Business Energy

Compare Large & Industrial Business Energy Prices

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Large businesses tend to use much more energy compared to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This can because they operate from more than one premises, they have more staff, their property is bigger, or they just have more machinery to operate. So, if you run a large business, here’s how to get the best gas and electricity prices for you.

What is a large or industrial business?

The amount of energy your business uses determines whether it’s classed as an SME or an industrial enterprise.

If your business uses more than 55,000 kWh of electricity a year, or more than 200,000 kWh of gas a year, it will be considered a large or industrial operation, and energy bills will most likely account for a big chunk of its overheads.

So it’s vital you get the best gas and electricity prices for warehouses and industrial spaces, to make sure you’re not overpaying for the energy you use. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as just running a few quotes and picking the best one, but don’t worry - the MoneySuperMarket business energy experts can help out.

Do you need a half hourly electricity meter?

Half hourly metering sees your meter send data to your supplier every half an hour, to provide a more accurate, and often cheaper, reading.

This way of metering has been designed especially for use at business premises, and operates through a connection on the phone line that automatically sends the reading to your supplier. This means you don’t need to record your energy usage, saving you time and potentially money, as your bills won’t be based upon estimated usage.

These meters provide an accurate and regular update for you, too. It means you can track when your busiest periods are, and use this information to tailor your energy plan to be more appropriate for your needs.

If your business uses 100kW an hour or more, then you must have a half hour meter fitted by law. So if you’re hitting and breaking that amount, and you don’t already have half hour meter, you should arrange to get one fitted pretty soon.

You’ll also have the option to have a half hourly electricity meter installed if your business uses 70kW or more in any given half hour period. It’s worth talking to your supplier about having one installed if your business meets this threshold.

If your business uses a lot of energy, then the accountability that comes from a half hourly meter could help save you money. As well as giving you more accurate bills, it also means that when you compare suppliers, you know exactly how much energy you use.

Do you need a multi-site energy contract?

If your business operates from several properties, you might have separate contracts for each site. This can quickly become confusing, and it’s likely that you’ll also end up paying more than you need to.

A multi-site deal is ideal for businesses in precisely this situation. If you have more than one site, a multi-site deal can take away the hassle by having just one, single bill for your whole business.

Other considerations for large and industrial businesses

As a large or industrial business, the amount you pay for energy can also depend on how much energy you use, and the strain you put on the National Grid. So you’ll need to be aware of the following:

Peak demand – this is when energy supply is expected to be at its highest point over a set period of time, and is often used to help set energy prices for industrial businesses.

When peak demand rises, energy prices tend to rise with it. This is because energy suppliers and distributors pay more to supply energy to everyone during busier times. But as a large business owner, you may find that your higher energy usage gets you lower prices, as suppliers sometimes offer cheaper rates to secure contracts from high-consuming business customers.

Large site peak demand – this is the maximum amount of energy your business can receive each day from any one supply point used by the National Grid or your local distributor. These supply points are the meters where energy is made available for your supplier to pass on to you.

Also known as Supply Offtake Quantity (SOQ) or Maximum Daily Quantity (MDQ), your usage is limited to this maximum daily demand, and you could be charged a penalty if you go over it. If you think you may exceed your daily limit, it’s worth finding out if you qualify for a ‘large supply point’ - this could make energy available that’s equal to or exceeds 732,000 kWh per year.

MoneySuperMarket has partnered with Bionic to help take the time and hassle out of business energy comparison. If you’ve any questions regarding your business energy usage, billing, or whether it's time to switch supplier, give them a call on 0800 088 6986, or leave a few details in the form at the top of the page, and we’ll give you a call back.