Just at home, office energy bills are a real pain. The last thing you want to ruin your figures is a sky-high gas and electricity bill, but it frequently does. Just like at home too, most businesses across the country are actually overpaying on their energy bills solely through being on an expensive energy tariff. What many people don’t realise that all electricity supplies will be exactly the same, regardless of what company supplies you, the only thing that you are changing is your customer service and billing. As such, it is probably time that people learnt how to switch their tariffs.
How to switch your business tariff
Switching your gas and electricity tariff for your office is pretty similar to switching your tariff at home. The main thing is that you carry out a comparison across the market so you know exactly how much you could be saving and which companies are going to be the most suitable for you.
There are four types of tariff that you will most likely see when you make your comparison. You’ll have to choose one of these depending on your needs as a business. They are as follows:
Rollover contract – This means that if you don’t decide on a new deal to carry on from your current deal at the end of your contract, you will automatically be entered into a new term on your current contract, which will potentially rise in price.
Fixed contract – This is a standard fixed tariff like you would have for residential energy.
28-day contract – Similar to the concept of a ‘rolling contract’ for mobile phones, this contract type will allow you to pay on a monthly basis, with the option to quit your current deal after 28 days.
Deemed contract – This is halfway house kind of deal that will usually be applicable to those companies that just moved into new premises. You can cancel after 28 days like the above, which you definitely should, as this will be the most expensive type of tariff available.
Types of meter
When switching your tariff you also need to bear in the mind the type of meter that you have. The most common are as follows:
Single rate meter – The nearest thing you’ll get to a standard credit meter in your home, this meter type measures your usage on one rate 24 hours a day. Great for companies that operate within peak hours (8am – 10pm)
Two rate meter – Pretty much the same as a household Economy 7 meter. This meter type will measure your usage based on peak and off peak times. Peak will be considerably more expensive. This is great for those businesses who operate in off-peak hours (12am – 8am) such as takeaways and nightclubs.
Three rate meter – As the name would suggest, this splits your usage into three measurement categories based on time of day: peak; off-peak; and weekends. This is great for those companies that will regularly open on weekends.
Half hourly meter – This type is catered primarily to those businesses that use an extremely high amount of energy. This ensures that every kWh is accurately measured, giving large businesses the best reading possible.
Reduce your usage
Switching your energy tariff is certainly the number one way to save money on your energy bills but the savings definitely don’t stop there. Physically reducing the amount of gas and electricity that you actually use is the next best thing. You can do this in a large number of ways. Here’s a few of them:
- Switching to LED lighting
Around 25% of the average UK office energy bill is made up of lighting costs. In the most part, this statistic exists as such because older office buildings are still installed with incandescent light fixtures, which are highly inefficient. Just by switching to LED light bulbs you could save up to 75% on lighting costs.
- Get your room temperature right
Most offices, when experiences uncomfortable weather on either extreme, will try to counterbalance this by over optimising their thermostat, which means people are once again uncomfortable on the other end and paying for the privilege. You should try and make that your room temperature is between 20-22°C at all times. Every degree matters.
- Enable power saving computer settings
Make sure that all computers and macs are set up with energy saving settings. Leaving devices idle for no reason will rack up serious amounts of usage for no reason. Make sure that your computer will sleep after x amount of time, drastically reducing the amount of electricity used.