Don’t get caught out on costThe Ofgem report found that two thirds of businesses with a fixed-term contract have either one-year (32 per cent) or two-year (34 per cent) contracts. On the one hand, this offers a great deal of flexibility to these businesses, and will provide more regular opportunities to switch. On the other hand, a one-year contract means researching and shopping around new suppliers every year – and it means keeping on top of that switching window. Some suppliers out there will offer up to five-year fixed contracts, which can put your mind at rest and allow you to budget with certainty for the years ahead. Around 62 per cent of businesses with fixed-term contracts know when to renegotiate or terminate energy contracts: 46 per cent know approximately, and 16 per cent know exactly. Of the businesses in the survey whose previous contracts were rolled over, ten per cent were unhappy with the process, citing price increases, poor communication and renewing without the business’ knowledge as reasons for this. Don’t let your business be one of the ones that gets stung – choose the type of contract that is right for your business, and be sure to monitor it.
Switch suppliers: The processWhen it comes to actually making the decision to switch, you’ll need to shop around to find the best deal. “We simply hate switching suppliers but find it a necessity. When you instigate talking about it, you get bombarded with hundreds of energy companies trying to punt for your business, and this alone can be crippling to a small business,” warned Liz Storey from Ignite Business Enterprise. “They all want you to tell them about what you have, and sell you the cheapest and apparently best option.” The safest course of action here is to make sure you find the deal that’s best for you. Beware of price comparison sites, as they don’t include all suppliers and all available tariffs. The best way to find out what a supplier can offer you is to speak to it directly, and take some time out to make a few calls. To request a quote from a supplier, you will need your electricity supply number and/or gas meter point reference number, which can be found on your invoice. Once you have selected a new provider, simply make the call to switch – and be sure to make a mark on the calendar when the new contract expires.
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