Traditional business energy brokers vs switching business gas and electricity suppliers online. What is best for finding the cheapest business gas and electricity deals?
Traditionally, switching business gas and electricity providers has been a very time consuming and painful process. Only about 50% of UK businesses regularly switch providers. Many who switch end up staying with their existing utility provider to avoid the hassle of moving to another business energy utility company.
In this guide, we discuss USwitch and EnergyBillKill. We hope this guide helps you to figure out which business energy switching service is better for you. Ultimately what matters is the bottom line. Energy is a commodity. The less the business can pay for business gas and electricity the more positive the impact on the businesses’ cash flow. Cash saving is critical.
Why do business gas and electricity costs matter?
UK small and medium-sized businesses spend £6 billion per year (that is 90%+ of all the businesses in the UK).
Many businesses are located in serviced offices or do not face business gas and electricity bills. At the same time, close to 1 million businesses face business gas and electricity costs. Together, these businesses use over 2.5 million business gas and electricity meters. The majority of these are business electricity meters, but a good number are also business gas meters.
Given the current economic environment, saving even 5% on business gas and electricity costs will generate £300 million in annual savings for UK businesses. That is a substantial amount of money.
How to lower business gas and electricity costs
Until recently, energy prices have been rising. Recently, due to Covid-19 and the energy supply wars between Saudia Arabia and Russia, oil prices have collapsed. This led to a significant decline in overall business gas and electricity prices. In addition, renewable energy supply costs have declined significantly.
Renewable sources of energy generated more electricity than any other energy source in the UK in the first quarter of 2020. Specifically, wind power propelled renewables generation to 45% of the entire electricity generation supply mix. Solar, wind and other renewable sources of energy now generate one-third of all the electricity supply globally.
What are business electricity and gas hidden fees?
Lower energy prices are great news for businesses. What is the best way to take advantage of lower business energy costs? The reality is that only about 40-50% of business gas and electricity bills are actually energy costs. The rest of the bill is taxes and hidden broker fees. There are transmission charges, standing charges, climate charge tax, VAT, and yes, broker fees.
Many businesses do not know this, but when they use broker services, they are paying hidden commissions. These commissions can be as high as 20% of the bill.
Citizens Advice estimated that over 1mn businesses in the UK are in danger of being ripped off by unscrupulous practices. In particular, brokers often do not tell clients what fees energy companies are paying them. The reality is that most businesses' customers will never know how much their brokers are making.
Broker fees and commissions are hidden inside your energy bills. Usually, the hiding place is in your cost per kWh. For example, if the clean price is 10 pence per kWh, then your bill may say 12, 13, 14 or 15 pence per kWh. That is right, 2, 3, 4 or 5 pennies from every kWh your business uses may go to a broker. At first, the pennies may seem small, but most businesses use tens, and hundreds of thousands of kWh per year (if not millions). These charges have financed very nice lifestyles for the broker community.
How to get the lowest priced business gas and electricity – switching online
Households and consumers have long benefited from being able to shop and compare online. To date, switching business gas and electricity online has been tricky. There are many reasons for this. Generally, the main reason for this is the dominance of the smile and dial energy broker industry.
Even today, when a number of online business energy switching services are available, most are lead generators for traditional brokers. That means that you can not really switch online or get the best deal online (despite advertisements), and would need to speak to a broker to get the best deals they offer.
We started EnergyBillKIll.com to simplify business energy switching and bring the lowest prices to businesses. We make business energy very simple and transparent:
- The lowest prices in the market
- The lowest transparent fees in the market
- Prices in 20-30 seconds.
- Switching in less than 60 seconds.
- Minimal data collection- only what is needed to get you the price
As many in the UK are familiar with Uswitch as a leader in the online comparison world, we are often asked to compare EnergyBillKill.com with Uswitch. We respect and admire Uswitch as they brought much-needed innovation to online comparison shopping
We highlight below some similarities and differences with EnergyBillKill.com that may be helpful when you consider the best business gas and electricity online switching service.
USwitch and EnergyBillKill – what is similar?
- USwitch & EnergyBillKill cover the market (that means both can switch businesses into most business energy companies)
- USwitch & EnergyBillKill provide customer support
USwitch is a traditional off-line broker service, using online technology to generate leads for its brokers.
- USwitch uses technology to introduce you to their brokers
- USwitch broker charges, built into your business electricity and gas bills, are not clear
- USwitch does not transparently publish (or at least we could not find the information) what they charge business gas and electricity customers for their services.
EnergyBillKill.com shows instant lowest business gas and electricity prices and has very low and transparent fees
- EnergyBillKill.com charges very low and transparent fees. You can read about our fees here.
- EnergyBillKill.com fees start at £0.001 per kWh and never rise above £0.002 per kWh
USwitch requires a lot of personal information, but you still do not get instant quotes
- USwitch service initially appears as a quick online switching application (just like their switching services for consumers)
- At first, you are asked to enter your postcode.
- After you type your postcode and find your address, you are then passed on to the broker team using a chat interface.
- During the chat, you are asked a lot of information, personal and business, to finally get a quote.
- If you happen to visit the website out-of-hours then you are out of luck. You are asked to leave a lot of personal information- your name, email and a phone number – so someone can call you back.
EnergyBillKill.com does not require the personal information to show you the lowest business gas and electricity quotes
- EnergyBillKill.com asks the minimal information required to get you the lowest possible quote
- EnergyBillKill.com does not need your email or phone number or the name of your business.
- EnergyBillKill.com provides instant quotes in less than 30 seconds.
- EnergyBillKill.com users can email quotes to themselves.
USwitch market coverage and best prices are not clear
- As USwitch does not provide instant business gas and electricity quotes,
- It is impossible to know what is the scope of their market coverage
- It is likely that USwitch covers most of the market players, but you will not find out until you chat or talk to one of their representatives.
- The business user must wait to ‘chat’ or talk to customer service to find out what are the business gas and electricity switching options.
- There are pluses and minuses to the above approach, but it is time-consuming and requires additional time spent by the business owner or manager trying to get the lowest prices from the market.
EnergyBillKill.com provides instant business gas and electricity quotes with online switching
- EnergyBillKill.com provides instant quotes.
- EnergyBillKill.com quotes cover the market and show the business user exactly which energy companies have the best price
- EnergyBillKill.com offers instant switching. You do not need to wait for a person or an operator to switch. You can complete the switching application in less than 60 seconds and sign digital documents to commence the switch.
- EnergyBillKill.com also provides online chat support services as well as a human customer support team if questions arise.
We want businesses to have the lowest possible prices for business gas and electricity. The best strategy for businesses is to shop around and compare different prices. USwitch has been a clear leader in the price comparison sector. They are a well-known brand name with a substantial market presence. Specifically, in business gas and electricity, USwitch service is closer to traditional energy brokerage than an instant online switching experience.
We believe that USwitch has a very nice web interface that is easy to use. However, to get real business gas and electricity quotes requires talking to agents (online or on the phone). USwitch broker fees are not clear and the best deals are not instantly available.
We believe that EnergyBillKill.com is better at providing instant quotes and online switching experience that does not require interaction with brokers.
We also believe that EnergyBillKill.com has much lower fees that ultimately deliver much lower business energy costs. In the final analysis, businesses will judge which is the best service and delivers lower costs.