Sophie Hebblethwaite

Understanding your business energy bill

Understanding your business energy bill is important as it helps you find ways to reduce costs and keeps you informed. Energy costs can be a significant part of your business’s monthly expenses and there are steps you can take to reduce them. 

You should first understand the different parts of your bill, how providers calculate them and what options are available. This is key for increasing energy efficiency in your workplace. Our guide will go through all the key areas that make up an energy bill. Therefore, you can see exactly what money goes towards supplying electricity, gas, or other fuels to your premises.

The Basics

  • MPAN Number:

Your MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) number is a unique identifier for your business meter. It is also known as an Electricity Supply Number and it is a unique number assigned to your business’s electricity meter. Energy companies use this number to determine your electricity rates. It also consists of 21 digits. 

  • MPRN Number:

A Meter Point Reference Identifier (MPRN), often known as your Gas Supply Number, is a unique number for the gas meter in your building. Your MPRN number will consist of 6-10 numbers in all, which energy suppliers will use to identify your gas meter.

Your MPAN and MPRN numbers can both be found at the top or bottom of your energy bills. However, if you want to find out what they are without your bill, you can call your supplier. Or you can use your postcode and put it on the find my supplier website. 

The Billing Period

The billing period is the period of time over which your energy supplier charges you for your energy use. It may be monthly, quarterly, or annually. There are two main types of billing periods:

  • The same as your contract period – this means you have a fixed-term energy contract with an agreed end date. By which time it will be automatically renewed unless you cancel it. 
  • Different from your contract period – this means that you may have signed up to pay for gas and electricity at different times within a year. Or different providers are supplying you with your gas and electricity.

Your Tariff and Charges

A tariff is a rate that energy suppliers charge for your electricity and gas. The charges are the total amount of money you will pay for your supply over a year. Plus, the standing charge is the cost of getting electricity and gas to your business. You pay for this no matter how much energy you use. The unit rates are how much it costs per unit (kWh) of electricity or gas that you use. 

The tariff you’re on may be different depending on where your premises are. If so, this information should be on your bill. Otherwise, you may want to contact your supplier directly for more details about their tariffs and charges. You can also contact us to see what rates and suppliers may benefit you most.

These are important for you to comprehend when understanding your business energy bill.

Charges for additional services

Your energy bill should also include information about any additional services that you have requested. If you have added a meter, for example, it will be shown on this section of your bill and explained in more detail elsewhere. These charges may vary depending on how much power the new meter uses. VAT and the Climate Change Levy will also be shown and broken down for you to unpack. We will go into further detail about these charges in the next section of our guide. 

The final part of your bill is an explanation of what it means for you as a business owner. This section will give details about how much money has been spent on electricity over the past several months. It will also show how many units your business consumed in that period.  As well as whether there were any changes from previous bills due to special circumstances. The total amount due at this point is also listed with an explanation of how many days are left before payment is due again. So you can plan appropriately for paying your next bill.

VAT and Climate Change Levy (CCL)

  • VAT: Goods and services have Value Added tax applied to them. The VAT in the UK is 20% of the sale price. You may be eligible for discounts, such as the 5% VAT rate. This will also appear on your account and contribute to the total amount you must pay.
  • The Climate Change Levy (CCL) is an environmental tax that is applied to electricity generation, it applies to any finite fuel sources used. The UK government introduced it in 2001 to help offset the costs associated with climate change. For instance, reducing carbon emissions or paying towards renewable energy projects (depending on where your company’s electricity comes from). However, it does not apply to all businesses. Check the UK Government website to see which businesses are exempt. 

Understanding your meter readings

A bill date is a date that your bill is issued. You typically receive a bill on a monthly basis. A bill number is a sequential number that begins with 1 and increases with each billing cycle. The VAT number is the amount of taxes owed on your final bill. If you have any outstanding balances from previous bills, they’ll be shown here along with any interest or penalties due.

Your reading type should be either electricity or gas – depending on what you use for power in your business. Understanding your business energy bill means that you should know your meter readings if you want accurate bills.

Let’s break down each section to make sure we’re getting good value from our energy bills.

The first section of your bill is the “bill number”, a reference number that the supplier uses to identify each bill. It doesn’t tell you anything about what the bill will cost. Although, it does let you know which bills are from different suppliers and when they were sent out.

The second section is the “business electricity supplier” part of your bill and includes information about who your energy provider is and their contact details. If there are any other suppliers operating near where you live (or have an office) then it’s worth looking at what they have to offer. 

This could save you money on your bills down the line if one option offers better value than another. A good example here would be any suppliers that offer green energy for businesses. This is because renewable energy sources cut down costs on your energy bills. In addition to this, there are many other options of suppliers you can choose from. By contacting our staff, our team members can find you the most competitive deals.

The third section tells us how much we’re paying per unit consumed from our business electricity supplier; these figures depend on how much energy we use during each billing period so it’s important not to assume these values will always stay static over time without checking first! This statistic includes all costs associated with utilising a specific amount of power during the specified period, rather than just those relating to your consumption.

And…

It’s always worth noting that your energy bill may look different depending on which supplier you are with. We can’t guarantee that these sections will be in the same place on your bill. However, all of the components should be present. If you require a detailed breakdown that you do not see on your invoice, you should contact your supplier.

Switch energy suppliers to get the best deal

To switch energy suppliers, you will need to contact our brokers. You should contact your current supplier and give them notice that you’re leaving once you decide who you’ll be moving to. If you do this a couple of months before your renewal date, they should have time to arrange for another supplier to take over the contract at the end of its current term. Once this is complete, you will be able to start using new suppliers’ tariffs and rates immediately.

However, it is always important to check how much notice you should give your current supplier before switching. 

The easiest way to check if you are on a good deal is by comparing prices online or by speaking with an independent broker. They can help assess whether it would be worth switching suppliers based on your usage and circumstances. For example, if you use us to compare energy deals, our dedicated brokers can break down the costs of your potential rates. 

If you use an online comparison site or broker, they will provide information about different tariffs. What you currently pay and other rates are compared. So all that remains is choosing which option suits you best! 

Conclusion

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to understanding your business energy bill. We hope that this article has given you some insight into how your tariff works and what charges will affect your bill. If you need any further information, we always recommend contacting your energy supplier.

But the best thing you can do right now to save money on your energy bill is to switch energy suppliers. Get in touch with us today to see what rates could be available to your business!

Are solar panels worth it?

Introduction

Solar panels are a great choice for many homes. They’re easy to install and provide clean energy, but are solar panels worth it? This guide will help you decide whether solar panels are for you. Here’s what we’ll cover:

The best time to install solar panels

Solar panels are best installed in the summer, but not necessarily in July or August. The optimal installation time is between June and September. This is when solar energy is at its peak, so you’re going to get the most bang for your buck with this type of energy source. It’s also true that heating systems don’t have as much use during those months. It’s not as hot out there (or if they do, they can use air conditioning).

How to install solar panels

Installing solar panels on your roof can be a cost-effective way of generating electricity and reducing your energy bills. However, you should consider how much money you’ll save before deciding whether solar panels are worth it for you.

Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight directly into electricity. The size of the solar panel is measured in watts (W), which indicates how much power they produce. The more watts a panel has, the more efficient it will be at converting sunlight into power.

A typical domestic array will contain between two and six kilowatts (kW) worth of panels depending on how big your roof is and how much energy you need to generate for yourself or for export back into the national grid. To find out if installing solar panels is right for you, contact your local council or get in contact with us so we can advise you.

Once you have decided you want solar panels, you will need to get in contact with a solar panel installation company and your energy provider. They will do all of the work and make sure they are maintained.

The cost of installing solar panels

The cost of solar panels is a relatively good price for what you get. Especially since most households break even between 10 and 14 years. This makes solar panels a great investment.

There are also maintenance costs associated with solar panel installation; these include cleaning the panels regularly (every 2-3 years). Also, every 10 years or so, damaged parts need replacing. The good news is that these costs should be factored into any quote from an installer before signing on the dotted line or making any big purchases. Moreover, many solar companies will offer warranties on new equipment that covers repair or replacement during this time period. Additionally, they will provide more support to homeowners who have questions about how their systems work once everything’s installed.

Why you should install solar panels

Solar panels are a great investment for many reasons. They have been proven to reduce your carbon footprint and save you money on electricity bills. All while making your home energy efficient. Solar panels can also increase the value of your home. It’s no wonder that solar panel installation is becoming increasingly popular!

Do solar panels need maintenance?

Solar panels do need to be maintained, but luckily for you, this isn’t much work.

The same business that installed the solar panels typically provides the annual servicing required to maintain the systems. The service will include checking all of your electrical connections and inverters (the part that turns DC power into AC). As well as cleaning off any dust or grime that might have been collected on your panels. If there are any problems with these aspects of your system, they’ll be fixed.

The only major maintenance required after installation is replacing the inverter after 10 years. However, there are some things that can happen between maintenance visits.

These could require a call to someone in order to fix them and they are:

  • If a breaker trips while you’re using electricity from your solar panels (this happens occasionally).  It will need resetting before being used again.
  • If dirt or other material gets inside one of your electrical connections and blocks it up so all current can’t pass through it (this wouldn’t necessarily trip any breakers). Then this needs to be cleaned out before using electricity again.

Solar panels are a great choice for many homes.

Many people may be asking: are solar panels worth it? And we think that they are!

Here are some reasons why:

  • Solar panels are an excellent way to save money. If you live in an area with strong sunlight and high electricity rates, solar panels are a great option! They could cut your monthly electric bill by 50%. That’s because solar panels produce clean energy that doesn’t burn fossil fuels or release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Unlike coal or natural gas. Plus, once installed on your roof, solar panels don’t need much maintenance. That is until their warranty period expires (which is typically between 10 and 20 years). You just enjoy the benefits of affordable electricity without any extra work!
  • Solar panels are environmentally friendly too! They produce zero emissions during operation and they don’t require fuel to operate. This means they don’t contribute to air pollution like other power sources do (and they won’t cause global warming either!). 
  • Plus when it comes time to retire them there are several ways you can recycle them into something new. So no materials get wasted!

To finish…

So, are solar panels worth it? 100%!

We hope this guide has helped you to understand how solar panels work. We also hope we have helped you decide whether they are the right choice for your home. Solar power is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on energy bills.  Although, it does require some initial investment up front. We recommend getting quotes from several companies before making a decision. 

That’s where Bright Utilities comes in! Our brokers could help you get the best deal for your situation. They are a dedicated team that could help you secure solar panels when you switch. We will scour the market for the best deals, ensuring you make savings.

Get in touch with us to see what savings you could make!

All about the boiler upgrade scheme

The government is offering grants for new boilers in order to help people save money and make their homes more comfortable. It was first announced in the 2016 budget but has since been delayed due to a lack of funding. However, since then, there have been improvements made to the scheme. The scheme has been running since spring 2022 and is set to run till sometime in 2025. So now is an excellent time to upgrade your boiler with a free grant from the government!

What is the new boiler upgrade scheme?

The new boiler upgrade scheme is a government-backed initiative that aims to reduce carbon emissions in the UK. The scheme is open to homes that have a gas boiler or oil boiler, or an electric storage heat pump. However, if you currently have a hybrid heating system, you won’t be eligible.

The first part of the process requires that those interested in applying for this grant check whether their current heating system meets the minimum standards set by BEIS (the Department for Business). If it doesn’t meet these requirements then it won’t be eligible for this grant.

Some benefits you could receive are:

  • £5,000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump
  • £5,000 off the cost and installation of a biomass boiler
  • £6,000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump

Who is eligible for the new boiler upgrade scheme?

To be eligible for the new boiler upgrade scheme, you must:

  • Own your property. This means that you are the legal owner of the property and have full rights to do with it as you wish (e.g., sell it). You may own a share of your property if you have a joint ownership agreement with your partner or spouse.
  • Be 18 years of age or older at the time of application submission.
  • Be a UK citizen at the time of application submission and at all times throughout its duration.

How do I apply for a free boiler?

To apply for a free boiler, you’ll need to check if you’re eligible.

  • You can do this by contacting your energy supplier and asking them to see if your property qualifies for the scheme. If so, they will send an application form to the provider which will process it.
  • The application process should take less than a month from start to finish and when this is complete your new boiler will be installed at no cost to you.

What are the benefits of upgrading your boiler?

The boiler upgrade scheme will help you to:

  • Reduce your energy bills by up to £300 per year
  • Reduce your carbon footprint, which means you’re making a positive contribution to the environment
  • Improve the indoor air quality in your home, helping everyone feel more comfortable and healthy in their own home
  • Increase the comfort of your home with a system that works even better than before

Are grants for new boilers still available?

Even if you don’t qualify for the new boiler upgrade scheme, you may still be eligible for a free boiler.

On 4 February 2022, the existing Warm Home Discount (WHD) will be closed to new applicants. This means that any households that are currently receiving WHD will continue to do so until 2020, but no new applications will be accepted after this date.

If your home is not eligible under the terms of either scheme – and don’t think it ever will be – getting a free boiler may still be possible in 2022 through an alternative funding stream called English Heritage grants.

Is there a government-funded boiler replacement scheme?

Yes. There’s a government-funded boiler replacement scheme called the Warm Home Discount (WHD). The WHD is available to people on benefits who have an income of less than £100 a week, as long as they live in England or Scotland.

To be eligible for this scheme, your property will need to meet certain criteria:

  • It must be your main home and you must have lived there for at least six months before applying. You can’t claim if you’re only renting the property – it must be your primary address.
  • Your boiler has to be at least 12 years old and not fitted with an energy efficiency grant from Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Scottish Power, or British Gas in the last three years. If you’ve had one of these grants for your condensing boiler, then it’s not included when calculating eligibility under WHD because it’s considered a replacement rather than an upgrade (unless they’re replacing an open vent system with one that uses outside air ventilation).

Do I need a new boiler?

You may need a new boiler if your current one is more than 15 years old. If you have not had your boiler serviced in the past year and it is 20 years old or older, you could be eligible for a grant of up to £500 towards the cost of replacing it.

The type of heating system installed in your home will determine whether or not you are eligible:

To be in with a chance of getting a new boiler under the new Eco Government Scheme, apply now!

To be in with a chance of getting a new boiler under the new Eco Government Scheme, apply now!

The ECO scheme is designed to help homeowners make their homes cheaper to run by providing financial support for the purchase of energy-efficient boilers and heat pumps. If you are eligible for the ECO Grant 2011 then you could get up to £1,500 towards your new heating system.

Again this year, households on low incomes can also apply for free upgrades through Scotia’s Energy Saving Trust (EST) scheme. This means that people who earn less than £60,000 per year will not have to pay any upfront costs when installing an eligible heating system such as a boiler or heat pump.

Conclusion

So, if you are eligible for a new boiler under the new Eco Government Scheme, don’t hesitate to apply now! With all of these benefits available, it’s hard not to want one. After all, who wouldn’t love a free and eco-friendly heating system? If you want any advice, Ofgem, the UK government’s energy regulator, has resources and teams to help.

Our team at Bright Utilities is here to help you make savings on your energy bills. Not only could you save through the scheme, but you should also consider switching suppliers. This is one of the best ways you could save money on your energy bills. 

Compare now to see what savings you could be making!

What renewable energy source is the best?

To begin

Renewable energy is a hot topic these days. Many people are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and live more sustainably. You might have even considered using renewable energy in your home or business. The good news is that there are lots of choices when it comes to choosing a source of renewable energy. In this guide, we’ll go through each type of source and help you figure out which one might work best for you.

Renewable energy and non-renewable energy

The best way to determine whether a source of energy is renewable or non-renewable is to look at how much it can be used before it runs out. Renewable sources are those that are collected from natural resources and do not deplete over time, while non-renewable resources will eventually run out, like fossil fuels (oil, coal, etc.).

Why choose renewable energy?

As a global citizen, you’re probably concerned about the environment. You may be aware of the current climate change effects we are currently experiencing throughout the world. Renewable electricity sources like solar and wind are clean, and sustainable and help us reduce our carbon footprint by cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions. In turn, this helps us reduce our harmful effects on the environment. Renewable energy is also reliable, affordable, and predictable—it’s available 24/7!

Where to start with renewable energy?

  • Start at home: this is the easiest place to start using renewable energy. Many energy providers offer green energy in their tariffs so you can get the best deal for the best energy.
  • Start in your business: Businesses benefit greatly from using renewable energy. This is because of how expensive it is to power your business, due to the size of the premises you are using. Using green energy can help make you save on your monthly bill, plus, it’s always best to get green energy to help future-proof your business.

Which renewable energy source is best for you?

If you want to know which renewable energy source is best for your home, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What level of control do I want over my electricity usage and costs?
  • Do I have enough space to accommodate solar panels or a wind turbine on my property?

Wind turbines

  • How does a wind turbine work? Wind turbines are designed to capture the energy from the wind, convert that energy into mechanical power and then convert that mechanical power into electrical power.
  • How does a wind turbine generate electricity? When the wind blows over the blades of a wind turbine, it makes them spin around, just like when you blow on your pinwheel or fan. As they spin, they push a shaft inside which turns gears and transmits the power through wires to an electrical generator at ground level. This generator produces electricity that can be used immediately or stored in batteries for later use.
  • How much electricity does a wind turbine generate? The amount of energy that can be generated depends on several factors: 1) where you’re located (easterly winds are stronger than westerly winds), 2) how fast the winds are blowing (stronger winds will produce more electricity), 3) how tall your turbine is (taller turbines catch more air), 4) what type of blades you have installed (blades with wider angles pass through more air than ones with narrower angles). All told, though it varies across regions and different types of turbines themselves, most modern utility-scale wind farms can produce between 30 and 60 megawatts per hour—that’s enough to supply about 15 households with their daily needs!

Solar panels

Solar panels are a great way to make your home more energy-efficient. They produce clean, renewable electricity and don’t emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electrical energy. They’re made up of solar cells that generate an electric current when exposed to light from the sun or other sources like artificial lighting or indoor lamps.

The amount of electricity produced by solar panels depends on how much sunlight they receive during the day, which varies depending on where you live and how much cloud cover there is that day (partly cloudy skies typically produce less electricity than clear skies, but despite our reputation, you can still generate power from solar panels in the UK). 

Solar panels take up space—they have to be mounted somewhere so that they’ll get enough light throughout each day—but depending on their size relative to your house’s footprint, they could actually consume less land area than an equivalent system using fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas. 

Hydropower

Using hydropower, the gravity potential energy of water is converted into kinetic energy that drives a turbine, generating electricity. Hydro Power plants can be used both for peaking power and base load capacity.

Hydroelectric power plants require large amounts of land relative to other renewable sources, but they do not require the water-flow rates necessary for large-scale commercial production. Hydropower produces no greenhouse gases during its operation nor does it produce other toxic chemicals such as mercury or nitrogen oxides that must be captured and disposed of at great cost.

Geothermal power

Geothermal power is a renewable source of energy that can be used for heating and cooling homes, generating electricity, or providing hot water. It is also a clean and reliable source of energy that doesn’t produce greenhouse gases or other harmful emissions.

Geothermal power plants use geothermal heat to generate electrical power by using steam from underground wells to turn the blades of turbines. This produces electricity just like coal, natural gas or nuclear plants do today—but without any emissions at all!

There are lots of choices when it comes to choosing a source of renewable energy.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Renewable energy sources like wind, solar and hydroelectric power are clean and reliable.
  • Fossil fuels like oil, coal and natural gas are nonrenewable sources that pollute the environment. They do not have a limitless supply and contribute to global warming. However, fossil fuel use is declining as more people switch to cleaner energy sources such as solar power or wind turbines.

To finish

There are lots of choices when it comes to choosing a source of renewable energy. We hope that we have helped you understand the different types of renewable energy available for you to use. There is no clear cut about which renewable energy source is best, but luckily, most energy suppliers offer energy plans that use green energy. Similarly, most companies also offer solar panels to help you save money and the environment. If you’d like to read about green energy used in businesses, read about it here.

Fixed tariff or variable tariff: your guide to energy charges

Introduction

With so many different energy tariffs available, it can be tricky to know what’s what. Don’t worry though, we’re going to help you understand the differences between fixed and variable energy tariffs.

You may be wondering which option is better for you. This guide will go through the ins and outs to help you understand. 

What is a fixed energy tariff?

A fixed energy tariff is a long-term agreement between you and your supplier. You will pay the same price for electricity or gas for a set period of time, typically three or five years. Fixed tariffs are more expensive than variable ones, but they do provide security against future price fluctuations in the energy market.

Fixed tariffs are often called ‘fixed rate’ or ‘guaranteed rate’ deals by suppliers because they offer greater certainty about your costs over time. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t see any changes to your bill if conditions change – it just means that these changes will be smaller than normal for that period of time.

What is a variable energy tariff?

A variable energy tariff is a type of energy tariff where you pay different prices depending on the amount of energy you use. The most common variable tariffs are seasonally adjusted and dual-fuel (gas and electricity). Seasonal adjustments mean that your bill will be more expensive in winter than summer because people tend to use more heating during those months. Dual-fuel means that you’ll pay both gas and electricity on one bill.

You may think this sounds like a good idea—after all, if the price of energy goes up then so does your bill! But actually, it can sometimes be a bad deal, especially if there isn’t much difference between what your supplier charges for its variable tariffs compared with its fixed ones. With the current energy price rises, this can mean that those on variable tariffs are at risk of higher rises. 

Are fixed energy tariffs cheaper than variable tariffs?

You might think that fixed tariffs would be cheaper than variable ones. After all, they don’t change with the whims of the market. However, there are two reasons why this isn’t always true:

  • Fixed tariffs cost more to provide
  • The cost of providing fixed tariffs is passed on to customers in the form of higher tariffs

Should I switch to a fixed energy tariff?

  • If you’re on a variable tariff, you can switch to a fixed tariff.
  • If you’re currently on a fixed tariff, you can switch to a variable one.
  • So if you are currently on one of these tariffs and want to change then it’s worth looking into whether switching makes sense for you.

Fixed energy tariffs are more expensive but they provide security against future price fluctuations.

Fixed energy tariffs are more expensive but they provide security against future price fluctuations.

Fixed energy tariffs are fixed for a set period of time, typically 12 or 24 months. If you choose a variable tariff, your supplier will keep your bill down by changing the rate according to changes in the wholesale market. This can be helpful if prices go up – because suppliers will only increase your bill if the wholesale rates have increased – but if prices fall, you’ll have no protection from paying less than you had been used to paying on a fixed deal.

Variable tariffs also give you less certainty about what your monthly payment will look like each month (we talk about how variable tariffs work in more detail here). If you’re happy with this level of risk and uncertainty, then it could make sense for you not to opt for a fixed tariff when paying bills. However, all is not lost as variable tariffs are typically cheaper than fixed ones. 

Conclusion

If you decide that a fixed energy tariff is right for you, there is one more thing to consider. As well as the type of tariff you choose, it’s important to shop around for the best deal. We recommend looking at comparisons on our website! Bright Utilities can offer you the best industry rates when you decide to switch suppliers.

Switching energy providers is the best way to make savings on your bills! Take a look and get a quote today!

A guide to dealing with the rising business energy costs

Introduction

The cost of business energy has been increasing at an alarming rate during the energy crisis. However, rather than putting up with rising prices, you can switch to a new tariff and cut costs significantly. If you want to get the best deal on your energy supply, it’s always best to switch providers than to switch tariffs. 

At Bright Utilities, we can get you competitive prices and industry deals to get you the best rate. Below, we will go through the current situation regarding the rising energy costs and show you how you can make great savings!

Business energy costs on the rise

You’ve probably seen a rise in your energy bills, and you might be wondering how to save money on this rising expense. The good news is that there are ways to reduce your energy costs.

  • Switching suppliers: If you’re paying more for electricity or natural gas than you need to, consider switching to another supplier. It’s as easy as filling out one form on our website and we will get in touch with you to get you the best deals!
  • Finding the best deal: You can find great deals on energy by comparing rates from our comparison tool and choosing an option that works for you based on the price per kWh (kilowatt-hour).
  • Saving even more money: You could also get creative with where and when you use electricity on your company premises by taking advantage of off-peak usage times during hours when people aren’t using much power (like overnight). We know for many businesses this may be difficult, but if you can use this tip, you may see some great savings!

Switch UK business energy for a better deal

If you’re looking for a cheaper UK business energy tariff, or want to switch providers, there are several ways in which you can do so.

  • Make sure that your contract has expired. This is because most energy tariffs are not tied to your electricity provider and so if you have an existing subscription with one provider, switching may be difficult or even impossible until your current agreement comes to an end. Even then, there is no harm in getting a quote before your contract has run out in preparation for when you do leave it.
  • Check whether there is an exit fee associated with ending your contract early – many contracts do carry withdrawal penalties if they are cancelled before the term expires (typically 12 months). However, some providers offer free cancellation and may even offer refunds of unused credit as well as incentives for leaving them early (e.g., paying off any balance). You should therefore check what terms apply before changing suppliers as it could impact future costs or charges incurred when switching suppliers later down the line!
  • Get in touch- our team has a lot of knowledge in the industry and could help you when it comes to switching energy providers. It can be daunting at first but with the right guidance, one of our team will guide you through the process, leaving all the stress out.

Protect your business from rising energy prices

If you’re looking to reduce the cost of business energy or find a better deal, there are several steps you can take:

  • Switching UK business energy suppliers often allows you to find a lower tariff that makes sense for your business’s needs. This may mean switching between gas and electricity suppliers, or simply switching tariffs within one supplier’s range. Many businesses fail to realise that they aren’t paying the best price available to them—and it’s worth comparing energy prices with other suppliers before making any final decisions about where your money goes!
  • Looking at green tariffs is another way of saving money on UK business energy costs; these offer lower rates than standard tariffs while simultaneously helping customers reduce their environmental impact through renewable sources such as solar power (which is also available from some suppliers). It’s important not just because it helps save money in the short term but also because reducing carbon emissions now will help protect our planet for future generations!

Businesses in the UK are facing higher energy costs at present. The easiest way to reduce your costs and stay safe is to switch to new tariffs.

The best way to cut your business energy costs is to switch tariffs. By using a comparison site like Bright Utilities business energy, you can switch tariffs easily.

We at Bright Utilities have access to all competitive business energy tariffs, so we can find you the cheapest one for your business.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is vital that business owners take this advice seriously and switch as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will become to avoid paying high prices for your business energy. You also might miss on some great deals as the cost of UK energy prices rise even more as time goes on. Get in contact with us today to see where you could make some huge savings.

Your comprehensive guide to energy tariffs

Why finding the right tariff is so important

Like anything else in life, everyone has their own way of doing things, it’s no different when you’re choosing how you use your energy and how you want to pay for it to your supplier. With wholesale gas prices on the rise, now is the time to choose the energy tariff that suits you, so you can stay on top of your bills. 

What tariffs are there?

Since energy companies strive to make billing for individuals and businesses easier, many different types of tariffs are available to customers. 

Here are the different types of energy tariffs and what they can do for you as a customer.

Standard Variable tariff

The standard tariff is known as the most expensive tariff out there. Prices can change at the will of the supplier, they typically match them to the price of wholesale gas units, these will continue to increase across the globe.

Standard energy tariffs are available for both gas and electricity bills, luckily, there is a price cap to prevent the tariff prices from becoming too expensive. This is because of the energy crisis and Ofgem has realised the threat of putting many in the UK into energy poverty is currently higher than it has been in recent history. 

If you switch energy supplier or into a new property, you will typically be placed on this tariff as it is the standard for all customers. Luckily, if you are on a standard tariff and want to switch providers, you will not be asked to pay exit fees since those on the tariff don’t have to.

Fixed energy tariff

These tariffs are great for consumers as they let you pay a fixed rate on your bills throughout your contract that you agree to. You will enter a contract agreement with the supplier and can usually get a good price on your tariff as they may offer the contract as a dual-fuel deal.

Despite the attractive tariff rate, if you decide to use more energy than agreed, your bill will go up in price as it will be matched to the standing charge and the rate of the energy being used. 

Some fixed rate tariffs will require you to pay an exit fee if you decide to leave it earlier than is agreed in your contract. However, Ofgem has allowed it that if you decide to switch contracts 42-49 days before your contract ends, you can’t be forced to pay an exit fee.

Dual fuel tariff

Dual energy tariffs are effective for most customers as they are a combined contract of both gas and electricity to a property. Some companies will even give you a nice deal by signing up to this tariff as it streamlines billing and energy into one place. 

You can get dual fuel tariff rates on a standard, fixed and online tariffs offer dual fuel and it is the most common energy combination in the UK.

Depending on your contract will determine whether you will have to pay an exit fee. It is important to note the conditions of your contract to see if you will have to if you decide to switch suppliers sooner than when your contract ends. 

Even though you will probably be entitled to many discounts by having a dual fuel tariff, there may also be discounts for keeping your supplies separate. It is always worth keeping an eye out for where you can make the most savings. 

Online energy tariff

Online energy tariffs are all managed by the customer online and are often the cheapest option available. You will be asked to manage everything regarding your bills online, such as sending meter readings and receiving billing statements via the internet. 

You may be asked to pay an exit fee if you want to switch supplier tariffs but this all depends on the conditions of your contract.

Like the system in place, if you need any help with your bills or energy supply, you will be able to get help via messaging services and online chats with energy suppliers. 

Prepayment tariff

Prepayment meter tariffs are also known as ‘top up’ meter tariffs and have limited options for customers. Those who use them top them up by using prepay tokens, cards or keys. These ways to pay can be purchased from shops and online as they are a common way for people to pay their energy bills. 

They’re a unique way to pay for your bills as you pay for your tariff before you actually use it.

Unfortunately, some suppliers won’t have any options for prepayment meter tariffs and so you will have to be very selective with who you decide to go with. And whether you can leave your contract early will depend not only on your conditions but also the debt you may be in.

‘Green’ energy tariff

Green energy tariffs either use a full renewable source for your power or a mix of renewable and non-renewable sources. Depending on what is used to power your building, the price will match the type of energy you are using. There are also options to use nuclear-free and carbon offsetting tariff deals when you sign up for them.

It’s always best to see what your supplier provides in terms of green energy. Lots of companies are aiming to increase their options for renewable energy tariffs for their customers to use. 

If you are concerned about the environment, then this contract is for you as you can rest assured that your energy is coming from a less wasteful place. If you want to leave your contract, you may have to pay an exit fee but you will need to know the terms of your contract to find this out. 

The bottom line:

Whatever tariff you want to switch to, make sure you do it with Bright Utilities. You will be met with experts in the field who will walk you through what’s available to get you the best prices to suit your energy needs. 

You can also see the competitive prices to help determine your decision to make sure you get the best deal.

There are many options out there so choosing the right one is important as you don’t want to be tied down to an energy tariff you end up unhappy with.

If you are unhappy with your energy tariff, look here for help with your exit fees: https://www.energyhelpline.com/help/how-do-i-avoid-exit-fees-when-switching-energy 

Four utilities industry predictions for 2022 to keep you up to date

Introduction to the current condition of the utilities industry:

The year has gotten off to an already intersting start with storms across the UK cutting off power to many homes, and tensions in Eastern Europe threatening our gas supplies. The utilities industry is at a pivotal moment in its recent history as we attempt to navigate a lot of uncertainty ahead of us. It’s hard to know for certain what the future looks like for businesses and homeowners alike but at Bright utilities, we have some knowledge about the future of the utility sector for the rest year. So we thought we’d package it into a handy guide so you can stay on top of what’s to come throughout the year.

This comes from our extensive utilities industry insider knowledge as experienced brokers in the sector, providing businesses with affordable and renewable energy. Below we will delve into four things you can expect from the utilities industry in 2022.

Energy prices squeezing the UK and growing energy poverty levels:

Because of the current imbalance in supply and demand on energy and gas for UK customers, there is still a growing concern for the direction the sector is going in. 2021 saw just under 4 million home energy customers displaced due to the number of companies going bust due to lack of regulation. 

In conjunction with the low sun levels seen during December, this has impacted the energy demand for outdated sources of energy. Ofgem has attempted to mitigate the effects of the crisis by taking control of customers’ supplies when their energy companies go bust so they are never without power to their properties.

Additionally, Ofgem has introduced a price cap rise on utility bills for customers. However, this has increased by around £700 per year, pushing more people into energy poverty due to rising costs of living not being matched by wage increases. 

Luckily, the government have recently introduced funding grants for new and upcoming renewable energy company projects to introduce more incentives to rely on green energy. With this help, the country may be able to move away from the current crisis, but for now the utilities industry is still at risk of putting many vulnerable customers into energy poverty.

An increased rollout of microgrids:

Microgrids are taking the utilities industry by storm as they cover many new ways of storing, producing and using energy. Storage technologies, generators, vehicle charging infrastructure, uninterruptible power supplies, multiple virtual power plants, and energy-efficient measures are some of the technologies involved.

Recent research indicates that 25.4% of UK and Ireland businesses have installed microgrids or renewable power sources (such as solar, wind) in an effort to reduce their environmental impact.

The global microgrid market is forecast to grow from just over £16.5bn in 2018 to over £29bn globally by 2023. This is great for the utilities industry as we have seen great growth in these systems that allow us to move a step closer to a greener future. Decarbonising is one of the government’s top priority to help the country meet targets to offset its carbon emissions in the fight against climate change. 

2022 will see no slowing down of the process to rollout more mircogrids to enterprises, especially since microgrids can be linked to smart meters. The utilities industry boomed with smart meters in recent years as they are a great way to cut down consumption and can help reduce your utility bill at the end of the month. As energy suppliers push for more smart meters to be used, we can anticipate to see more companies embracing microgrids into their business.

Sustainability will continue to dominate the utilities industry:

As we move closer to targets set out by the UK government to meet decarbonising targets, there are more plans in place to offer funding for more vital projects. These include funding grants for new renewable energy sourcing projects and new energy storaging projects that are hoping to make their way into the utility market. 

Moreover, more and more energy suppliers are now helping companies and everyday customers alike with installing electric vehicle fleets and EV chargers to help the growing demand to switch from combustion engines to electric vehicles. And, as electric vehicle prices are set to plummet, there will be an even bigger demand for the population to make the switch and we can see this prediction growing as 2022 progresses.

Due to the current state of the world, businesses need to invest in sustainable energy solutions to stay ahead of corporate social responsibility demands. Companies are some of the most vital groups that can help reduce the effects of the climate crisis, so we predict this prediction will help boost the utilities industry forward and in line with more sustainable goals.

Regulations will rule the roost:

Ofgem will conduct checks on companies to prevent more from going bankrupt as opposed to the ones that went bankrupt last year, displacing about 4 million home energy customers. In addition, they have a plan for energy supplier startups that prevents them from expanding until they can determine if their business model can sustain long-term growth. 

Because of the crisis and the events that took place in the UK utilities industry last year, Ofgem is committed to making sure customers’ energy bills are controlled by moving them to another supplier if their current supplier goes bust, so they will always have power. 

The utilities industry will continue to be governed by Ofgem and Citizens’ Advice. Citizens Advice will hold Ofgem accountable by ensuring that customers are protected and cared for properly. As the crisis is set to continue this year, the regualtion of the sector is predicted to stay so that it doesn’t get out of hand.

Conclusion

This year will continue to throw more curveballs that will disrupt the market as we navigate the tumutlutous times ahead. Luckily, Ofgem and Citzens Advice will do all they can to regulate the market, putting the country’s population at the forefront of their duties. You can find advice on their websites.

Visit the Ofgem website here: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers

Whatever the utilities industry faces this year, the current energy crisis and the move towards building a sustainable future will speed up the likelihood that these predictions will come true.

Your comprehensive energy guide if you decide to move premises

When is the best time to move premises?

We understand there are many reasons why businesses move premises. From company growth to expiring leases, or even a change in circumstances. Whatever reason you have, moving premises, and energy suppliers, has never been easier.

On most energy supplier websites you will find a range of resources that will provide you with extensive information about your particular situation. With this guide, you will be prepared with the information you should acquire before you make any drastic decisions.

Many reasons for companies to move premises are out of their control, especially for changes in circumstances or rapid company growth. But we want to reassure you that, you will always be in charge of your energy supply, whatever the circumstances. 

What happens to your energy contracts when moving business premises?

There are multiple ways your energy suppliers can move your contracts when you move business premises. You should see in your contract how much notice you need to give your supplier so they can make arrangements about moving your supply from one location to another or help you with the exit period of your contract. 

If you haven’t made arrangements with who will be supplying your business when you move, you will typically take on the pre-existing supplier with the site’s rates. If you’re wanting to save money, it’s always best to avoid this because if it’s not a fixed-term contract, you may be paying for more than you need. 

Depending on the notice period you give to your energy supplier, they may offer you the chance to nd your contract earlier than previously agreed. Those running businesses that have to relocate because of changes in their circumstances may benefit from this. 

However, in some circumstances, energy suppliers are willing to help you move your supply to your new premises. If this is the case, they should provide you with a dedicated team that should help switch on the day to make sure it all goes smoothly. We cannot stress enough the importance of contacting your supplier when moving your business’ location in order to make sure you both know what is happening.

How can you prepare yourself for the move?

Being prepared for a move in any situation can benefit you hugely, making the whole process as smooth as possible. The first thing you should do is go through your energy contract so you know how your change will affect you. 

As previously mentioned, you should contact your energy supplier so you can get any more crucial information, as well as let them know what will happen to your bill. Your contract should state either your contract changing period or the notice period you should give to your supplier. Knowing all of this information will help you make plans in time for the move so you can get the best deal.

Calling your supplier can also help clear up anything you may not fully understand in your contract. Even though they’ll be sad to see you go, it is also their job to help you as much as possible, so making contact will benefit you both. 

Depending on whether you were happy with your energy supply during your contract, it may also be worth looking at energy provider comparison sites. The solution that works well for one of your locations may not work for the other, as many factors can affect your monthly bill, especially if you’re moving locations since postcodes can affect what you pay.

By making sure you’re best prepared for the move, you will save yourself not only lots of hassle but maybe some money as well!

What will you need to have when you move?

When moving premises, there are some things you need to keep at hand to keep everything accurate and running smoothly. 

They are:

  • Your energy account number
  • Your final meter reading (sometimes you may have to provide one on the last day on the site)
  • Your site’s lease’s contract termination date
  • The address of your new premises
  • Sometimes, you ma need to provide the details of the business or company owner moving into your old site

Moreover, when switching, your supplier should make you aware of what you need to help make the transition easier. These are some of the main aspects you should consider when moving to your new site. Whether you are at the beginning of your move or closer to the day, having the right information can go a long way.

Fees to look out for:

Despite there being many measures in place to protect company owners when moving sites and their energy supply, the process is not short of possible fees that may crop up that might give you unnecessary stress. 

Here are some of the main fees you may encounter upon moving sites:

  • Reconnection fees: if the previous tenant had their supply disconnected, you may need to pay a connection fee and a security deposit when you move. 
  • Connection fees: In the event that your new office has never been connected to business gas or electricity, for example, you might have to pay a connection fee.
  • Early termination fees: You may be charged an early termination fee if you move into a new property before the contract at your current one has ended. Your contract will have the details about your energy supplier’s cancellation fees, so it’s best to get clued up before making any decisions.

Other questions: answered

  • What if I’m a tenant? 

It’s always best to read your lease contract to see who is in charge of your energy supply. In the event that your landlord has power over this, it is likely that you will have to set up your own connection for when you move to your new premises as you cannot carry over the connection. In an instance where you may still be at your premises, you may be able to negotiate with your landlord to come to an agreement on a better energy rate than your current one. If you are moving to a new property where the landlor is in charge of the energy supply, make sure you’re not paying energy for lighting for your business before signing anything. 

  • What if I’m based at home? 

You shouldn’t be on any business energy tariff if you’re based from home and your energy supplier can give you the best information about moving to a business site and what that means for your company.

  • What if my supplier goes bust?

Luckily, Ofgem have a system in place that helps businesses and homes who are affected by their energy supplier who has gone bust. If this is the case, you are moved to another supplier on their average rate, and are alerted via post when this happens. This gives you freedom to change supplier. As always, we advise that you take a look at your new supplier to see how you can move premises best. 

Take a look here for more information about what support you can get:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/what-happens-if-your-energy-supplier-goes-bust

How can Bright Utilities help you?

Sometimes moving business premises means that you are losing out on the best deals and you won’t realise until it’s happened. 

At Bright Utilities, we can offer you extensive comparisons to give you the best value for money. Our experts have inside knowledge about the various ways you can save money through your energy bills. 

Whether you are moving your business’ premises or not, we are committed to giving you the best prices for your energy needs that remain unmatched! 

Remember that knowledge is power.

The Ofgem price cap explained

What’s currently happening?

The UK is currently gripped by rising prices across the board: in National Insurance payments, council tax rates, and in the energy market. The price of commercial energy is set to soar by 54% in April, equating to an additional £693, introduced through the new energy price cap by Ofgem, today. This is much more than analysts had predicted and many around the country are starting to worry. 

We’ve already seen rising energy costs as in October last year, it had risen by 12% to £1,277, it had been £1,042 during the same time in the previous year. This energy price cap is very generous, even though Ofgem is trying to alleviate the surmounting costs through bi-annual reviews. 

The energy price cap will come into effect on the 1st of April and will affect approximately 22 million customers on default tariffs who are paying by direct debit will see the largest increase. A worrying statistic as many use this way to pay for their gas. 

Since gas prices are still on the rise, the regulatory body Ofgem is doing all it can to help those who are being pushed into fuel poverty. They are here to set out ways to prevent us from paying even more for our gas and electricity supplies. However, with the additional £693 being added, it now will total the spending in a household to just under £2,000 a year. 

Why are gas prices rising?

It is worth noting that the energy price cap can only limit the amount you will have to pay for each unit of gas and electricity. There is no limit for how much you can be charged for home energy as the more you use, the more you will have to pay. 

Historically, fixed energy deals have been cheaper than variable alternatives. Although, the sudden spike in wholesale energy costs has forced suppliers to sell gas and electricity at a loss. But no one is willing to buy these deals. 

Part of the main reason that energy prices have been on the rise in the last 6 months is that it’s a global issue, and it has caused prices to quadruple in the last year. Because of the rising prices, it will mostly affect customers who are on the default tariff and haven’t switched to the fixed tariffs offered by most energy suppliers. 

Ofgem’s reasoning for this is that they track wholesale prices and review them bi-annually. Which gives them all of the resources they need to introduce energy price caps to the UK energy customers. Despite their efforts to try and help the customers affected by the many suppliers who went bust over the last year, those who have been moved to other providers will also be affected by this energy price cap if they have not moved to a fixed tariff. 

Why is there an energy price cap?

As previously mentioned, the government-run regulator Ofgem holds bi-annual reviews of current wholesale energy prices to see how they can help UK customers. They hold these reviews to ensure energy consumers pay a fair price for their energy while preventing energy companies from making excessive profits. 

By imposing an energy price cap, energy companies are allowed to pass on all reasonable costs to their customers, including gas price increases. Despite the unprecedented record rise in gas prices since August, the current cap does not reflect the current level.

Around 4.3 million domestic customers have been affected by 29 energy companies leaving the market or going into special administration during the last year. In order to prevent companies from going bankrupt and to cushion the blow to the energy prices of everyday people, Ofgem has issued a set of regulations.

Because of Ofgem’s position, they want to protect customers the most and make sure that their regulations seek out to protect many vulnerable people throughout the country. As millions are already in poverty in the UK, with many more to join them in the emerging fuel poverty situation, the energy price cap is needed to help many get through what could be a very difficult period to come.

Who will it affect?

Homeowners are set to see the biggest increase in their energy bills, although businesses won’t fully avoid the amounting situation and could see their bills go up as a result. The worst affected area in England is Bradford because many fall into the areas included in the top 5% highest energy bills whilst being in the lowest 5% for income. 

This is partly due to the way many of the houses were built before the 1950s. Because of the terrace-style that dominates the city, many houses don’t have a cavity wall, lacking the much-needed insulation that could help many homeowners save money on their energy bills, especially in the winter months when temperatures tend to plummet. 

However, the catastrophic effects of the introduced energy price cap will affect millions as it will put a quarter of the population into fuel poverty. Despite the government’s efforts to assist the most vulnerable, there will still be shortcomings for many, as they will have to decide between fueling their homes and other necessities. 

Other areas affected are Manchester and Birmingham, two major English cities that have helped power the country through the industrial revolution and remain powerhouses for the country. Although, both of these cities already have more than 20% of their residents in fuel poverty, discovered as of 2019. Almost three years later, we are still seeing more and more places where the number of people in fuel poverty will continue to increase.

Ways to try and tackle it

Despite the troubling times ahead for a lot of people, there are some ways people can alleviate their energy consumption. Firstly, there will be government discounts for those who are struggling. 

Take a look at the government site to see more information here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-to-receive-350-boost-to-help-with-rising-energy-costs

Luckily, due to the increased energy price cap, customers will be able to contact their energy suppliers to request discounts since many will be flexible for those on the lowest incomes. 

Although, the best two ways to help with your bills are by using a smart meter, as these can help you find out what is costing you the most in your monthly energy bills. And another way is to switch energy providers. Because the energy price cap will affect so many of us, it is important to note that you are always in charge of who you are with, especially since the hardest affected will be those out of fixed-rate tariffs.

Take a look at our competitive comparisons to see where you can make the most savings as the energy price cap comes into force. We want you to be safe during the energy crisis and hope some of these tips will assist you in keeping your energy consumption and spending low.

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