The 6 best business energy brokers and switching services in 2021
Looking for UK commercial energy brokers or switching services, but not sure which companies are best? Read about a selection of top providers here
We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality.This article was co-authored by:
Are you a business owner who’s looking to keep costs down on your energy bills? This is a particularly pertinent issue for small businesses, which often get less than ideal energy deals than bigger companies.
In fact, very small businesses paid almost twice as much for gas supply than the average, and they also paid approximately a 30% higher price than average for electricity, across all segments of businesses in Q1 2019. This is according to Ofgem’s State of the energy market 2019 report.
But finding the best deal for your business energy requirements can take a considerable amount of effort: searching online, phoning providers, reviewing quotes, and so on.
While this may sound headache-inducing, there are other options that can help to make this process easier for you.
But these aren’t the only ways to save – we’ll also offer insight into up-and-coming energy switching services, such as Switchd.
You can learn about the benefits of using an energy broker or switching service – along with how energy brokers work, what TPIs (Third Party Intermediaries) are, and more – in the dedicated FAQs section.
Best UK business energy brokers and switching services in 2021
|Provider||Best for||Type of service|
|Love Energy Savings||Customer satisfaction||Broker|
|Bionic||Dedicated business solutions||Broker|
|Northern Gas and Power||Growing, larger, or international businesses||Broker|
|Utility Bidder||Award-winning services||Broker|
|Switchd||Transparent processes and pricing||Switching service|
|Labrador||Offering a business-specific switching service||Switching service|
Top 4 business energy brokers
Love Energy Savings
Love Energy Savings pros:
- Adheres to E.ON’s TPI (Third Party Intermediaries) Code of Practice
- 4.7 Trustpilot score and excellent rating, with 12,300+ reviews
- A specific business comparison service is available
- Allows you to monitor your switches online
Love Energy Savings cons:
- Its pricing information could be easier to understand
Love Energy Savings overview
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.
It’s quick and easy to get started – in fact, you can compare deals online for free in one minute.
You can also monitor your switching status in real-time with Track My Switch. This is an in-house feature that’s unique to Love Energy Savings.
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 has completed more than 249,000 switches, so you’re in safe hands. Plus, it’s signed up to E.ON’s TPI Code of Practice, which is a set of standards and best practice guidelines that outline how TPIs should operate with SMEs.
Love Energy Savings pricing
It’s free to compare deals using Love Energy Savings' online comparison engine. There’s also the option to call and speak with a consultant about tariffs that are available to you.
These prices and deals are based upon the location of your business, as well as its energy consumption and current supplier.
When your contract goes live with your new supplier, you'll pay Love Energy Savings either an introductory fee, or you'll pay them a regular fee for the duration of your contract. This fee will be based on your energy consumption during that period.
On average, you can save 40% annually on energy costs for your business. And, if it’s unable to beat the first renewal quote you received from your supplier, Love Energy Savings offers a cash back guarantee of up to £1,000.
Love Energy Savings verdict: Is it right for my business?
If you like having a choice between comparing deals online or on the phone, then Love Energy Savings is a sensible option.
Love Energy Savings is clearly an experienced and trusted company – just look at 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 or small 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.
Plus, Love Energy Savings is an award-winning company, having scooped the TELCA (The Energy Live Consultancy Awards) Super Consultancy of the Year award in 2017. It was also included in The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 in 2018.
- 4.6 Trustpilot score and excellent rating
- Has helped 200,000+ businesses
- Specific business services
- Tech-driven operations
- Its focus on technology could be less appealing for businesses who prefer a more people-focused approach
Bionic is an independently owned company, founded in 2007 and powered by a team of 195+ experts. It has a strong focus on technology, as evidenced by its business platform, not to mention its hybrid (digital and voice) approach to customer experience.
Bionic 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.
Bionic only compares vetted suppliers that go through an eight-stage process. As part of this 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.
It also offers a DIFY (Do It For You) service. If you choose this option, Bionic will intentionally switch you to a new contract when your current one is due to be renewed.
Bionic operates on a commission-based model, with commission from providers included in the price you pay. This fee covers the cost of Bionic’s services, such as comparing, switching, and renewing energy contracts, as well as its customer service.
You’ll be informed of which commission band your contract sits within for standard energy contracts, and the 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 states that it has transparent pricing, and that it has access to exclusive deals.
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, this makes Bionic a specialist business service, which is somewhat unusual.
Its service does also include all of Great Britain, which may be particularly useful for businesses that are located in rural or under-served areas.
Compare the Market, Confused.com, MoneySuperMarket and USwitch all use Bionic for its comparing and switching services for business energy. If these well-known brands trust it, we reckon you can too.
Northern Gas and Power pros:
- 4.7 score and excellent rating on Trustpilot
- Operates in the UK and internationally
- Suitable for multi-site businesses
- Transparent about its processes
- Range of services available
Northern Gas and Power cons:
- The UK market is not its sole focus
Northern Gas and Power overview
Northern Gas and Power says it’s the largest energy consultancy, based on the volume of customers and amount of terawatt-hours (TWhs) it manages.
It also has a sister company – Business Energy Quotes – which is a service that’s focused on small businesses specifically.
Northern Gas and Power’s procurement services are available across three continents, spanning hundreds of suppliers.
Northern Gas and Power also provides consultancy services, which it says go beyond standard energy broker practices. For example, as a consultancy, it can analyse energy consumption and create custom solutions, which can help to increase potential savings.
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
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, or based upon the time and expense to complete this work
Northern Gas and Power can provide fixed price, flexible, and renewable contracts. It’s independent from suppliers, and says it’s unbiased.
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 could be helpful if you run an international business with locations in these countries, or are planning to do so.
Northern Gas and Power offers a comprehensive range of energy services, including procurement. If your business has especially complex or more unusual energy requirements, then it could be a great match.
Utility Bidder pros:
- 4.8 score and excellent rating on Trustpilot
- Green energy comparison available
- Won awards at TELCA 2019
- Has helped 68,000 businesses
Utility Bidder cons:
- It's unclear exactly how Utility Bidder charges customers
Utility Bidder overview
Utility Bidder was founded in 2009, and has offices in Corby and Manchester.
As well as catering 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. You’re assigned an account manager, who takes care of the paperwork and is on hand to answer any questions that you might have about utilities.
Some of the most recognisable utilities suppliers are available via Utility Bidder, including British Gas, E.ON, Npower, and more.
Utility Bidder is also an award-winning company, which includes receiving the Consultancy of the Year and Best Customer Service (SME Customers) awards at TELCA 2019.
Utility Bidder pricing
Utility Bidder says that it can help customers save up to 45% on their bills, and states that it’ll pay £1,000 if it can’t beat your renewal quote.
Once you’ve provided the relevant information to Utility Bidder, prices are available immediately. However, this is the only way you'll be able to get an idea of how much you'll be paying, with no general pricing available online. The company has access to more than 27 suppliers, including exclusive pricing for Utility Bidder customers.
It's also 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.
Utility Bidder verdict: Is it right for my business?
If your business uses a lot of energy, or you see it growing to become a bigger company relatively soon, then Utility Bidder’s ability to cater for larger scale energy contracts could prove useful.
However, 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 that want to know exactly where they stand before getting started.
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.
Utility Bidder's consultancy and customer service have also both been recognised externally with TELCA awards. So if you’re new to using this type of service, or have your doubts, these industry accolades could help to put your mind at ease.
Best energy switching providers with auto-switch services
Energy switching providers work in a similar way to energy brokers, comparing energy tariffs and taking on many of the administrative tasks involved in changing energy suppliers.
However, they also offer additional switching services, which can sometimes involve completely automatic switches. For example, some services use an algorithm that is constantly monitoring the market, and will automatically switch your tariff when a better deal is available.
Note that if you have a smart meter, it’s possible that its smart functionality can stop working if you change suppliers, due to varying compatibility issues. This means you may find yourself having to provide meter readings – something to bear in mind when considering an auto-switch service.
- Can be used for multiple properties
- Algorithm searches 26,000+ tariffs
- Option to search green tariffs only
- Offers free and paid plans
- Free plan only compares limited providers
- Not a dedicated business service
One of the main reasons for using an auto-switching service is to take the stress out of switching energy suppliers – and that's exactly what Switchd does.
It has a two-minute sign-up process, which requires only a few details about you, your business, and its current energy consumption.
After this, it takes a maximum of two weeks for the algorithm to search the entire market, as well as to begin, track, and verify your switch.
You can modify the search depending on your preferences, such as if you only want to compare green tariffs, or if there’s a minimum amount that you wish to save.
Although Switchd's auto-switching service will take care of the energy switching process, you can still be kept in the loop. Not only will you be notified by email when a switch is going to happen, along with the potential savings, but there’s a customer dashboard too. You can log on to find out what your current tariff is and the amount you’ve saved, as well as refer a friend.
Switchd was designed to take into account the requirements of managing multiple properties. You can split up fees and correspondence according to each property, all the while continuing to monitor them in a single location via the dashboard.
As well as having clear and easy to understand practices and costs, we like that Switchd is an independent service, and that it’s supported by the Nationwide Building Society. But don’t just take our word for it – Switchd has a 4.4 Trustpilot score, too.
Switchd offers four plans, ranging in price from £0 to £4.99 per month.
The free plan is commission-based. Though you won't have to part with any cash yourself, the catch is that you won't be able to compare the widest range of suppliers.
In contrast, the paid-for plans allow all available suppliers to be compared, and cost between £1.99 to £4.99 per month.
Switchd states that payment is only due if it can offer you savings of more than £50, and exit fees are taken into account when working out any savings.
Switchd verdict: Is it right for my business?
If you’re looking for a trustworthy and reliable auto-switching service for your business, then Switchd could be ideal.
As well as being straightforward to use, Switchd’s green options – along with its ability to manage multiple properties – make it particularly appealing. And with its choice of free and paid plans, there’s something to suit all budgets.
However, Switched doesn’t offer a dedicated business switching service. It can be used for this purpose, particularly for small businesses. But if you run a bigger company – or predict that your business could expand considerably in the near future – then another switching service might be more suitable.
If your business has a smart meter and you find that it has lost functionality after switching suppliers, the Switchd dashboard can store meter readings, and Switchd will send you reminders.
Even though the free plan offers the initial saving of not having to pay to use the service, just bear in mind that it’s offered on a commission basis, and doesn’t compare all providers. This means that you could miss out on bigger savings.
While there are potential drawbacks, Switchd could work especially well if you run a small business with one or more properties, and if you choose a paid plan so that all available providers can be compared.
- Can be used by businesses of all sizes
- Set your switching preferences online
- Entire process can be done online
- Contact hours are 10am-5pm on weekdays only
- Minimal number of Trustpilot reviews
Labrador is an independent service that currently compares deals from 34 energy suppliers. 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.
It 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
Your online account is also where you can opt for Labrador to switch for you, or to have switching recommendations sent across for you to approve or deny.
A highlight of Labrador’s service is its approach to meters. You can continue to use a conventional meter, or you can switch to a tariff that includes smart meter installation (on a free, fast-track basis).
You can select which you prefer via your online account in the ‘Switching Preferences' section. It’s also possible to join Labrador if you have an existing smart meter which is broken, with the company offering advice on how to resolve issues.
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 verdict: Is it right for my business?
As you can choose between Labrador acting on your behalf or sending through recommendations, this means that its auto-switching service isn't entirely auto.
On the one hand, this slows down the process, but on the other, this functionality does offer a good mid-point between regular comparison/switching services and auto-switching services. Which is best all depends on your perspective, and what you require from a service.
Another point to highlight is that if you imagine you’ll need to reach Labrador's team outside of business hours, then its more limited contact hours might be an issue.
With its quick and easy process, Labrador would suit a lot of 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 efficiently.
But where Labrador really stands out is the fact that everything can be done online. This is ideal if you’re especially short on time, and want to start switching – and potentially saving – as soon as possible.
- Love Energy Savings and Utility Bidder are brokers that both offer options to compare suppliers that can provide green energy
- Switchd is an auto-switching service that includes the ability to only compare green tariffs
The best business energy broker UK: Expert verdict
There are so many energy brokers out there, and it can be difficult to know which is right for your business. That's why we've narrowed it down for you.
Our top three energy brokers are:
- Love Energy Savings – best for customer satisfaction
- Bionic – best for dedicated business solutions
- Northern Gas and Power – best for growing, larger, or international businesses
Alternatively, if you’re looking for an auto-switching service, then our top pick is Switchd.
It stands out against the competition particularly because of its transparency about how it operates and makes money, along with simply how its performance compares to other similar services.
Business energy broker FAQs
Here, we answer some of the most burning questions you might have about business utility brokers and switching services.
Why should I use a business energy broker or switching service?
There are a number of benefits to using these types of services. These include:
- They can help reduce the cost of your energy bills
- They lessen your workload, allowing you to focus on other areas of your business
- They’re generally easy to use services
- Potential access to a wider range of tariffs/suppliers than you could find on your own
- Some providers might have exclusive deals with energy companies
- You can discuss your business energy requirements with experts
How does an energy broker work?
An energy broker acts 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.
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.
Are energy broker services free? How do they get paid?
Energy broker services aren’t free, although some may offer an initial or simple consultation at no cost.
There are several different ways that an energy broker might get paid, including through commission, a lump sum payment, or as a share of the savings from an energy deal.
The alternative to using an energy broker would be to compare suppliers yourself – our small business energy comparison page can help you.
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 energy customers.
TPIs can give advice and suggest products or services with the aim of procuring, managing, or increasing the efficiency of energy supply.
Although they may offer these services, they don’t provide energy. Contracts for supplying energy are made with the energy suppliers.
Are energy brokers regulated?
As explained above, energy brokers are one of several types of TPIs, and TPIs aren’t a regulated sector.
However, more general regulation in terms of consumer protection does apply, and some may have voluntarily agreed to meet certain standards in terms of their business operations and correspondence with customers.
It’s difficult to know exactly how many energy brokers there are in the UK, with estimates ranging from 70 to 3,000. However, reading articles like this one and assessing reviews from independent platforms online are both great ways to help you decide if an energy broker is suitable for your business.