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Large Business Energy
Bespoke energy deals for high energy usage customers
If your business uses a lot of energy, there are several benefits from being classed as a large business. Large business energy users often get some of the best deals on their unit rates, standing charges, and more.
Compare large business energy tariffs with our comparison engine to see how much you can save.
High energy usage and demand
Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. Because of that, suppliers have to split their corporate customers into one of two bands — low energy usage and high energy usage. Those that fall into the high energy usage category are classed as a large business.
Large business customers place a high demand on the energy grid when they’re operating at full capacity, so suppliers have to treat them differently to small businesses.
Managing demand with meters
Large business energy customers often need to have special meters installed on their premises, known as a ‘Maximum Demand’ meter.
A maximum demand meter measures how much electricity you’re using at once. It’s designed to alert you and your distribution network operator (DNO) if you’re using too much electricity for the supply to handle. Demand is measured using ‘Kilo Volt Amperes’ (kVA); one kVA is equal to 1,000 Watts of power.
If you’re classed as a large user, you’ll be given an allocated kVA that you need to stay below. A Maximum Demand meter keeps track for you. If you stay below your kVA, you’ll get the best rates.
How to identify if you are classed as a large business
Your company will be classed as a large energy user based on the following factors:
- High gas usage — You’ll be classed as a large energy user if your annual gas usage exceeds 200,000 kWh.
- High electricity usage — You’ll be classed as a large energy user if your kVA is over 70. You can learn more about kVA here.
- Meter type — If your property is on a 05-08 meter, your supplier will class you as a large business. Note: If you are on one of these meters, you need to upgrade to a half-hourly meter as soon as you can.
Sometimes, what seems like it would be a small business is actually classed as large because it meets one of these criteria.
What contract types are available to large energy users?
A fixed contract usually runs for a term of one to four years and fixes the price of your energy for the duration. This is a favourable option for businesses who want to plan their outgoings and it also protects your business if energy prices rise.
A flexible contract alters your prices depending on the energy market. This allows you to benefit from any price drops and means you will always be getting the best energy rate at any given time.
These contracts tend to be cheaper due to the fact that the National Grid and local authorities will be able to shut off your supply during peak demand periods. If you continue to use energy during this period, you will be charged a higher rate.
Factors that can affect your contract
Large users should also be aware of the following when agreeing on a contract:
This is an important consideration for larger business energy users as it can often affect the price you end up paying. Higher periods of consumption can sometimes lead to higher costs. It’s worth checking the peak demand rates when choosing your next supplier.
Large site peak-day demand
This refers to the sum of Supply Offtake Quantity (SOQ) and can also be referred to as the Maximum Daily Quantity (MDQ). This dictates the maximum daily consumption allowed for any individual meter. If you exceed your allowance you may be fined.
Switching your energy tariff
Did you know that it’s easy to switch your energy tariff — even if you’re classed as a large business user?
With Love Energy Savings, all you need to do is enter your postcode and our comparison engine will do the rest. Just choose the supplier or tariff that’s right for you — it’s that simple!
The Big Five energy suppliers
With the acquisition of Npower by E.on, there are now five major energy suppliers that dominate the business energy market. They are:
Each of the Big Five energy suppliers offers bespoke contracts to companies that meet the large business threshold.
Visit our Meter installation page to find out what types of meter are available for you and your business.
Large Business Energy FAQs
Who is the largest energy supplier in the UK?
British Gas is the UK’s largest energy supplier. Recent data from Ofgem show that they have a 19% share of the market. SSE and EDF are tied in second place with 12% of the market.
Do businesses pay more for electricity?
Not necessarily. While businesses do pay more VAT on their electricity than household users, they typically get better deals on their unit rates (the price they pay per kilowatt-hour) because they use more.
How many kWh does a typical business use?
The number of kilowatt-hours a business uses in a year depends on its size. Micro-businesses (sole traders or businesses of up to nine employees) typically use around 10,000 kWh of electricity each year, whereas small businesses (up to 50 staff) use about 20,000 kWh and medium businesses (up to 250 staff) use around 40,000 kWh. Check out our guide to small business electricity prices to learn more.