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Understanding your Business Electricity Bill

Business electricity bills can be quite confusing unless you are a natural with numbers and units, but even the best of us can get confused. What most people look for is how much they are going to be charged, but it’s handy to understand the whole business electricity bill so you can evaluate where you can save money.

Business electricity bills used to be much more confusing until Ofgem stepped in to make sure all energy providers made their bills as transparent as possible, and whilst there have been improvements, it can still be confusing.

We have put together this guide to help you breakdown your business energy electricity bill, so you know exactly what you are paying for. Remember that you can use our free energy comparison tool at any time to see if a different energy company could represent a better deal for your organisation. 

 

Business Electricity

 

What Is On My Business Energy Bill?

  • Business Energy suppliers contact details.
  • The date of when the electricity bill was issued.
  • The billing period, (showing the dates the bill refers to).
  • The date and amount of the last payment made from the customer to the supplier.
  • Your unique customer business reference number or account number, which should be displayed at the top of the page.
  • The final amount of the electricity you've used in this period before VAT is added.
  • The standard amount of Business VAT of 20% (and not the usual 5% as it is for domestic premises) should be shown separately.
  • The total price of your electricity bill (this is the amount you need to pay your supplier).
  • Normally any other additional information that a supplier wishes to share or the customer will frequently appear on the front of the bill.
  • Most electricity suppliers show their electricity supply number in a box however this may be in a small font so look carefully.
  • Your meter point administration number, which you will need if you choose to switch electricity supplier.
  • A detailed breakdown of the energy the customer has used will be shown on the bill. The usage is provided, including the kilowatt hours (kWh) used, the cost per kilowatt hour and the latest meter readings.
  • The bill will also show if the electricity meter readings are estimated or actual and the dates the readings were taken or estimated.
  • A contact number will be provided on the bill for customers who have specific business requirements such as large print or bills in braille.
  • A payment slip will be on or with the bill for businesses who chose to pay at a bank or by post.
  • The electricity bill summary should show: The client the total of your last bill, how much was paid since the last bill, the charges the client incurred for the period of time including any discounts the client is applicable for. The electricity bill will also show any account adjustments.
  • The summary will also show the business customer the overall amount of debit or credit that their account is in. This will only be for information only for Direct Debit customer. The summary will also show the date the electricity bill should be paid by.

We know this is a lot to take in, and most of this is just for reference. Here are some of the things that are most important about your business electricity bill:

Total Cost – this is the first thing everyone looks for and for good reason. You will want to know the amount of money that is coming out of your account to keep the light on for your business.

Standing Charge – this is a cost the supplier will charge you for delivering the electricity to your premises.  The standing charge can be anywhere from 5p to 60p per day for electricity so it’s important to know that amount you’re paying.

Unit Cost – This is what you pay for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy you use. This is a basic unit measurement for your energy use, so it is important to know the amount you’re paying. You can read more about kWh pricing here.

 

What price should I expect to pay for my business electricity?

It’s difficult to predict complete accurate prices without getting a price comparison, as it depends on the business, location and energy consumption. However, we have put together some average prices for UK businesses:

Business size

Annual Usage

Unit Price/kWh

Standing charge

Annual Bill

Micro

8,000 kWh

16.74p

27.40p

£1,439

Small

20,000 kWh

14.83p

26.83p

£3,064

Medium

40,000 kWh

13.68p

26.41p

£5,568

Large

80,000 kWh

12.93p

26.20p

£10,439

These prices do not reflect the best prices available to your business as they are strictly average UK prices spread across many different industries with different requirements and consumption.

What affects the cost of business electricity prices?

Many factors are taken into consideration when suppliers are pricing their tariffs, and this can often make things difficult when a business is selecting their tariff. For example, if a business thinks that the prices are going to reduce over the course of their energy contract, they may select a variable-rate tariff to take advantage of the cheaper rates. However, this is a prediction and not guaranteed. For this reason, many businesses often lock-in their prices on a fixed-rate tariff for greater peace of mind. These factors will need to be considered when selecting the best tariff for your business.

The Rate of Electricity Generation

This can change from day-to-day, or even by the hour. The cost of electricity is driven by demand so prices can fluctuate, especially from season to season where warmer weather requires less energy. This is why energy suppliers introduced multi-rate meters to provide different rates to reflect the demand for the supply.

World Events

World events should as pandemics, natural disasters and conflicts can reduce the access to oil and other fuels which will have a knock-on effect of the prices of energy. These types of events will reduce the supply and will drive the price up as the energy provider will be paying a higher wholesale cost for the supply.

To compare business electricity and start your switch today, use our free online comparison tool.