5 best business energy brokers and switching services for 2024

Looking for UK commercial energy brokers or switching services to save money this winter? Here's our expert breakdown of the top providers.

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Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young

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Business energy rates are forecast to rise again in 2024, crippling SMEs at a time when insolvencies are already at a record high. Many entrepreneurs were hoping the Autumn Statement on November 22 would bring good news. But with no announcement about business energy support made, it seems businesses are on their own.

Hiked energy bills are a pertinent issue for small firms, particularly for those colder winter months. The situation in the Middle East, combined with the war in Ukraine, means it makes sense to shop around now for the best tariff you can find. From 3,000 brokers to choose from, here's our list of the top five:

Best Energy Brokers and Switching Services: At A Glance

  1. Love Energy SavingsBest for customer satisfaction
  2. Bionic EnergyBest for dedicated business solutions
  3. Northern Gas and PowerBest for growing or larger businesses
  4. Utility BidderBest for green tariffs
  5. LabradorBest for a free, transparent pricing solution

Click any of the links above to begin comparing costs on an energy switching service for your own company's size and needs.

Finding the best deal for your business energy requires a lot of effort. Searching online, phoning providers, reviewing quotes – all of these are time-consuming for busy entrepreneurs.

Instead, many use an energy broker or a switching service. Switching services quote a limited range of suppliers, instantly; whereas a broker will go in-depth to deliver a personalised recommendation of the optimal supplier. Below, we'll offer insight into the top energy switching and broker services on the market.

Business Energy Support: What's Available?

The government's Energy Bill Relief Scheme, a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all ‘non-domestic' customers, came to a close on April 2023. Its replacement is the less-generous Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS).

Under the EBDS scheme, business customers automatically receive a discount of £6.97 a megawatt hour for gas and £19.61 a MWh for electricity. Smaller businesses with energy costs below £107 a MWh for gas and £302 a MWh for electricity will not receive support.

EBDS support is set to end on 31 March 2024. Sector leaders had been calling for greater aid to be unveiled in the Autumn Statement on November 22, but no changes were announced during the statement. We recommend business owners use an energy broker to seek a range of alternative price quotes and lock down the best price possible.

We've developed a simple, free-to-use energy cost comparison tool. You simply need to let us know a few details about your business energy requirements, and it takes just one minute. We’ll then match you with suitable energy brokers.

Why use a business energy broker?

There are a number of benefits to using either an energy broker instead of doing the heavy lifting yourself. These include:

  • They reduce the cost of your energy bills. As today's businesses battle to keep their spending down, brokers can access a wider range of suppliers/tariffs for the best deals
  • They will lessen workload. In the current climate, less time spent on admin is an invaluable benefit for SMEs, many of whom have had to take drastic measures to contend with high bills
  • They offer advice on tariffs. As well as online quotes, most suppliers have business energy experts on-hand to offer well-researched advice on what tariff to choose, and whether to switch
  • Some have exclusive deals. Depending on the provider, customers can expect special offers from energy providers as a reward for using that broker's service

Why use an energy switching service?

Energy switching providers, such as Labrador, offer many of the same benefits as a broker. They mean you'll avoid the paperwork involved with switching provider, and be able to see how multiple quotes from different providers stand up against each other in one go.

However, switching services tend to be cheaper upfront because they are not as comprehensive in their search as energy brokers.

When comparing costs, you might not necessarily find a cheaper deal than your current contract with an energy switching service – whereas most brokers offer a cashback guarantee that they'll find the cheapest plan.

Best UK business energy brokers and switching services

Swipe right to see more
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Love Energy Savings

 

Bionic Energy

 

Northern Gas and Power

 

Utility Bidder

 

Labrador

 

Best for:

Customer satisfaction

Best for:

Dedicated business solutions

Best for:

Growing, larger, or international businesses

Best for:

Green tariffs

Best for:

Transparent processes and pricing

Type of service

Broker

Type of service

Broker

Type of service

Broker

Type of service

Broker

Type of service

Switching service

1. Love Energy Savings

Love Energy Savings compares a range of suppliers, from the Big Six right through to independent suppliers, as well as green suppliers and tariffs. All in all, you can assess 150+ deals from 18 different suppliers.

Our research found that a customer service rep responded just under 3 minutes after we requested a quote. This speed of service has made Love Energy Savings a popular choice amongst SMEs. In October 2023, the company reported a 1,250% growth in self-serve online transactions since 2021.

Once your chosen contract goes live, you’ll be assigned an account manager to look after all aspects of the switching process. You’ll also be informed of the renewal date, when relevant.

Love Energy Savings pricing

It’s free to compare deals on the Love Energy Savings website. There’s also the option to call and speak with a consultant about tariffs that are available to you.

As is often the case when using a broker, you'll pay either an introductory fee or a regular fee for the duration of your contract. This fee will be based on your energy consumption.

On average, Love Energy claims to save business users 40% annually on energy costs. A big perk for firms is its cashback guarantee. If Love Energy is unable to beat the first renewal quote you received from your supplier, it offers back up to £1,000.

Love Energy Pros
  • Adheres to E.ON’s TPI (Third Party Intermediaries) Code of Practice
  • Monitor your switching status in real-time with Track My Switch (an in-house feature that’s unique to Love Energy Savings)
Love Energy Cons
  • Returning customers won't get the best deals - Love Energy tends to save lower tariffs for new customers
  • Only lets you compare costs for gas OR electricity, not both

Love Energy Savings verdict: Is it right for my business?

Love Energy Savings is clearly an experienced and trusted company by its 12,300+ Trustpilot reviews, which earn it an average score of 4.7/5 and an ‘Excellent' rating. Similarly, its subscription to E.ON’s TPI Code of Practice represents another vote of confidence in its services.

This could be especially attractive to very new businesses, or those that are using such a service for the first time, to help them feel more confident about the type and quality of service that’s available.

2. Bionic

Bionic has a strong focus on technology, as evidenced by its business platform, not to mention its hybrid (digital and voice) approach to customer experience. It works by searching Electralink, which manages the data hub for the energy market in the UK.

From this, Bionic can find out your electricity/gas meter number, as well as your supplier and your business energy consumption. This saves you from having to locate your bill and relevant details, and then input them into a form.

As part of Bionic's trust promise, only compares vetted suppliers that go through an eight-stage process. Bionic reviews a supplier on everything from its finances to its customer focus. There are a variety of suppliers available, including the Big Six, as well as specialist and new suppliers.

Although Bionic makes suggestions for which would be the most suitable options, the ultimate decision is yours. The company handles the switching process from beginning to end, and it can manage renewals too.

Bionic pricing

Similar to Love Savings, you will be given quotes from the provider from a dedicated sales rep – however, Bionic does take the information about your business (size, location, current supplier) online, rather than over the phone. This considerably speeds up the process.

Bionic operates on a commission-based model. Commission from providers is included in the price you pay. This fee covers the cost of Bionic’s services, such as comparing, switching, and renewing energy contracts.

You’ll be informed of which commission band your contract sits within for standard energy contracts. Precise commission amounts are available upon request. If your business has a bigger or more complicated contract, then the exact commission amount is discussed with you.

Bionic Pros
  • Offers a DIFY (Do It For You) service to automatically switch you to a new contract when your current one is due to be renewed
  • 4.6 Trustpilot score and Excellent rating
  • Offers a dual 'Gas + Electricity' price comparison, unlike Love Savings
Bionic Cons
  • Focus on technology could be less appealing for businesses who prefer a more people-focused approach
  • Some customers report being automatically signed up for automatic renewal. Make sure to check this with the sales rep before signing anything

Bionic verdict: Is it right for my business?

Bionic provides clear and detailed information about its processes and pricing. And since it doesn’t offer domestic comparison services, Bionic is one of the few specialist business brokers out there.

The service does also include all of the UK, so we think it is particularly useful for businesses that are located in rural or under-served areas.

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3. Northern Gas and Power

Northern Gas and Power is the largest energy consultancy, based on the volume of customers and amount of terawatt-hours (TWhs) it manages. Its procurement services are available across three continents, spanning hundreds of suppliers.

Using a tailored consultancy service like Northern Gas and Power's will involve all suppliers interested in the type and scale of supply for your business. Ideally this will ensure you can benefit from a bespoke contract, designed to match your business’ energy consumption patterns.

The company can negotiate contracts, evaluate proposals from suppliers, and even advise on strategy for energy procurement and management. It can manage paperwork, and customers also get a dedicated account manager that’s available throughout the contract period.

Northern Gas and Power pricing

Whether you're on a fixed price, flexible, and renewable contract, there are two different ways that Northern Gas and Power receives payment. These are:

  • In the form of a fee that’s included in supplier proposals and in your bill. Northern Gas and Power receives this payment from the supplier directly – there aren’t any additional or unexpected charges for you
  • If you use the company for project or consultancy work, then this can be paid for with a set charge, based upon the time and expense to complete the work

It should be noted that, for both of these charges, Northern Gas and Power says the maximum commission it will charge is £0.04 per kWh of energy unit consumed by the meter or group of meters contracted.

Northern Gas and Power Pros
  • Suitable for multi-site businesses due to tailorable packages
  • 4.8 Trustpilot score and Excellent rating
  • Customers report great satisfaction with the Northern Gas and Power customer service team
Northern Gas and Power Cons
  • Can take a longer time to source quotes as Northern Gas and Power does not offer a cost comparison engine on its site
  • Plans are not suitable for micro-businesses or startups - more-established firms will find their deals better value for money

Northern Gas and Power verdict: Is it right for my business?

In addition to the UK, Northern Gas and Power operates internationally, including in France and the US. This is most helpful if you run a larger, international business with locations abroad.

Northern Gas and Power also offers the most comprehensive range of energy services, including procurement, on this list. If your business has especially complex or more unusual energy requirements, then it could be a great match.

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4. Utility Bidder

Utility Bidder was founded in 2009. As well as catering predominantly for SMEs, a dedicated service for corporate and larger energy consumption customers is also available.

Utility Bidder can manage all aspects of the energy switching process. As with Love Energy Savings, you're assigned an account manager. High consumption customers are also given a dedicated team to manage your contract.

Sustainability is a big focus for Utility Bidder. Account managers can also provide advice on the best green energy deals to help your business to lower your business’ carbon footprint.

Some of the most recognisable utilities suppliers are available via Utility Bidder, including British Gas, E.ON, Npower, and more.

Utility Bidder pricing

Utility Bidder says that it can help customers save up to 45% on their bills. For a cashback guarantee, the provider also assures that it will pay £1,000 if it can’t beat your renewal quote.

Once you’ve provided the relevant information to Utility Bidder, prices are given immediately. The company has access to more than 27 suppliers, including exclusive pricing for Utility Bidder customers.

It's worth noting that Utility Bidder doesn’t readily provide more details on its website about how it gets paid – or even how to find out this information. Brands like Bionic are much more transparent in this regard.

Utility Bidder Pros
  • Lets customers compare Gas, Electicity, Gas & Electricity, and Water rates
  • Multiple plan types available including flexi-approach (where you can buy all the energy your business needs in advance)
  • Customers get a dedicated account manager to sort all the paperwork and liaise with the energy supplier
Utility Bidder Cons
  • It’s unclear how Utility Bidder charges business customers, and you won't know how much you’ll have to pay until you hand over your info. This lack of clarity could be discouraging for business owners

Utility Bidder verdict: Is it right for my business?

If your business uses a lot of energy and is focused on cutting down carbon usage, Utility Bidder is the ideal solution. Be wary if you've not got a lot of wiggle room in the budget; Utility Bidder's opaque commission fees means it's not possible to determine your full bill upfront.

That being said, there are many businesses out there who have used Utility Bidder’s services – 68,000 of them, in fact. And, with its excellent rating of 4.8 on Trustpilot, it clearly has some happy customers.

counting monthly expenses, electricity bills, money and payments, doing paperwork with energy efficient led filament Lightbulb Glowing, Devon, United Kingdom April 19 2021.
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5. Labrador

Labrador is unique in this list as the only energy switching provider, not broker. Switching services work in a similar way to energy brokers, comparing energy tariffs and taking on many of the administrative tasks involved in changing energy suppliers.

Labrador is an independent service that compares deals FREE of charge. It only instigates switches that offer savings of £80 a year minimum (excluding exit fees). It can also manage the notice period for current contracts.

The brand offers an easy set-up process that can be completed entirely online, in under ten minutes. There’s also the option to create an account, which is where you can set your preferences. These include:

  • Preferred way of paying
  • The type of fuel you want
  • Your chosen contract type (fixed or variable)
  • The level of customer service ratings that you expect from a supplier

Green tariffs are also widely available through Labrador, which launched its first ever free net zero energy product on March 11 2023. Users can choose any energy supplier and any tariff available through the service, and Labrador will make their energy carbon neutral, free of charge.

Labrador pricing

Labrador is free for customers to use. Its service is paid for via a fee from the energy supplier for every new customer that Labrador brings them.

It’s not possible to provide more specific pricing information at this stage, as these details aren’t available on Labrador's website. Labrador does say that its payments are received irrespective of which provider you choose.

Labrador Pros
  • Users can sign up to get quotes from Labrador even if you are not in your energy-switching window yet
  • Get quotes using just your business location
  • Uses your smart meter to determine your current usage and supplier for more accurate quotes
Labrador Cons
  • Quotes are sent via email, making it harder to discuss your quote and contract in-depth
  • Doesn’t cover the whole market of energy suppliers

Labrador verdict: Is it right for my business?

With its quick and easy process, Labrador would suit all small businesses. Plus, its account option and relevant settings – not to mention its potential savings – make Labrador a perfect solution for businesses looking to switch energy suppliers quickly.

Because it's a switching service, not a broker, you'll have fewer options when it comes to choosing a new provider. This could potentially mean missing out on a better, cheaper deal.

Any financial loss is balanced out by time savings, however. With Labrador, everything can be done online. This is ideal if you’re especially short on time, and want to start switching as soon as possible.

How to switch energy providers

Switching business energy suppliers can save a lot of money in the long-run, as most providers tend to save their most generous deals for new customers. It's also a lot easier than you think to get started.

Our guide to switching energy providers has more information on the steps involved, but here's a quick  runthrough in three steps:

Step 1. Confirm your business energy contract is ready for renewal. This is also known as the switching window, or the notice period. If you are not in the switching window, an exit fee might apply.

Step 2. Use an energy switching provider or broker to find the deal you'd like to switch to. They will let your current supplier know that you plan to switch (you can also do this yourself if you'd prefer).

Step 3. Agree to the contract with your new supplier and pay off any remainind balance in your account, if applicable.

How much should your business be paying for energy?

hand of a man with a pen on some electricity bills surrounded by coins a light bulb and a calculator

It's hard to put an exact figure on what a business energy bill should look like. According to the average unit rates and standing charges quoted by Bionic from in early November 2023, a small business can expect to spend £2,694 per year (based on annual usage of 22,500kWh).

That said, the overall cost of your companys' gas and electricity bill at the end of the year is influenced more than just supplier pricing. Other factors that can drastically alter the price per kWh unit are:

  • Energy usage (Bionic estimates SMEs use between 15,000 and 30,000 kWh; a substantial range)
  • Business location (rural areas tend to pay more as there are fewer suppliers)
  • Business size (firms based in multiple areas will need to settle multiple bills. A multisite deal could offer better value for money if you operate across multiple sites)
  • Business sector (manufacturers will have a higher gas bill than dropshippers)
  • Type of tariff (in a fixed-rate energy tariff, the price will not change for the duration of your contract. Variable rate tariffs mean the price fluctuates in line with market prices)
  • Strength of the pound (the UK imports around 50% of its gas from Europe)
  • Supply and demand (heatwaves and low wind power can push prices up)
Compare Costs From Business Energy Brokers

Choosing an energy broker or switching service really depends on a firm's individual needs. With our short form, you can compare business energy brokers based on your unique business profile, and be matched with brokers that are most suitable.

How can businesses save money on energy?

Rising wholesale oil prices have sent supply chain overheads shooting upwards, causing many growth sheets to flatline and making tens of energy suppliers bankrupt. In October 2023, the BBC reported that the number of companies going bust this year is on track to be the highest since the depths of the financial crisis in 2009.

Our guide on how to budget for rising fuel and energy costs has more tips and tricks on keeping bills down. For a quick rundown, here are some simple changes you can make easily to your workspace and operations:

  1. Invest in energy-saving equipment. Old computers, fridges and boilers tend to be far less energy efficient. Upgrading to more energy efficient products now will lead to long-term savings.
  2. Use a smart meter. Take regular meter readings around your premises to keep track of your energy consumption and spot ways to save.
  3. Educate staff. Encourage simple behaviour changes by telling staff the cost savings that can be made by simply turning a single monitor off when it's not in use (an estimated £35 a year)
  4. Go green. We spoke to Bev Toogood last year, owner of Almost Off Grid, who told us she has managed to halve her energy bills by using sustainable tech such as heat pumps and solar panels.

What's the best business energy broker? Expert verdict

Man signing contract.

Our above reviews should give you a good introduction to the broker options available, and how they work. You know that Love Energy Savings is the best option for new firms wanting a reliable, trustworthy provider with high-quality customer service. Of the other brands:

  • Bionic is our top option for rural firms
  • Larger organisations should go to Northern Gas and Power
  • Those wanting sustainable energy plans should use Utility Bidder
  • Labrador is best for those short on time, and wanting to switch immediately

The power is in your hands to identify the right provider for your unique business needs. Sounds simple, but we know how time-consuming ringing around every provider asking for quotes can be.

That's why we've built a bespoke, Startups-exclusive cost comparison tool. Users can simply fill in a few basic details about what you need from your next energy supplier, and you'll be able to compare quotes from the top providers in under a minute.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is an energy broker and how do they work?
    Energy brokers act as an intermediary between customers and energy suppliers, in exchange for a fee. The broker compares deals on your behalf, usually based on at least your business postcode. While the initial information can often be provided online, in most cases, you’ll also need to speak with them on the phone.
  • What does an energy broker do?
    Energy brokers can offer you a selection of tariffs and rates to choose from, along with advice, although you make the final decision. Once you’ve chosen a contract, energy brokers also manage the switching process, as well as getting in contact with you closer to the contract end date.
  • How do I find the energy supplier for my business?
    One of the easiest methods to find your current business energy supplier is the Energy Network Association search tool. Simply input your business postcode and you'll be put in touch with a network operator who can share your supplier details.
  • Are energy broker services free?
    No. Energy brokers typically charge a commission fee on every deal made. That fee is calculated as an amount per unit of energy, usually in pence per kWh. When this amount is paid depends on the supplier, but it will usually be in the form of either an introductory fee or a regular fee.
  • Are energy brokers regulated?
    Not currently. However, Ofgem has set out a phased introduction of a 'dispute resolution scheme'. This will make it easier for Ofgem to resolve disputes between energy suppliers/brokers and their customers. Ofgem have decided that energy suppliers will only be able to work with brokers that are members of this scheme, so it is expected that most providers will sign up by the deadline of August 2023.
  • What is a TPI agreement?
    TPI stands for Third Party Intermediaries, which refers to energy brokers, switching services, and energy efficiency advisors who correspond with customers. TPIs can give advice on procuring, managing, or increasing the efficiency of energy supply. They do not provide energy. Contracts for supplying energy are made with the energy suppliers.

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Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.
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