ask them for your renewal offer. You would be advised to consider your options and request a renewal from your current supplier 3 months before the end of your current contract period. Do not accept any excuses from your current supplier because they will be able to provide you with a renewal offer at least 3 months before the end of the contract period.
This is the binding contract for a specific duration of time between the supplier and the customer. There will be obligations for both parties, however the contract will be slanted in the suppliers favour and this needs to be fully appreciated and understood by the customer before they accept it.
Please note that there is no cooling off period for business customers if you enter into a contract with a supplier. It is therefore very important that you consider all of your options to make the most informed decision before entering into a contract.
You will need to ask your current supplier if you are unsure of what type of contract you are currently on.
Generally there have been three types of contract that have been offered to the small to medium sized enterprises in the UK, fixed term, evergreen and tariff. All of the contracts will have different clauses and must be fully appreciated and understood by you the customer before you make any future decisions on your energy needs.
You will need to make sure that you are aware of the terms and conditions of the contract you are about to accept. Please note that some longer-term contracts might have a clause where the supplier can vary your prices to reflect issues such as future rises in the wholesale market. Please check with the company selling you the If you want a fixed price contract, please stipulate this at the beginning of the negotiation. Rising energy costs are at the moment prompting many customers into choosing fixed price contracts so that they are confident that they are protected from any future rises.
Yes, as a business customer you have to have a supply contract in place with a supply company in order to remain connected to the system and receive a supply of gas and electricity.
This is the duration of time usually anywhere between 12, 36 or 48 months where the customer and supplier are bound by the terms of the supply contract.
Most business supply contracts ask for what is referred to as a termination notice. This can be anywhere between 28 days and 3 months.
This notice of contract termination will need to be served within the required notice before the end of the contract duration, referred to as the contract expiry or renewal date. You as the client needs to proactively terminate your contract to avoid being rolled over onto prices detailed in the renewal notice sent by the supplier. Please be warned that some suppliers do not have to send a renewal notice before they roll you over onto what are usually much higher rates for another 12 to 24 months - so you need to act NOW!.
To avoid the contract roll-over tactic, please complete a termination notice online. Follow the onscreen instructions and mail to your current supplier by recorded delivery as soon as possible - This way you have a record of receipt.
This is the date that your current contract period expires. If you are on a fixed price, fixed term contract, the prices detailed in your contract will no longer be available. If you do not sign a new contract with a supplier, you will be placed on what is called a deemed acceptance contract by your current supplier. Please refer to ‘What is a deemed Accepted Contract’
The prices on a deemed accepted contract are considerably higher than contracts of a longer term give that your suppliers buying or trading position will be subjected to short term pricing which is more costly. This contract does not require a signature from you to form the acceptance.
This is the last resort contract procedure if you have previously been on a fixed term contract, and a supplier should give you plenty of notice and remind you that it would be in your best interest to sign a longer-term fixed price contract. Please note that a contract termination notice of up to 3 months can still apply on a deemed contract.
An ‘evergreen’ or ‘roll over’ contract will automatically renew if you do not serve the correct termination notice within the time stipulated by your current supplier.
Your current supplier will notify you of the rates you are being placed on for the new contract duration, which can be significantly above the market retail price, and the contract termination requirement shortly before contract roll over. However, it firmly rests on your shoulders to serve contract termination notice and allow yourself the luxury of searching the market, get competitive offers and make the right decision in you own time. Please note that you can ask your current supplier for an alternative contract offer as well.
Energy suppliers buy the energy they need to supply you on the wholesale market. As with any other wholesale market, prices will change, and from time to time the supplier will adjust its customers’ prices to take account of this. At the moment, the general trend in energy prices is upwards. But this may change in the future.
The retail price is the price that you pay for your energy. It includes cost of the energy purchased on the wholesale market (this accounts for between 40% to 55% of the total price), as well as the costs associated with getting the energy to your premises. This added with their margin and the commission paid to an energy broker, if applicable, will be the price that you see.
Although the supplier should arrange for a data collector to come to your premises and read the meter, it would be beneficial if you could also arrange for the meters to be read approximately every three months if possible. This reading frequency will enhance the accuracy of your bills. Please also keep a copy of the all of the reads, and the dates the meter was read for your own records and to compare with the suppliers bill.
It is up to you, but you will need to check before you accept the contract what payment terms are stipulated. Options such as payment by direct debit, variable in arrears or by fixed monthly amount are common, as well as payment by cheque or electronic bank transfer in arrears on receipt of the suppliers invoice is also another option offered.
Please note that most suppliers offer you their best prices if you chose to pay by direct debit by way of a fixed monthly amount.
This is the estimate that you are presenting to your supplier on what you will consume on an annual basis when you sign a new contract. This figure is usually stipulated in the new contract and will be used by the supplier as a basis to purchase the Electricity on the wholesale market to cover your demand.
It is important that you get this figure as accurate as possible as some suppliers might inflict a penalty charge if your actual demand deviates significantly from the estimate you provided.
The best place to get this figure is from previous monthly or quarterly invoices from your current supplier. If you are still in doubt, please contact your supplier directly and ask them to provide the data.
The importance of ensuring that your gas Annual Quantity (the quantity which National Grid records as your annual consumption) is checked annually and that it is reasonable in relation to actual meter readings. If you are in doubt about anything in the contract ask your supplier to explain it before signing.
Some suppliers will require you to prove your or give a security deposit before you can take a supply.
Check whether the supplier will accept credit references rather than needing cash. If it has to take a security deposit, make sure you know when you can get it back. Many suppliers will let you have the deposit back once you establish a record of being a good payer (for instance, twelve months of paying bills on time).
Check whether the supplier is going to pay interest on any deposit it holds, and how much. When you are entitled to get a security deposit back, ask for it and make sure that you get any interest you are entitled to.
Business energy suppliers have a special legal right to cut-off premises when a customer does not pay them. This means that they can go to court to get a warrant to enter the premises and physically disconnect you. If you do get cut-off you may have to pay a substantial charge to be reconnected.
Make sure that you are familiar with your payment obligations and stick to them so that you can avoid this. If you think there is going to be any problem with making payment, advise the supplier in writing as soon as you can and try to reach agreement on how to deal with it.
Like other businesses, energy suppliers will probably give themselves the right issue late payment charges and to charge interest on late-payments. The interest rate charged may vary as between suppliers.
If you believe that your bill includes an error, raise the query formally with your supplier; do not simply fail to pay the bill.
Failure to pay the bill may result in disconnection. Amounts that are queried should be excluded from any late payment charges, but check with your supplier.
There will probably be a gap between signing the contract and starting supply. This is because a new supplier will need to register it self as your supplier, and this process can take a little time, approximately 28 days.
What does your contract say about when your supply will start? If the supplier is not willing to promise that it will happen by a particular date, make sure that it is at least promising to do all it can (often called reasonable endeavours in the language of contracts) to start the supply quickly.
If you have not entered into a new supply contract in sufficient time for your supply start date to coincide with the expiry of your current contract, you may be charged by your old supplier at “out of contract” deemed rates until your new supply contract is signed. These rates will usually be higher than your contracted rate.
Obtaining a correct meter reading, on or close to the transfer date, is key to a successful change of supplier process, as this will form the basis of your final bill from your current supplier, and the opening bill from your new supplier. If a reading cannot be obtained, an estimated reading, based on previous read history, will have to be used. This reading is referred to as a deemed reading.
The new supplier may obtain an actual reading by arranging a visit by their appointed meter reading agent, commonly referred to as a ‘Data Collector’.
If there are any particular access issues with your premises, you should endeavour to provide as much information as is necessary to ensure the meter can be accessed. This should include where the meter is located, any access requirements such as keys and step ladders for meter cupboards. If this information is not given, a data collector could visit the site but not be in a position to read the meter.
If you consume significant amounts of gas or electricity, and have Daily Metered Gas or Half Hourly Electricity meters, the reading will be provided to your suppliers automatically.
The first thing that you need to ask yourself is what rights do you have to get out of the contract? Can you do so if the supplier is not doing what it promised (for instance if bills are late or inaccurate)?
Contracts will often deal with this under the heading ‘termination or cancellation’. The more rights you have, the better. Make sure you are aware of them and use them when you want to. In most cases, suppliers’ rights to get out of a contract will be greater than yours.
If you have some power to negotiate terms, try to make sure that these rights are also available to you. It will help you to make sure you get a better service if the supplier thinks that you can go somewhere else if they are not performing.
The way these work is like this: the supplier requires you to send it any quotes you have got from alternative suppliers, and then has the right to supply you at the same price as your best quote, in which case the contract will continue and you have to stay with the supplier.
This is great news for the supplier because, even if it chooses not to match the best quote, it gets lots of useful information about its competitors’ prices. And it has the opportunity to tie you into a contract you might prefer to get out of.
But remember, you may want to change suppliers for other reasons other price (for instance because you have had bad service). Having the option to have your current supplier match your best quote is one thing – having no choice about it is something completely different.
It charts your sites actual metered consumption in half hourly periods for every day of the year. It will provided by your current supplier on a spreadsheet and will have 48 half hourly time periods across the top of the spreadsheet with the days/months of the year down the side.
OFGEM is the regulator for the gas and electricity industries. Since 1999, OFGEM has taken steps to open up the energy markets and ensure fair competition between suppliers.
energywatch is the independent watchdog for gas and electricity customers in the UK. Financed by the Department of Trade & Industry, energywatch offers information, support and advice for consumers in dealing with gas & electricity suppliers.
VAT is applied at the standard rate of 17.5% to the subtotal of your contract charges.
The CCL came into force in April 2001 and is a government-imposed taxation, which all energy suppliers have the responsibility of collecting from their customers. The money collected will go towards the government meeting their targets on energy efficiency and renewable resources.
Customs & Excise will be able to provide you with this information. You can call them on 0845 010 9000.
The Meter Operator installs and maintains the sites metering equipment.
The Data Collector will read your meter/s by way of a visit (in and around the start supply date and frequently there afterwards in accordance with your suppliers instructions) or remotely in the case of all HH metered sites
The data aggregator retrieves the data from the data collector prior to sending to the Meter Point Administration Service (MPAS)