Business Energy Bills Broken Down and Explained

If you’ve taken the time to look at your business’s energy bills, then you may have been overwhelmed by how complex they seem. However, knowing what you’re looking at is important as it could save you thousands of pounds on errors or miss-billing.

Many of our clients came to us having overpaid for their energy for months and even years, without ever realising it. The reason? They didn’t understand the way their business energy costs were being billed.

Thanks to Ofgem, all energy suppliers need to provide all the information you need to understand your bill and make clever decisions. Unfortunately, this can be seeped in industry jargon and poor formatting to make it difficult to digest.

How to Check Your Business’ Energy Bill

There are lots of elements that make up your business’ utility costs, but we’ve broken down your energy bill into some of the most important factors that you should consider:

  •  Unit rate(s)*

  • Standing charge

  • Contract end date

 *Gas and Electric for business will be billed separately at different rates with different standing charges.

If you are on a fixed contract, your unit rates will stay the same until your contract end date. Making sure this figure remains the same is important, as a slight deviation can cause significant increases in the price of your business energy.

Checking this figure is even more important when using flexible energy procurement, as it will change in line with your purchasing strategy and can deviate wildly from month to month – it will also require regular updating to match purchase price with billed price.

This can get very complicated, especially if you have multiple sites with complex energy requirements. It is completely possible to do yourself, or you could relieve yourself of the time and hassle and let our team of Bureau Experts handle this for you.

What is a standing charge?

The standing charge is how much an energy supplier will charge you every day to supply your business, regardless of how much energy you use. Typically, this covers the maintenance of their service, replacing wires, upgrading sections and covering their costs.

Sometimes, a supplier will remove their standing charge or offer a very low rate with higher unit rates to make up the cost. For low energy users this could be a good option, although if your business using larger volumes then this is something you would want to avoid.  

Your Business Energy Contract End Date is Important

Knowing when your contract ends allows you to make decisions up front about your business energy. Checking your contract end date and talking to an energy consultant months, or even a year, in advance of the termination date can help with benchmarking to secure energy from the cheapest supplier.

Energy prices can be determined as far as five years in advance on the wholesale market. This figure is adjusted and affected by a huge number of drivers which can lead to very volatile prices. If you want to try and keep abreast of the changes in the market, our free energy markets reports provide a monthly breakdown.

At amber energy, we recommend reviewing and implementing a procurement strategy at least 24 months prior to the termination of your existing energy supply contract. This gives us the best possible scope to provide an energy strategy audit with comprehensive risk management and tailor it to your exact needs.

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Managing your bills  

Staying on top of your bills each month can be tricky, but our team of bill validation experts can take this hassle away from you. We can run all your bills through 40 different validation steps with the tolerances that we set as low as possible so that anything irregular gets pulled out and scrutinised by one of our analysts.  

When we find issues, we immediately raise them with the supplier and start the resolution process. This means that you won’t accidentally pay thousands due to incorrect bills, as we’ll pick them up and sort them out for you. The team can even do this for historical bills, rectifying issues that happened before you joined us.

Sick of dealing with your business’ utility bills? Let us know using the form below - we’d be happy to help.

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