Chamber Chat by Ben Beetham
A GUIDE TO SMES NEGOTIATING ENERGY CONTRACTS
Energy is an essential part of running your business, from powering your IT systems to heating your offices. However, the reality is that small businesses across the country are battling with the threat of rising energy costs.
Ben Beetham, Director of Partnerships at Inspired Energy plc briefly explores some of the basics you should consider when negotiating your energy contracts.
1. Starting point - Can I do this on my own?
Setting up a new contract or switching supplier as soon as you move into your premises can make a big difference to your bills, however obtaining the best prices for your business energy requires skill.
We recommend that you utilise the services of an independent energy consultancy like Inspired Energy plc who will take all the hard work out of the procurement process for you.
2. What length of contract should I go for?
A question you’re likely to come up against is whether you should you lock into a business energy rate for a longer period of time or go for a shorter rate with less of a commitment.
Understandably your business has its own distinct energy requirements, so it's essential you choose a supply contract that suits your needs.
3. I’ve secured my energy contract, what’s next?
As a busy business owner, it’s only natural that once you’ve secured your energy contracts, you focus on the more immediate tasks at hand. Whilst this makes sense initially, failing to maintain a close eye on the sector over the duration of your contract could result in a big surprise as your renewal date approaches.
Due to recent changes implemented by Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), microbusinesses who haven’t agreed a new contract will no longer be automatically rolled over, but will instead be subject to out of contract (OOC) rates once your current contract ends. This means you will be charged extremely high prices until you secure your new contract.
4. Do you want to lower your business energy bills?
As a member of the Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce, you are entitled to a free energy assessment through our recommended utility partner, Inspired Energy plc. This no-obligation service provides peace of mind at no cost; either confirming that your energy and utilities are performing well, or unearthing the ways that they may be costing you money unnecessarily.