Why is my gas and electricity bill so high?

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    Guide Author

    James Longley

    Managing Director

    min read
    Last Updated December 8, 2021

    If you’ve had an unexpectedly high business electricity bill, you’ll know how frustrating it can be. Unfortunately, the business energy market can be confusing at times so if you’ve found yourself stumped by a higher-than-normal invoice, you’re not alone. To help demystify your bills, here’s our expert guide on why your charges might be higher than you anticipate.

    Why is my electric bill so high?

    Lighting, equipment, machinery, computers, tills, photocopiers – the list of appliances draining energy in your business may be a long one. But before you rush into the staff kitchen and unplug the kettle, it’s important to understand exactly why your electricity bill is higher than usual.

    There are usually three main reasons for an increase in your business electricity bill:

    Rate

    If you are using the same kWh of electricity as you did last year, but your bill is significantly more expensive, then the next possible explanation is that there has been an increase in your tariff. Some energy providers lure business customers in with low introductory rates, relying on the fact that you won’t remember to switch before their standard (read: expensive) tariff kicks in. The first things to look at are your standing charge and your unit rate.

    • The standing charge is a daily fee that you pay for the supply of your electricity. You pay this each day regardless of how much energy you use.
    • The unit rate is the amount you pay per kWh of electricity you use.

    These rates can vary, and the best deal for your business will depend on the size of your business and what your typical consumption is. Our research has shown that 80 per cent of business customers are overpaying on their energy bills.

    Other charges

    As well as the tariff that you pay for the electricity you use, your business electricity bill includes other charges. In fact, only 44 per cent of the average business electricity bill is for the electricity supplied. The other 56 per cent is made up of ‘third-party costs’. These include transmission charges and contributions to government schemes. For example, every unit of energy your business uses is subject to a Climate Change Levy (CCL). There are exemptions if your business uses less than 1,000kWh of electricity per month or has a domestic element. These are costs that you can’t necessarily avoid by reducing your consumption, but Utility Bidder’s expert advisors can help find the best deal for your business.

    What is the average electricity bill?

    Data from the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) shows that the average annual expenditure on electricity by a non-domestic consumer was £7,980 in 2018. The size of your business will affect your rate. If you use less energy, your bills will be lower, but you will probably also pay a higher price per unit than a high-use consumer.

    Why is my gas bill so high?

    Is it winter? If you have a large premises that needs heating, you can expect costs to soar during the winter months and cold snaps. The good news is that when the summer heatwaves hit, your gas bill should come back down. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends a minimum working temperature of 16 degrees Celsius, so don’t be tempted to turn that thermostat down too far or you might have a revolt on your hands. If you’ve been hit by a large bill, and are within one year of your contract end date, now is a good time to check what rate you are on. Shop around for a better deal – or let us do it and take the hassle out of finding the best business gas prices.

    What would cause my gas bill to double?

    First, double-check your meter reading. The bill could be inaccurate if it is based on an estimate or an incorrect reading. Check your thermostat and timer. Is your heating on constant? It doesn’t need to be. Make sure it is timed to coincide with when the premises are in use. An intelligent HVAC system could be worth considering to lower your bills. As with electricity above, check your rate and see if you have been switched onto your supplier’s Standard Variable Tariff (SVT). If you have, it’s time to renegotiate or switch.

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    Choose your business address

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    Are you comparing for a business or home?

    Business

    Home


    Go Back
    Select Utility
    Now please select a utility I want to get prices for...
    Gas
    Electric
    Gas & Electric
    Water
    Go Back
    Next
    Please enter your business gas information
    How much do you spend & how often?

    An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

    Go Back
    Get Prices

    Let’s save time, can we automatically gather meter information?

    ? What does this mean?
    To get your quotes at lightening speed we need several key pieces of information which can all be found on your electricity bill. But by simply ticking this box, we can search ‘industry held data’ to get your meter number, electricity consumption and current energy supplier. This means that we can get you quick quotes without asking you to dig out all of your paperwork. This is personal data therefore we need you to allow us to access this information.
    Go Back

    Do you know your electric meter number?

    Does your meter number end in any of the following?

    Go Back
    Enter meter number
    I don’t know
    Please enter your business electricity information
    How much do you spend & how often?

    An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

    Start date for a new contract?
    Get Prices
    Please enter your water information
    How much do you spend & how often?

    An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

    Go Back
    Get Prices

      Enter your details below to get quotes We’ve helped over 90,000 businesses