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Micro Business Energy Explained

As the owner of a small business, keeping costs low is always a top priority. Energy is a crucial part of any business, so it’s vital to make sure you have the best energy deal for your business.

In the EU, Micro Businesses are defined as having no more than 10 staff, and a turnover of under £2 million. To qualify for a micro business energy contract, your business must be using less than 55,000 kWh of electricity and 200,000 kWh of gas a year. As business energy deals are calculated on a bespoke basis, you should get a better deal than a larger business.

However, you won’t find the best rates online - you must call suppliers to negotiate costs. Time is a luxury that most small business owners don’t have, and this is where usave can help. Call us to find out how we can help you compare business energy deals on 0800 802 1511.

In this
guide:

How is business energy different to domestic energy?

Pricing is generally lower for businesses because of the higher volumes of energy used, and a bespoke approach to individual tariffs. While domestic energy prices are generic to neighbourhoods, business energy pricing involves many criteria, including consumption, credit score, location, business type and contract length. Business energy is subject to 20% VAT, compared to just 5% for households.

The nature of energy contracts is also very different for businesses. There is no cooling off period, as businesses can willingly enter contracts in knowledge of all the T’s and C’s. Contract lengths can vary from 28 days to 5 years. While household prices are mostly variable, business prices are fixed throughout the contract.

Most importantly, even a micro business has a greater opportunity to strike beneficial deals with energy suppliers due to the nature of pricing in the business energy market.

How can I arrange an energy meter installation for my business?

  1. Find the numbers for your electricity and gas suppliers on an old energy bill for your business property. If you aren’t sure who your energy supplier is, then contact us on 0800 802 1511. We can identify your supplier and arrange an installation. We will also help you compare business energy deals to see if you could be paying less. Your electricity number is your Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN). Your gas number is your Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN)
  2. Decide on the type of meter you would like installed. There are a wide variety of meters available and choosing the right one for you will depend on your type of energy supply and the tariff that you would like.
  3. Negotiate a price for installation. While smart meters are free to install (as they are commissioned by the government) alternative meters might come with an installation fee. If you’d like to avoid the hassle of negotiation, we can do this for you. Just call 0800 802 1511 for details.
  4. Book an installation appointment. Your supplier will decide what work needs to be done and arrange a time to install your new meter. You should make sure that either you or an employee is present when the meter is installed, or the engineer may not go ahead with the work.

How can I arrange a new business energy meter connection?

If you’re in a new property or have recently moved, you’ll need to sort out a new energy connection.

  1. Contact the Distribution Network Operator (DNO). They will set up your connection and give you a quote for the work. The cost will depend on where you are and how much electricity you’ll need.
  2. Pick an energy supplier. At usave, we can help you compare business energy deals by looking at prices and speaking to suppliers on your own behalf. For more details of how we can help you, call 0800 802 1511.
  3. Choose your meter. The right meter for you will suit the type of supply you have and the tariff that you’d like.
  4. Negotiate a price for installation. While smart meters are free to install (as they are commissioned by the government), alternative meters might come with an installation fee. If you’d like to avoid the hassle of negotiation, we can do this for you. Just call 0800 802 1511 for details.
  5. Book an installation appointment. Your supplier will decide what work needs to be done and arrange a time to install your new meter. You should make sure that either you or an employee is present when the meter is installed, or the engineer may not go ahead with the work.

Which energy meter is right for my business?

Smart meters automatically send readings to your supplier and come with a home display screen, so you can keep track of exactly how much energy you are using. Smart meters are great if you’re trying to control or reduce your energy bill, so may be the best option for a micro business on a tight budget.

Standard meters don’t have a display, so you’ll have to take readings yourself. To make sure your bills are accurate, you would need to send readings to your supplier every month. If your micro business has a low electricity consumption, this could be the right meter for you.

Economy 7 meters measure both your daily usage and your night-time consumption. The daily usage rate is higher, while the night-time rate is lower for a period of about seven hours. This varies between areas and suppliers, so always check this before choosing your business energy deal.

Economy 10 meters are like Economy-7 meters. The key difference is that the lower rate is over a 10-hour period instead of 7, so your business can save even more money during off-peak hours.

Evening, weekend and night meters are handy for businesses whose peak hours are at night and on weekends, such as nightclubs and bars. These meters have three rates, charging you less during evenings and weekends, and is even cheaper during the night. However, the hours of evening and weekend rates vary between suppliers.

If you need help to compare business energy prices, then call us on 0800 802 1511.

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