The Energy Price Cap – What it means for Business Customers
An energy price cap is a tool introduced by the independent regulatory authority, Ofgem. The tool has been put in place to protect consumers from rising energy prices. With the intention of restricting energy suppliers from making excessive profits. The recent announcement from Ofgem in April 2022, stated that the energy price cap on variable tariffs will increase by 54%. This explains why the majority of consumers will have noticed a rise in their energy prices. On average, for tariff customers, energy bills will increase by £693 to £1,971 per year. As this new increase takes hold, more and more customers are noticing the effect. The reason for this increase is as a result of wholesale gas shortages which has greatly impacted the energy suppliers’ ability to meet demand. Therefore, creating a need to pass on some of their increased costs.
While the price cap somewhat protects domestic consumers, this does not do anything to protect businesses. This means, that where they are experiencing an increase in wholesale costs, energy suppliers are passing the majority of this onto their business energy customers. With many businesses experiencing incredible rises to their business electricity and business gas bills, as well as receiving huge quotes for business energy, with some exceeding a huge 90p/kWh.
What should businesses do to manage the rising energy costs?
As the energy market continues to navigate a very volatile period of time, it is important to shield your business from rising energy prices for your business. For those businesses that are seeking a new energy supplier or need to secure a price due to being up for renewal, there are some solutions to consider.
One of the ways business owners can shield themselves and their businesses from the current market volatility is to consider working ahead of time of your existing renewal. This is to avoid the anticipated future price rises and great uncertainty of the current energy market as we go into the winter months.
Smarter procurement is one-way businesses can benefit from better energy rates. Instead of requesting quotes for immediate start dates, consider reviewing your tariff ahead of time.
In the current market we are finding that unit rates and standing charges of quotes with ASAP contract start dates are coming out the most expensive. In contrast to this, if the contract end date is much further away (e.g. 6 months or more), then we are finding we are able to access lower prices. Therefore organisations can benefit from locking in lower prices in advance now, than those they would end up with if they left their renewal to within a month of their end date.
Avoid out-of-contract pricing with any supplier
One of our top tips is to avoid running down your contracts in the hopes prices may fall. For those D-ENERGi customers who do this or have done this, you will go onto our Deemed Energy Tariff which is the most expensive option for business energy customers as it is influenced by the daily energy wholesale market fluctuations. For us at D-ENERGi, this means we could be paying more than 3 times as much on wholesale prices in comparison with our fixed price plans, and these costs will unfortunately have to be passed on to the customer. We cannot stress this enough; avoid at all costs running down your contracts if possible. For additional advice, do not hesitate to contact our helpful team who can support you in renewing your contract before it is too late. Whilst some experts are concerned that there could be a drop in prices resulting from users consuming much less energy thus creating an energy surplus, there has been no signs of this being the case over the past few months.
Monitoring your energy consumption
Energy consumption management is an important and valuable process that all businesses should practice. By monitoring your energy usage closely you will gain a greater understanding of your bills while allowing you to optimise and control the energy usage of your company.
To do this, it is as simple as enquiring about a business energy smart meter that will take automatic meter readings while providing you with real-time consumption data. At D-ENERGi we offer smart meters for businesses, available through our smart meter roll out.
For more information on the energy market and how to get the best tariff for your business energy, please contact our team.