Business electricity prices

Business electricity: you can’t run without it, but you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it. Find out more about costs and compare business electricity prices today

There’s really no need to be paying over the odds for your business electricity, that’s why we recommend you get clued-up when it comes to business electricity prices.

We’ll help you understand the whys and wherefores involved with business electricity, including the hidden charges behind business electricity costs, and nifty ways to save when it comes to your electricity bill.

Did you know that 40% of UK businesses have never switched energy providers? There are savings to be had, and you might be surprised by what you’re missing out on. Read on for a comprehensive breakdown of business electricity prices, or, simply fill in the form at the top of the page to receive tailored business electricity quotes.


Small business electricity prices

Business electricity prices are influenced by several factors, including the the size of the premises, the number of people in the building, the level of electricity consumed, and the location(s) of the business. Other factors include your company’s credit score and any installation charges.

Your electricity bill will be split into two parts:

  1. Unit cost – measured in kWh (kilowatt hours), this is the amount paid per unit of electricity used by your business
  2. Standing charge – this is a daily fee that goes towards national grid maintenance

Note: domestic users pay VAT at 5%, whereas businesses are charged 20%. However, the unit price is usually lower on a business electricity plan.


Business electricity rates and tariffs

Tariff refers to how your bill is classified, and therefore calculated, by your energy company. There are two types of tariff:

Fixed rate – the price you pay will be set for the duration of your contract

Flexible – the charges will change with the market

Your tariff is based on how much energy you use, and your energy use is measured by a meter. This information is sent sent to your energy provider, who calculates your bill accordingly.

Business electricity meters come in the following varieties:

Type of meter Description
Half-hourly meter Used for large, high energy consumption businesses. Provide readings at 30 minute intervals. Great for intricate energy analysis.
Multi-site meters One business doesn’t always mean one building. A multi-site meter will ensure that all sites are operating off of one tariff.
Smart meters A time saving device that sends your meter readings to your supplier automatically, so you don’t have to remember to take regular readings.


Cheap business electricity

When it comes to electricity, every business wants to get the best value for its buck. But because of the variable nature of business electricity, it’s nigh-on impossible to say which provider would be the cheapest option for you. No two businesses are the same, and neither are electricity bills.

However, we can provide some hints and tips on how to get a cheaper deal:

Direct debit discounts

There are lots of providers that will offer a discount when you pay for your electricity via direct debit. This is also a good option for when cashflow is limited in the early start-up days.

  • Keep your eyes peeled for start-up friendly services
    When you’re new to the start-up scene, a no-strings contract is ideal. You don’t want to be tied into a plan for years on end, and you definitely don’t want any early termination charges. Always read the small print, and definitely have a good shop around.
  • Figure out your electricity pain points
    Consider what you spend, and where you spend it. There’s no magic spell that’ll fix your energy expenditure – you’re going to have to do a little bit of analysis yourself.

    Start with time and place: when, and on which appliance, are you most likely to spend the most on electricity? For example, if you run a takeaway that’s only open in the evenings, you might be better off on an off-peak tariff.

    If it’s lighting that eats most of your electricity, then consider switching to low-energy, or LED bulbs.

  • Survey the scene
    Your energy contract will probably renew automatically, and it can tempting to just let that happen. However, you could be missing out on some sweet deals in the meantime. Always check your options before accepting automatic renewal.
  • Compare quotes
    Hop to the of the page to fill in the form and compare business electricity quotes today.

I run my business from home – what should I do about business electricity?

Running your business from home will probably mean that you don’t use enough energy to qualify for a business electricity tariff. It’s therefore fine to stay on your domestic rate with your domestic provider. However, the above advice still applies, insofar that it’s always best to have a shop around, making sure that you’re on the best plan possible.

Supplier Price per kWh Standing Charge (pence per day)
British Gas 21.69p 57.44p
EDF Energy 22.50p 80.00p
E.ON 18.80p 80.00p
Npower 29.24p 87.43p
Scottish Power 20.50p 56.00p
SSE 20.04p 54.00p
Bulb 12.05p 27.40p
Yü Energy 23.03p 156.00p

The above table demonstrates the way in which energy companies calculate an electricity bill. The company will take the price of the energy itself, the cost of delivering the energy to you, and add them together. Although, as each bill is specifically tailored to each businesses’ specific requirements, we can only provide you with a rough, generalised figure.

For more information, or to receive a business electricity quote for your business specifically, simply fill in the form at the of the page.


Taxes, tariffs and levies

It probably goes without saying that the more energy your business uses, the more expensive your bill will be. However, there are also certain costs that certain businesses will encounter – and, on the flip side, that certain businesses can avoid.

  1. The Climate Change Levy (CCL)
    The CCL is a tax on energy usage that encourages businesses to reduce emissions and act in a more environmentally friendly way. This can affect your business’ electricity bill and is determined by a variety of factors, including the scope, type and purpose of your business.
  2. You may be exempt, or have reduced rates on some taxes, if:

    You use a lot of energy because of the type of business you are
    Your business is so small that it doesn’t use a lot of energy
    You use energy-efficient technology in your business

    For more information regarding the climate change levy, take a look at this page.

  3. Feed-in tariffs
    A soon-to-end scheme, this tariff essentially allows you to sell your electricity back to the national grid if you produce your own electricity via hydro, wind, solar, or anaerobic digestion.

    However, a recent Ofgem report stated as of 1st April 2019, the scheme will be closed to new applications. So, if you’d like to take part, there really is no time like the present.

  4. Peak, off-peak, or something in between?
    There are more and less expensive times to use electricity. Just like making calls on your landline will cost more at certain times, or catching the train at the busiest hour is more expensive, the same rule applies to electricity.

    The most expensive time, or ‘peak time’, is throughout the working week during office hours (usually 1pm-7pm). This means that any electricity used in these hours is classed as peak energy, and will be more expensive.

    Then there are partial-peak hours. These come in at about 25% less than peak rates, and exist on weekdays between 10am to 1 pm and 7 to 9pm.

    The rest of the time is considered off-peak, and is when electricity is at its least expensive. Your bill should separate the peak, part-peak and off-peak charges, so you can see the difference in cost for each time period. Alternatively, you can contact your energy company for clarity on what their peak, part-peak and off-peak hours are, and what the cost difference is.

    Of course, it’s nonsensical advice to say you should work without using electricity during peak times, as these are probably the busiest hours for your business (hence ‘peak time’). But being aware of when your electricity provider is most likely to charge you the most money is helpful, and can contribute towards informed decisions when it comes to turning on high-energy machinery at certain hours.


Next steps

Now we’ve touched upon the basics of business electricity, it’s time to take a look at some of our supplier reviews.

For more information about electricity suppliers – or, more generally, business energy in all its forms – be sure to head to the Startups section on business energy. Here you’ll find reviews, comparisons, and a wealth of information.

Or, if you feel well-armed with all the information you need, why not fill in the form at the top of the page to get the ball rolling and receive tailored quotes, fitted right to your business?