Your independent energy adviser
0800 051 5770

Business energy for start-ups

6 tips to save money and cut stress

If you’re running a start-up, or thinking of starting your own business, there’s no doubt that you have a lot on your mind: business plans, accounts, sales figures, marketing, tax, employees…

We don’t want to needlessly add to that list, but we are going to suggest that you take five minutes to have a cup of tea, read this article and think about your business energy bills.

When you’re starting up, you need to keep your costs and cash flow under control; it is these disciplines that define long-term success in a business. As a result your energy bills shouldn’t be ignored or written off as a fixed cost – all it takes is a little attention now to save you time and money later on.

In a recent survey of 500 businesses, we found rising energy prices are a major concern for many businesses. Over 90% of the people we asked told us that if the current trend of price rises continues, it would have an impact on their business, with 8% saying it would put them out of business.

This doesn’t need to be a reason to panic though.

Simply following these six tips will help you take control of your energy bills and save you money so that you don’t need to worry about the impact of your energy bills on your new business – now or in the future.

  1. When you move into new premises, make sorting out your energy contract a priority – if you don’t, you’ll be paying out-of-contract rates, which are usually double the normal rate. The last thing you need in those crucial first few months is to get ripped off. See our dedicated supplier pages for your supplier’s policy on out of contract rates and what you can do about them.
  2. When you’re forecasting or preparing a business plan, assume that your energy bills will rise by at least 15% per annum – it might seem high, but 15% price rises are actually fairly typical. This obviously doesn’t apply if you sign up to a longer-term contract (see tip 5). You should also think about your plans for expansion and how they might affect your energy usage – taking on more staff or buying new pieces of machinery will push up your consumption, so you should reflect this in your plans.
  3. Think about making some energy-saving improvements to your workplace – there are plenty of measures you can take that will pay for themselves in savings on your energy bills. Whether you lease or own your premise there are really simple actions you can take that will make a big difference to your energy bill. According to the Carbon Trust, the average business wastes 20% of the energy it buys. Things like energy-efficient lighting, insulation, or even a simple ban on standby could make a big difference.
  4. Make sure you make a note in your diary of when your business energy contract is due to end – it might seem a long way off, but once you’ve entered into an energy contract you need to make sure you know when it is going to end. If you don’t remember to cancel your contract in the last few months, your energy supplier can roll you over to a new contract. It probably won’t be the best deal for your business and you’ll be stuck with it for at least 30 days and in many instances 12 months, so you should avoid this at all costs. See our dedicated supplier pages for your supplier’s policy on termination and rollover and what you need to do to avoid it.
  5. Think about a longer-term contract – most businesses prefer one-year contracts, but long-term contracts (two, three or even four years) can be a good opportunity to lock-in on low prices. The market fluctuates, but the overall trend is up, up, up.
  6. Do your homework – Research the energy market thoroughly before you sign a contract. If you work with an independent business energy broker, like Business Juice, we will be able to compare the market on your behalf, getting you quotes from a wide range of suppliers. We will also take care of the admin and hold your hands every step of the way – Who knows, it could be the start of a long and prosperous relationship. For as long as your business is here so will Business Juice to help you tackle the business energy market every step of the way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.