Energy Plans

How to choose an energy plan

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How to choose an energy plan
Guide Author

James Longley

Managing Director

min read
Last Updated May 17, 2022
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How to choose an energy plan

It’s important to choose an energy plan carefully before you become tied into a tariff that’s not right for your home or business. You should consider how much energy you use, the type of fuels you need and how much you want to pay. Energy plans can range hugely in price, but you don’t want to be paying for something that you don’t use.

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Choosing an energy plan

You should begin by thinking about your energy needs. Is most of the energy used during the day or at night? Do you want to be more eco-friendly? Do you currently have a prepayment meter? All of these things could have an impact on the tariff that you can choose and the cost. For instance, using only 100 per cent renewable electricity will likely cost more per unit than electricity that comes from the National Grid.

Once these things have been decided, you can start shopping around for business energy. But with so many plans available, how do you pick? Below, you can find some things to look for in your tariff that may help you to make a decision.

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    Fixed term vs. variable rate

    If you’re shopping around for business electricity or gas, you’ll likely come across these terms. A fixed-term plan is when the cost of the energy per unit will stay the same for a certain amount of time, usually 12 or 24 months. Even if the cost of energy goes up, your bills will stay the same because you’re in a tariff that locks in the price of energy at the start of the term. Once this term runs out, the cost is subject to change, but these tariffs can be beneficial. It means no more surprises when your energy bill arrives and no fluctuations in price.

    A variable-rate plan means that, as energy prices fluctuate, so does your energy bill. The cost per unit of gas and electricity can change almost daily, depending on demand, changes in the energy market as a whole or even the weather. For this reason, it’s often better to go for a fixed plan, however sometimes the cost per unit is higher than it is for a variable plan. You should compare the two to see which could be the most beneficial.

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    Standing charge

    Many energy suppliers require a standing charge payment. This is a fee that you pay in order for your home or business to be connected to an energy supply. It means that, even if you didn’t use any gas for a day, you’d still be required to pay the standing charge.

    As an average, the daily standing charge can be between 5p and 60p for electricity and 10p to 80p for gas. If you’re looking to save money, you may wish to find an energy supplier who charges on the lower end of the spectrum.

    Some energy providers don’t require a standing charge, however the energy cost per unit is generally higher, meaning you won’t always save money by not paying it.

    Term length

    For each energy plan, there’s a certain length of time you’ll be tied in for. This can range from 12 months to 36 months. Consider your circumstances and pick a time frame to suit you. For instance, if you’re a pop-up business that frequently moves around or someone who’s renting an apartment short term, a 12-month time frame would likely be the most suitable.

    Green energy

    Finally, you may want to look into green energy plans. These allow you to offset the carbon produced by your home or business via the purchase of renewable energy. If you wanted to choose one of these tariffs, your supplier could tell you how much of each type of renewable energy they generate, as well as if they contribute money to any environmental schemes.

    These tariffs can be more expensive, but if your business uses most of its energy overnight, the cost could even out. Energy tends to cost more during the daytime because there’s a higher demand for it, therefore using green energy at night could cost the same as using standard energy during the day.

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    How to compare energy plans

    If you’re searching for the best deal, you may want to compare various energy plans to find the cheapest and most suitable plan for your business. By doing this, you’ll be able to view side-by-side comparisons that can help to make your decision.

    You can do this with Utility Bidder. Simply tell us your name, phone number and postcode, and we’ll give you a call to discuss the best options for you and your business.

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