Falling behind on energy bills could happen to any business. All it takes is one month of poor performance to set your finances back and leave you feeling snowed under by bills. This experience is not uncommon and there are ways to help prevent the financial struggle from getting worse, so if you’re worried you’re losing control of your energy costs be sure to read ahead.
TELL YOUR SUPPLIER
Telling your energy supplier is the first thing you should do if you’re going to be behind on paying your business gas and electricity bills. It may feel daunting and you may want to avoid speaking to them entirely, but it is incredibly important you tell your energy if you’re facing difficulty in paying bills.
By speaking with your supplier, you can organise a repayment plan with them to help you pay off the missed gas and electricity bills bit by bit, while also continuing with monthly scheduled payments. Gas and electricity providers work with thousands of customers who face the same problem, and many companies have entire departments dedicated to helping customers organise their payments to cover arrears, so the wisest thing to do is be honest with your gas and electricity supplier to avoid having your energy disconnected. Disconnections can occur just 14 days after suppliers give notice to customers, so acting fast is the best way to tackle this situation.
AVOID FALLING INTO ENERGY ARREARS
Paying too much for your energy bills is the easiest way to fall into energy arrears. To avoid this, make sure that your business is on the cheapest gas and electricity rates possible for its usage. If your contract is coming to an end, or you are within your current supplier’s switching window then now is the best time to start searching and comparing energy tariffs from a range of providers who could offer you cheaper rates.
If you are not able to renew your current contract or switch suppliers at the moment, be sure to compare tariffs next time your contract is up for renewal. It is very easy for businesses to forget about gas and electricity contract renewals, but this can lead to the business moving onto Out-of-Contract rates which can be very costly. As explained in our guide, Out-of-Contract rates are much higher than rates agreed in a contract so if it is time for your business to renew its energy plan, make sure you compare quotes as soon as possible.
If you recently moved business premises and have not yet negotiated a new energy contract with a supplier, it is likely your business is on Deemed Rates which can also be very costly, They may not be as expensive as Out-of-Contract rates, but they will still be much more affordable for your business to agree on a contract with a supplier than remain on the same costly unit rates.
BEWARE OF BACK BILLING
A back bill is issued when a customer has used more energy than originally contracted with the supplier. Suppliers can back bill companies for up to 6 years of energy bills, and these bills usually arrive in one lump sum which can be a very unpleasant surprise for any business.
Understandably, it is very important for you to keep track of how much energy your business is using to avoid back billing. By monitoring your business’s energy usage and ensuring you stay within the amount you are contracted to, you can avoid the setbacks from being faced with enormous unexpected costs.
CAN I SWITCH SUPPLIERS IF I OWE MONEY?
If you have any outstanding energy bills with your current supplier, you will not be able to switch to another provider. Any existing gas and electricity bills must be paid before you switch energy contracts.
If you’re starting to feel snowed under your energy bills and want to find cheaper gas and electricity rates for your business, then we’re here to help. Use our business energy comparison service to start comparing cheaper energy rates from a wide range of suppliers, and find a tariff ideally suited to your business’s needs.