What will the Targeted Charging Review mean for my business energy costs?

What will the Targeted Charging Review mean for my business energy costs

Every business faces overheads. Whether you’re a one man band or a multi-national corporation, there are always costs to consider in running your enterprise. But often the larger the organisation becomes the more challenging it is to keep an eye on the detail that can make a significant difference.

The truth is that business energy costs are often a source of significant money wastage. At The Energy Check we spend our working week helping businesses to get a handle on their utility bills and find ways to save money. Often this can be through the procurement of more suitable contracts, at other times it might be installing technologies that can save energy usage across an entire estate. And sometimes it can mean getting to grips with new legislation and ensuring that companies don’t fall foul of hidden costs. Among the key changes to the energy sector coming in 2021 is Ofgem’s Targeted Charging Review (TCR). Here’s what you need to know.

An introduction to the TCR

Under the Targeted Charging Review (TCR), the energy regulator has assessed how residual network charges should be set and recovered in Great Britain. Sweeping changes to transmission (TNUoS) and distribution (DUoS) residual (or sunk) network charging structures are expected from April 2021 onwards, as the current Triad demand system is replaced with a fixed charge based on a site’s available capacity. Under the new system, the focus will shift from measuring capacity based on time-of-use towards a fixed charge based on overall capacity. Four bands will be brought in to decide on the level of charges, based on site capacity and voltage of connection. This structure will help to ensure that large industrial and commercial firms are no longer able to avoid residual costs through Triad avoidance.

What are Triad periods?

Triad periods are the three highest winter peak periods upon which large companies’ transmission network charges are based. Although the dates and times of Triad periods are revealed retrospectively, many firms currently reduce consumption or switch to onsite generation during suspected Triad periods to reduce energy bills.

Historically, this form of energy management has been able to save large businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds each year. However, with the arrival of the new system, this approach will no longer be effective in reducing annual bills. While the pricing structure for the new system is yet to be released, it appears that Winter 2020/21 will be the last opportunity for Triad avoidance savings to be made. A second review is also now underway considering “forward looking” charges designed to provide consumers with pricing signals that will encourage specific consumption behaviour. The details of this review are still unknown, however.

Procurement challenges

Another knock-on effect of the new reforms may be that it becomes harder to deliver procurement prices for the period post April 2021. In fact, it is likely that suppliers will look to recoup losses from the new TCR charging system on contracts that are currently being negotiated.

What can businesses do to manage energy costs effectively?

For businesses that have worked hard to avoid winter Triads and timed charging periods in the past, the focus of energy management efforts must now focus on Agreed Supply Capacity (ASC) with the Distribution Network Operator – otherwise known as kVA charges. From April 2021, available supply capacity will be used to determine the pricing band a business falls into – and therefore the fixed price in the annual bill. This means that it will be more important than ever for organisations to monitor kVA effectively and manage capacity consistently to ensure that they do not find themselves in a more expensive band. Initially, a business’s available capacity will be measured from the last 24 months to establish which pricing band it should be entered into. This will become a fixed price on an organisation’s monthly energy bill until it can be proved that kVA should actually be lower. The TCR changes will also affect Non Half Hourly businesses – although it is possible that many may benefit from the new measures by seeing a reduction in their overall energy bill. Ultimately, the new regulations will bring about a shift in mindset for businesses. Where previously organisations had looked to reduce consumption during particular times of the day and certain times of year, they should now focus wholly on reducing total consumption. This may take the form of energy efficiency measures and controls to identify waste, which makes it possible to lower the fixed price on each bill.

While April 2021 may feel like it is some time away, realistically it does not provide businesses with much time to prepare for these significant changes to the way their utility bills are calculated. By working with our team of energy saving experts you can help to reduce the impact of these changes and ensure that future savings can be maximised and costs kept low.

Call us today: 0191 691 1802

UK achieves two months without burning coal: Has coronavirus been the final nail in the coffin for the industry?

UK achieves two months without burning coal: Has coronavirus been the final nail in the coffin for the industry?

At midnight on Wednesday 10th June 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the UK quietly but significantly passed a huge landmark. It went two full months without burning coal to generate power.

There was a time when this would have seemed completely unfeasible. More than a century ago, in 1913, coal production in the UK peaked at 292 million tonnes. Flash forward sixty years to the 1970s and coal still accounted for over half of the UK’s energy. Even more recently, in 2010, about 40% of the country’s electricity still came from coal.

The dramatic shift away from coal in recent years is thanks, in large part, to a growing national and international awareness of climate change and the environmental impact of burning coal for energy. But other factors, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, also have a part to play.

So, is the UK looking at an energy sector without coal?

Coronavirus and coal

While two months without coal is significant, it shouldn’t be seen as a huge surprise. The summer of 2019 was also largely coal-free, with only the odd isolated day of coal use reported. Over the last eight years, coal’s energy share has fallen rapidly, with the final push to 0% being the most time-consuming part of the transition.

But there is no doubt that Coronavirus has helped to speed along this decline. While its hard to take any silver lining from the chaos inflicted by COVID-19, it has caused a huge drop in coal demand (not to mention petrol consumption). This has also been the case for other European countries. In France, coal use now rarely passes 1% of its total energy output.

Because of COVID-19, electricity demand in the UK was around 20% lower than average in recent weeks, which in turn means that the already waning demand for coal has also dropped drastically.

The move to renewables

Coal now supplies less than 5% of electricity generated in the UK, down from 40% as recently in 2012. This signals the likely success of the Government’s promise to ban all coal production in the UK in 2025.

Coal plants across the country have either been closed, or have converted to suit the greener times. One of the most significant instances occurred recently when Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire successfully converted four of its six generators to burn biomass instead. According to the Drax Group, this is Europe’s biggest decarbonisation scheme to date.

Moving to renewable energy reflects the growing awareness of the environmental impact of our energy which has occurred over the last few decades, but particularly in the last five years or so. Fuel sources like wind, wave, marine, hydro, biomass and solar are becoming more and more prominent in the UK as coal prepares to be phased out completely.

What does this mean for your energy?

Many energy providers, including the Big Six, now offer greener energy deals, and use greener sources for their energy. Some even offer perks for customers choosing greener deals as an incentive to reduce your carbon footprint.

Diversifying energy supply creates a more varied energy market, giving you the opportunity to shop around for the best deal and most suitable package.

Looking to find the cheapest traditional or green energy deal for your business? Get in touch with one of our experts today and let’s start the conversation. Give us a call on 0191 691 18 02 or click here to start comparing deals.

Oil prices are in a negative. How can your business take advantage of this?

Oil prices are in a negative. How can your business take advantage of this?

For the first time on record, US oil prices are in a negative due to the impact of nationwide lockdowns. But what does this really mean for the average business? Demand for oil has all but dried up on a global scale, as lockdowns force us all to stay inside. This has caused an unprecedented drop in oil prices. In fact, the price of US oil has fallen into negative territory.

This means that oil producers are actually paying buyers to take the commodity off their hands due to fears their storage capacities could run out in May. At present, oil firms are renting tankers to store their surplus supply.

The benchmark for US oil, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), recently fell as low as -$37.63 a barrel. Meanwhile Brent Crude – the benchmark for oil prices used by Europe and the rest of the world – has also seen significant drops. Based on their June contracts, the benchmark is operating at $26 a barrel, a drop of 8.9%.

How are exporters tackling the drop in demand?

Earlier in April, exporters agreed to a record 10% slash in global oil output. This was the largest cut in oil production ever agreed, but analysts say it’s still not big enough to make a significant difference. The world still has more crude oil than it can use, and capacity is filling fast on both land and sea.

It’s this simple fact which has caused the current oil climate. Due to the societal impact of the coronavirus, exporters are actually being forced to pay importers, businesses and consumers to take oil off their hands.

This is a dramatic shift brought about by these uncertain times, but there are ways for businesses to take advantage of it. Low oil prices may put a smile on your face at the petrol pump, but they can also impact energy prices more broadly. Now might be the best time for businesses to buy for the long term.

How can businesses take advantage of the oil price crash?

Such a significant drop in the price of crude oil will have a knock-on effect on the price of both business and domestic energy over the coming weeks and months. In February, a drop in wholesale prices had already resulted in a lowering of the price cap and it is now likely that suppliers will move to offer even more competitive rates in line with plummeting wholesale rates.

This means that for businesses looking to renew their energy contracts, now could be an opportunity to make a substantial saving and negotiate a new contract – particularly those that would otherwise be rolling on to a standard variable tariff over the coming months.

With the gap between the price cap and the cheapest fixed price tariff widening all the time, now is a crucial time for businesses of all sizes to pay attention to their energy contracts. By reducing monthly overheads, businesses can afford themselves some much-needed relief at a time when cashflow across many industries is proving to be a challenge.

Need advice on how your business should act on energy during these uncertain times? Speak to the team at The Energy Check today. Simply click here to get in touch.

Calling all accommodation and hospitality businesses. You may be paying unnecessary taxes within your utility bills

Calling all accommodation and hospitality businesses. You may be paying unnecessary taxes within your utility bills

There are only three things certain in life: death, taxes and … stealth taxes. But if you run a hotel, B&B or holiday park you could be due a rebate

We can all agree that tax can be a challenging part of running a business effectively. But what if we told you that there’s a stealth tax hidden within your utility bills that you could be claiming relief from?

The Climate Change Levy is a government-imposed tax that most organisations simply pay without question. But what exactly is it and why should you be looking into an exemption?

Getting to grips with Climate Change Levy (CCL)

As part of the UK government’s efforts to cut carbon emissions and boost energy saving, the CCL was introduced back on 1st April 2001.

The energy tax (not carbon tax) is part of the wider Climate Change Programme — a scheme launched by the government at the turn of the millennium. This aims to deliver on targets set at the 1992 Earth Summit, where the United Nations gathered to discuss the threat that rapid warming posed to humanity and the Earth itself.

The CCL was designed to target businesses that were deemed to profit from their energy use. It is imposed on all energy delivered to non-domestic users in the UK.

CCL exemption was available on renewables until 2015

Until 1st August 2015, renewable energy could be deemed exempt from the Climate Change Levy. Energy was defined as electricity, gas, solid fuel and liquid petroleum gas. As such, energy generated from certain renewable sources and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) could be exempt from tax.

As of 2015, this is no longer the case and all sources of energy are liable for tax regardless of their renewability – a step that many felt to be at odds with the original intentions of the levy. But although renewable exemption is no longer available, there are still a number of businesses and industries that are still eligible for total CCL exemption.

Who’s still exempt?

Businesses that use less than 4,397kWh per month of gas and less than 1000kWh per month of electricity do not have to pay the CCL under current rules.

Importantly, businesses that are permanently or temporarily using energy for the supply of domestic or mixed-use purposes are also eligible for the CCL exemption. This includes:

  • Hospices
  • Homes for children, the elderly or the disabled
  • Caravans
  • Houseboats
  • Armed forces accommodation
  • School and university accommodation
  • Self-catered holiday accommodation
  • Houses, flats and other dwellings
  • Supplies to community heating systems
  • Religious communities like nunneries and monasteries

And there are even more criteria for exemption too, such as:

  • Your gas and electricity supplies are charged at 5% VAT
  • Your supplies are not used as fuel
  • Your supplies are used in certain forms of transport
  • You supply to Combined Heat and Power schemes
  • Your supplies are used to produce other forms of energy
  • Your organisation is part of a Climate Change Agreement through a trade body

How much will I save if I’m exempt?

The short answer to this question is: it depends on how much energy you use each month. You can use the table below to calculate how much you are currently paying and how these rates may change over the next 18 months.

BUT it’s important to note that you can not only claim exemption in the future; if your business has incorrectly been paying tax in the past you can claim a rebate from the government for up to the last 4 years.

Find the Climate Change Levy rates here.

How to apply for a CCL exemption

If you are entitled to a CCL exemption, you can complete a PP10 and a PP11 form, available from HMRC. However, for many organisations the process of claiming exemption and chasing rebates can be time consuming and confusing. At The Energy Check we offer expert help and advice to ensure that you receive the rebate you deserve without any wasted effort or hassle.

Want to know if you could be benefitting from a CCL exemption? Get in touch with us today on 0191 691 18 02 or email welcome@theenergycheck.co.uk. Remember, we don’t charge any upfront costs for this service. We work on a no win, no fee basis and simply charge a percentage of any money we claim on your behalf.

When can I switch my business energy? Where can I switch my business energy?

When can I switch my business energy?

Energy costs are a necessary part of business, but every entrepreneur wants the freedom to choose the best tariff

Ask any entrepreneur whether they’d like to spend less money, and chances are the answer will be yes.

Energy costs of one of the biggest costs facing new and small businesses, but shopping for a better tariff can help you lower these costs significantly.

However, an independent study found that less than half of businesses review their energy prices annually, and one in five only review them every 2-5 years. What’s more, one in 10 businesses never shop for a better energy deal.

So why is switching so important for businesses, and when can you do it?

When can you change your supplier?

You can switch your business energy supplier when your contract’s switching window opens. This is the time period – determined by your supplier – in which you are allowed to renew your contract or switch to a different supplier.

The length of your switching window will depend on your current provider, as it can range from 30 days before your contract ends to four months.

Make sure you check with your supplier so you know when your switching window opens. That way, you’ll avoid fees for switching delays.

Why does Ofgem want you to switch contracts?

Four words: Out of Contract rates. These are imposed once you’ve come to the end of your agreed contract with a supplier, if no further tariff has been agreed upon. In other words, if you just do nothing and let your contract roll over, you’ll end up paying these rates.

These imposed rates are much higher than contracted energy rates, and Ofgem warns businesses that contractors do very little to get you moved onto agreed terms. Should you still switch if you’re happy with your current supplier?

You might have no qualms with your current energy provider, but it’s still worth shopping around during your switching window, even if it’s just to have a look at what else is out there.

By comparing tariffs, you’ll get a better idea of how your current deal stands up against the competition. And if you still decide that you like your current supplier, you can see if there is a better deal available under that provider.

It’s also possible to negotiate on business contracts as you shop around – and that’s where our team of energy brokers come in. Find out more on 0191 691 18 02.

Can you change before the switching window?

Yes, but it might cost you. If you want to switch you supplier before your switching window has opened, chances are you’ll have to pay a cancellation fee which might be quite significant. So make sure the savings you’d make by cancelling are greater than the price you’d have to pay your current supplier.

For microbusinesses, you can provide a termination notice at any point in your contract, even though the switch won’t actually take place until the contract is up.

What if you’re moving locations?

If you’re moving offices, you’ll already have plenty to think about, but you should try to organise a new energy contract ahead of your moving date. However, you will need to provide a specific date, otherwise you risk being placed on Deemed rates, which are similar to Out of Contract rates but slightly less expensive.

In any situation, it’s best to seek out the advice of energy experts who can provide insight into the best course of action for your specific situation. That way, you’ll give yourself the best chance of a great new deal.

Start comparing business energy tariffs today with The Energy Check. Simply click here to find the best deal for you, or get in touch by calling 0191 691 18 02.

ESOS 101: If your business has more than 250 employees, you are now required to do this by 5th December

ESOS 101: If your business has more than 250 employees, you are now required to do this by 5th December

The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is here and we’re with you every step of the way

Did you know that UK businesses with more than 250 employees and over £44 million in turnover now need to be able to account for at least 90% of their energy consumption by law?

If, like most companies, you don’t currently have a clear picture of how, when and why your business is using energy then you’re not alone. But with the introduction of ESOS large enterprises will now be required to pay much closer attention to the way that they use energy. And we’re here to help at The Energy Check.

We can audit your current energy usage and assist you in preparing reports. Not only that but we will also identify energy saving opportunities to save you money and reduce emissions in the process.

Get ESOS ready now by calling 0191 691 1802.

What does your business need to do to become compliant with ESOS?

Every company that meets the ESOS criteria will now need to file a report with the Environment Agency before 5th December 2019. This report requires the signature of a senior director and that of an accredited Lead Assessor that has been appointed by an approved body such as CIBSE, Energy Institute, Association of Energy Engineers, Energy Managers Association or IEMA.

Another requirement of the report is that the Lead Assessor must indicate an organisation’s awareness of potential opportunities to reduce that consumption and the basic business case for doing so – including details relating to these projected savings and payback period.

Where is the “opportunity” in ESOS?

While it is inevitable that many large organisations will look to do the bare minimum to comply with the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme, here at The Energy Check we believe that this is a mistake.

Why?

Simply ticking boxes to achieve compliance is not what ESOS was designed for. The aim of these new regulations is to encourage businesses to do their utmost to both conserve energy and develop a greater understanding of their consumption – incorporating green energy initiatives wherever possible. Failing to implement the opportunities outlined by a highly qualified assessor may mean missing out on significant savings and ignoring any potential for reducing carbon emissions.

Why work with The Energy Check?

Our team of energy saving experts have years of experience in supporting businesses to make the kinds of improvements, innovations and savings that can not only ensure your compliance, but can genuinely save your business substantial overheads over time.

While the replacement of inefficient systems and equipment may seem daunting, we will help you to create a clear and easy-to-manage energy reduction plan that is fully costed and projects your business’s return on investment. We’ll even project manage the installation of energy efficient equipment or renewable energy assets.

Get ESOS ready now by calling 0191 691 1802.

When the Lights Go Out: what can businesses learn from the National Grid failure?

When the Lights Go Out: what can businesses learn from the National Grid failure?

Energy Manager at The Energy Check, Andy Clarke, explains how enterprises can protect the productivity and power of their business

Last Friday, 9th August, businesses and households across the UK were thrown into disarray when the National Grid failed.

Needless to say, this outage caused a fair bit of chaos. This is largely because the vast majority of us are simply used to having a constant, reliable energy supply day in and day out. The fact that it ceased to provide power to large parts of the country for hours was disruptive to say the least.

Although this type of outage has been extremely rare in recent times, it is nevertheless something that has been highlighted as a probability by experts in the past. This is part of the ‘Energy Trilema’ — the risk of Price, Supply Security and Environmental Impact all becoming unacceptable.

The failure caused problems for businesses up and down to the country, thanks to our reliance on technology and connectivity. Transport links in particular were heavily disrupted by the grid outage.

Lord Adonis, former chair of the government’s National Infrastructure Commission, said: “This is a big wake-up call for National Grid. Their resilience is below par. They need to improve their processes for ensuring the resilience of national transport and medical installations in the event of power shortages.”

What can businesses do to protect themselves from future failures?

A National Grid failure can be a scary thing for businesses, but you don’t have to feel powerless. There are measures you can put in place to help you access power in the event of an outage. One of these measures is battery storage.

Battery storage provides businesses with a back-up to their usual energy supply – a valuable asset on those unfortunate occasions when the unexpected happens and you are in need of another power source to keep running business as usual.

Batteries are typically used to store energy gathered from renewable sources such as solar photovoltaics (solar PVs) and wind turbines. And they are growing quickly in popularity amongst organisations looking to lower emissions and increase their environmental responsibility. When combined, these measures can also help you save significant costs on your energy and offer extra security when it comes to your power supply.

When properly set up, battery storage means you don’t have to fall victim to peak time energy costs. It’s a greener, cleaner solution that provides access to emergency energy if and when you need it. (You can read more about battery storage for businesses here!)

Another sustainable solution for businesses is a correctly configured Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system. CHP integrates the production of usable heat and power (electricity) in one single efficient process.

CHP generates electricity while capturing usable heat. This differs from conventional methods of generating electricity, which usually lead to a lot of wasted heat. As a result, this makes CHP highly sustainable.

CHP is also produced locally, giving it the added benefit of avoiding efficiency losses incurred through transmission and distribution of electricity through the National Grid.

How can The Energy Check help?

Here at The Energy Check, we’re known for being experts in getting low unit prices for customers and offer contracts with low or zero carbon emissions. However, none of this is any use when the National Grid fails and you have no power.

Luckily, we can also assist our clients in these circumstances. We can advise you on the installation of Combined Heat and Power and Battery Storage, which if properly configured can, as well as saving money on your energy costs, provide power for a business when the mains aren’t available.

Our expert engineers are available to help you find the right solution for your business, whether compliance (ESOS, SECR, TM44 and many others), cost, emission, security of supply or energy efficiency is your objective.

Get in touch with the experts at The Energy Check today and discover how we can help make your business not just lower costs but ensure a greener, more reliable energy supply. Click here.

ITV shows it’s doing its bit to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

ITV shows it’s doing its bit to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

The much-loved TV company pledges to drop emissions by 10% a year

The home of some of our finest homegrown telly, ITV, has announced a range of new goals to be greener. This includes the introduction of a science-based target to reduce its emissions by 10% each year, in order to fall in line with wider plans to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees centigrade.

In the latest Social Purpose report from the television producer and broadcaster, ITV highlights how they have already become a carbon-neutral business through the implementation of carbon-offsets and renewable energy.

In addition to this, ITV is also set to become a zero-waste business by avoiding, reducing and recycling waste, as well as committing to zero single-use plastic in all productions, operations and supply.

These goals are being met with long-term sustainable success in mind, which is why ITV has also pledged to work with suppliers to deliver a sustainable value chain. This includes training both staff and freelancers in environmental awareness.

By committing to these measures, the broadcaster aims to meet green targets in a manageable, progressive way, with no major dramas!

A spokesperson from ITV commented: “We are excited about the opportunity to future proof ITV for years to come by working with our colleagues, industry peers, experts and partners to reduce our collective impact and encourage sustainable behaviours both on and off screen.”

Another thing ITV is doing? Making sure all its programmes and commissions are ‘albert-certified’.

Showtime for ITV under Bafta’s ‘albert’ scheme

Back in 2017, the 100% renewable energy supplier, Good Energy, partnered with BAFTA’s own sustainability initiative in hopes of the reducing the carbon footprint of the film and television industry by supporting the industry’s transition to clean energy.

The collaboration between Good Energy and BAFTA’s ‘albert’ scheme was set up in order to make renewable power more affordable for creative organisations buying it collectively, with an ultimate goal of increasing the amount demanded and produced on British soil.

At the time, around 13 tonnes of carbon emissions were produced by roughly one hour’s worth of content, and 60% of this came from electricity. The ‘albert’ scheme has successfully put steps in place in order to change this.

Production companies like Mammoth Films, Splice, Neal Street Productions, Directors UK and Band Films quickly signed up to the service, while Good Energy took over supplying electricity to all three of BAFTA’s main offices in London.

Since April 2018, all BBC programmes have had to track their carbon footprint using the albert carbon calculator, and now ITV is taking huge steps to fall in line with the scheme as well.

Your business doesn’t need to be on the big or small screen to have a green focus

Any business can look to bring more renewables into their organisation. Even the simplest measures can help your business be greener, such as completing regular meter readings and introducing timed thermostats and lighting. You should also make time for measures such as energy audits, which can give you a clearer idea of where your energy usage is going.

Becoming a more environmentally conscious business is not a one-person job. You should always make sure you team members are aware of what they can do to minimise the carbon footprint of your workplace, even if it’s something as simple as switching off computers when leaving for the night.

Making the switch to a greener energy supplier is another way your business can boost its sustainability. You can find a number of green tariffs available when you compare business energy online with us today. Simply click here, or get in touch with our team by calling 0191 691 18 02.

An introduction to battery storage for businesses

An introduction to battery storage for businesses

Investing in energy storage could help to power up your business performance

As any budding entrepreneur will know, businesses require a lot of energy. And no, we’re not just talking about you after your morning coffee.

Energy generation is key to an active, growing organisation, and battery storage can be a simple yet effective solution for any business looking to acquire a fool-proof resource for their electricity.

Renewables now account for almost a quarter (24%) of the UK’s electricity generation, up from just 4% a decade ago. Battery storage is a key part of this, helping to create a smart, flexible energy system that remains unaffected by the fluctuations of the National Grid.

But what exactly does battery storage mean for businesses, and why should you be considering it? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers to all your burning questions below.

The basics of business battery storage

Battery storage offers businesses a back-up to their electricity supply, meaning you have to rely less on energy from the grid and can often withstand power outages elsewhere by relying on charge in these batteries for a short period of time.

Batteries are often used to store energy generated from renewable sources such as solar photovoltaics and even wind turbines – something that can help save significant cost and emissions for large organisations with sizeable business premises in the long term.

As a result, many experts project that the market for business battery supply will reach upwards of £2.5 billion by 2030.

The benefits for your business

Battery storage can be an essential part of adapting your energy use for ultimate flexibility. Some of the potential benefits of taking this route to business energy include:

  • New revenue streams: having the ability to take part in flexibility and wholesale markets
  • No peak time energy costs: being able to charge during cheaper periods and discharge during periods of higher costs
  • More onsite generation: enjoying the flexibility and security that comes with having your own energy supply to hand
  • A bridge to backup: maintaining energy supply while your backup generation takes over
  • Emergency energy: protecting the safety of your assets and equipment from damage and shutdown
  • Greener solutions: maximising your energy strategy by enabling flexible onsite usage and boosting renewable generation utilisation
  • Clean energy: making your business resilient to brownouts which could otherwise stall production

Battery storage can help to maximise the savings you make on your electricity by reducing consumption from the grid during peak times. This flexibility also places less pressure on the National Grid itself.

Bringing battery storage to your business

Finding a supplier for your battery storage is the first step to successfully implementing it into your business. Many leading UK providers now offer this as an option, so be sure to do your research and find the deal which best suits you.

Once you’ve selected a supplier, they’ll likely carry out an onsite visit, providing a spec based on your grid connections, consumption data and site loads.

Then, you’ll start discussing money. Finance options can be flexible when it comes to energy storage, so you’ll probably be able to choose between funding options from your supplier or funding the investment yourself.

Lastly comes the contract and the installation process. And once these are done and dusted, your battery is ready to go. Energy supply comes from the grid to your meter, with your metered supply feeding your battery storage and demand. This helps to maximise load shifting and allows you to participate in external storage markets.

Want to know more about how we can help you install batteries as part of your energy-saving efforts? Find out more here or contact us on 0191 691 18 02.

Can I get a business energy tariff if I work from home?

Can I get a business energy tariff if I work from home?

More and more businesses are working from home these days, but what does that mean when it comes to business energy tariffs?

Advances in communication and sharing has meant that an office isn’t necessary to starting a business. Remote working is very much a possibility now, and more and more budding entrepreneurs are taking advantage of it.

But what does this mean for your business energy? Can you still hop onto a business tariff if you’re working from the comfort of your own home? We’ve got the answers to your questions.

Can you get a business energy tariff if you’re a sole trader working from home?

If you’re a sole trader and you work from home, there’s still a chance that you’ll be eligible for a business energy contract. By meeting certain criteria (more on that below), you’ll be classified as a micro business.

Not only will this make a business energy contract more likely, but it will also allow you to receive more protection from suppliers than if you were a larger business.

What makes a business energy contract different?

You might be wondering why there’s so much fuss about business energy contracts in the first place. Why can’t you just make do with your home’s domestic tariff?

Well, you can, but business energy tariffs are specifically designed to suit commercial organisations. As such, there can be some great benefits attached. Some of the things that make business energy contracts different include:

  • Unit rates. Business energy tariffs usually feature cheaper unit rates, meaning you pay less for your gas and electricity. Be mindful that VAT rates and CCLs can up these prices though.
  • Fixed terms. Business energy contracts are usually fixed in their contract length and energy rates. This makes it easier to budget for your business as you can anticipate costs more accurately.
  • Cancellation fees. The downside of these fixed terms is a lack of flexibility enforced by costly cancellation fees. Once your tariff has been agreed, your supplier will usually purchase the energy in bulk. So if you decide to cancel before the agreed switching period, your may incur higher fees or penalties than you would face if you opt out of your domestic contract early.
  • Out-of-Contract rates. Be sure to renew or switch when the time comes, or you’ll be placed on the pricier Out-of-Contract rates. Switching and renewing gives you the chance to find an even better deal.

How do you know if you are eligible for business energy at home?

In order to be able to switch from a domestic energy tariff to a business energy tariff, you need to prove that you run your business from home and that a significant chunk of your energy use is due to your business. This chunk usually needs to be 50% or more.

This might sound high, but remember you can include lighting, heating and the powering of computer equipment in your calculations, as well as any devices you use specifically for your business – such as a printer. Items you would need regardless – like fridges – won’t count.

If you can meet these terms, you can reap the rewards of a business energy contract despite working from home.

Whether you’re a home business or office-based, finding the right deal is key. Start comparing prices today with The Energy Check, or get in touch with our team by calling 0191 691 18 02.

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