Businesses of all sizes will want to make improvements to their operations whenever they can, but many of them cost money. This means either finding new investment from outside the company or trying to make savings to fund said improvements. One area where they may identify potential savings is on their energy bills. Although this may sound simple, it can be hard to make such savings. The reason why this is often the case is that many companies are locked into fixed-price tariff contracts with energy suppliers which last for one to three years.
Some companies may consider changing supplier if they’re unhappy with their existing terms, and would think of going to someone like make it cheaper to find a deal which suits them. However, it’s only possible to change suppliers when a ‘renewal window’ becomes open when a business is heading towards the end of its contract with their existing supplier. Renewal windows open during the last three to four months of a contract, and typically are only in existence for a period of 30 days.
Small and medium-sized businesses feel trapped when they want to change, especially if they’ve only begun a new contract. However, with the help of someone like make it cheaper, who saved businesses that came to them for advice a combined £68m in 2011 on their energy bills, it’s possible to change when the renewal window does open. By comparing prices on offer from a number of different energy suppliers, it’s possible that savings can be made. As research by Make it Cheaper showed, businesses on average save 4p per kWh and 1.6p per kwh used of electricity and gas respectively.
For businesses who want to change suppliers, they might not notice that the window’s even open. Make it Cheaper found that only one fifth of 750 businesses they spoke to receive a letter saying that the renewal window was indeed open, while half were unaware of the fact that such a thing existed at all.
Switching suppliers can be a great way to save money, especially if extra capital is needed to fund investments in certain areas of a business. Some companies who switch successfully make savings of thousands each year without changing their energy use habits too much. Knowing whether they can actually find a better deal played a big part in that, which can be attributed to knowing when the renewal window was actually open.