Small businesses suffering from rising energy costs
In the winter of 2021, the cost of electricity and gas soared, affecting people and businesses across the country.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the world’s largest natural gas producer, has placed severe doubts over future gas supplies into Europe.
Since the UK’s North Sea reserves are running out, we are reliant on importing natural gas from our European neighbours.
Households and companies across the country are now feeling the effects of these soaring gas import costs. On 26 May, the government announced a £15bn package to protect households against the rising cost of living.
The package includes a universal payment of £400 paid directly to energy suppliers. The government’s support package only includes homes, so what about small businesses?
Small business energy costs
The business energy market works differently. Companies will not benefit from the government’s latest intervention, and the market is not protected by a price cap. Business electricity and gas prices directly reflect the wholesale cost of energy.
As of May 2022, the wholesale price of natural gas has tripled year on year. Businesses coming to the end of their fixed-term energy contracts face significant increases in their bills. What to do about rising business energy costs?
Hove based business utility experts AquaSwitch recommend two steps for dealing with rising energy costs:
i. Reduce unnecessary consumption of electricity and gas
Here are three examples of low hanging fruit for painlessly reducing business energy consumption:
- Smart timers – A common waste of energy in offices arises from scanners and printers waiting in standby mode. A one-off effort to set up smart timers on your devices can save a vast amount of energy.
- Lighting – Most businesses still rely on old fashioned light bulbs. A switch to LED lighting will cut electricity consumption by 20-30%.
- Dishwasher eco mode – Modern dishwashers come with an eco-mode option that often goes unused. The eco-mode may take a little longer but can save as much as 30% in energy costs.
ii. Make sure you are getting a good deal on your energy
The business energy market is deregulated, with many suppliers competing to offer the best deals. In times of volatile business gas prices, it’s more important than ever to compare your renewal quote to offers from alternative business energy suppliers.
AquaSwitch, a business utilities comparison service, provides a free, no-obligation comparison service to help companies collect tailored quotes from across the market. Request a business energy comparison report for your company today.
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North sea supplies are NOT running out – we just decided to “cut” our carbon production by not looking for or developing new fields and importing it from another country. Then we ran away from fracking, and we can’t seem to make up our mind on nuclear power, while we all overpay for electricity and gas to subsidise wind farms and bankrupt smaller energy retailers.
My business energy costs are minimal. My council tax and god knows how many parking tickets and bin fines are not. So actually small business in the city is way more affected by the awful council.