A Guide to Business Energy Procurement

Everything you need to know about switching your business energy.

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Energy Simplified

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, you can't afford to neglect your business energy procurement, as your energy and water is likely to form a large portion of your overheads. In a fluctuating market, finding the right product could make a significant difference both to your bottom line and your carbon footprint.

As a Business Energy Consultancy that helps thousands of UK businesses save on their energy, we’ve put together a handy guide to switching your business energy.

What is Business Energy Procurement?

Put simply, business energy procurement is the process of sourcing an energy contract for your business.

When it comes to the process of selecting a product, it’s rarely as simple as comparing rates. That’s why simple ‘price comparison’ services are insufficient in helping you find the right tariff or supplier. Instead, it’s important to factor in your individual business needs, such as your carbon goals, future expansion plans and corporate social responsibility policies, as well as your budgetary requirements.

The same principles apply to your water supply. Now that water services have been deregulated, consumers are no longer tied to a single local supplier. So when you review your energy tariff, it’s worthwhile reviewing your water services at the same time.

Should I Use a Third Party to Procure my Business Energy?

The complexity of the energy industry, coupled with the market's volatility, makes business energy procurement a complex process. Additionally, while one deal might meet your expectations on price, it may not align with your carbon emissions targets. Similarly, a contract that gives you the flexibility to switch any time may not be as cost-effective as a fixed-term tariff. When combined, the multitude of factors make the procurement process time-consuming and confusing.

When obtaining business energy quotes, different suppliers will work to different timescales. This means that by the time you’ve received all the quotes you requested, the initial figures could be out of date. Therefore you may need to go back and get updated quotes before making your final decision.

These are just some of the reasons many businesses choose to use a third party, such as a business energy consultancy, to help them get the right deal on their utilities. We’re committed to transparency here at Tritility, and if we don’t think switching your energy will be beneficial, we’ll advise you to stay where you are. Our ultimate priority is our clients’ needs, and if a product isn’t quite right, we won’t recommend it.

Understanding Business Energy Billing

Energy bills can be complicated, particularly if you have multiple sites and/or suppliers. Our Customer Service advisers are experts when it comes to billing, and can help you to understand your monthly statements.

When you procure your business energy through Tritility, we can even produce a simple monthly statement that summarises what you owe and to whom, across all your sites. What’s more, we’ll look at your current and historic bills to make sure you’re not overpaying, that your bill is based on actual readings and that you haven’t been erroneously charged higher rate VAT or Climate Change Levy (CCL) if your organisation is exempt from these charges.

When is the Right Time to Switch my Business Energy?

Whether or not you can switch your energy will depend on your current contract. But that doesn’t mean you can’t speak to one of our business energy procurement experts to plan your next steps. We can secure rates up to two years in advance, protecting you against future price rises.

What’s more, you can still benefit from our full range of services even before your new contract begins.

How Long does the Switching Process Take? 

Provided you’re not in a fixed-term contract, the switching process can take place fairly quickly. Using a third-party consultancy to procure your business energy takes a great deal of the hassle out of the process. Our experts will be able to obtain a range of quotes to suit your needs quickly, and once you’ve selected the right tariff and supplier, your new contract could go live in as little as 30 days.

Read more about the length of the switching process in our article How Long Will my Business Energy Switch Take?

What are the Different Types of Business Energy Contracts?

Our energy consultants can help you weigh up which type of tariff is right for you. There are several types of business energy tariffs:

‘Deemed’ and out-of-contract

If you’re on a ‘deemed’ or out-of-contract rate, you’re probably paying more than you could be. These rates apply to any energy you use before your contract starts or after it ends, such as when you move into new premises. If this applies to you, we would advise you to get in touch so we can help you find a contract that meets your requirements.

Fixed tariffs

A fixed tariff provides the assurance of a set unit rate of energy for a fixed term. This protects you from price rises, but you may incur a fee if you leave before the contract ends. Bear in mind that a fixed-rate doesn’t necessarily mean fixed bills. Your bills will go up or down dependent on your usage – it’s your unit rate that remains the same.

Variable

The unit rate you’re charged may change during the contract term on a variable tariff. This is because the unit rate is linked to market activity.

Rollover

A Rollover contract arises when you come to the end of your energy contract and have not agreed to a new rate. The key difference between a rollover contract and a deemed rate is that you can switch from a deemed rate at any time. On the other hand, with a rollover contract, you may become tied into a fixed term if you do not cancel within the 14-day cooling-off period at the start of the contract.

How Can Tritility Help Public Sector Organisations?

Traditionally, the business energy procurement model for the public sector has been frameworks. While these are good at pinpointing prices on a given day, they may not always take advantage of market conditions or your individual needs. We offer a different energy procurement model with more budget and forecasting certainty. We’ll work with you to understand your future plans and budget. We’ll factor in your site locations, regional pricing factors and KVA settings. We’ll check your bills to ensure you’re not overpaying VAT or CCL charges, and we’ll make sure you’re getting the best deal on your water rates. Your organisation may be bound by certain procurement guidelines, which we will need to factor in when sourcing your services.

Procuring Greener Energy

In the wake of COP26, carbon reduction is high on the agenda for many businesses. Your supplier’s website should state their fuel mix, i.e. what sources their energy comes from. Some suppliers have already moved to 100% renewables, but those who use a range of fuel sources may still have specific green tariffs.

We can help you to identify the right supplier based on their fuel mix and range of renewable tariffs. We can also help you with smart meter installations, energy usage monitoring and waste reduction. We’re an official Solution Partner to Future Net Zero, the organisation dedicated to helping businesses achieve Net Zero Carbon.

Business Water Procurement

The deregulation of water services has led to competition in the market, as businesses are no longer tied to a regional water supplier. This means that companies could potentially make significant savings by switching their supply. Our consultants have substantial expertise in the procurement of business water services. They will advise you on all the available options based on your business needs.

Business Experts you can Trust

We hold our consultants to extremely high standards when it comes to honesty, integrity and transparency. When you source your business energy through Tritility, you can rest assured that you’ll be given all the facts you need – clearly and openly – to make an informed decision about your energy.

To find out more, get in touch or hit Get a Quote below.
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