Review your energy contract

Depending on your business size and the activities you undertake, energy costs can take up a large part of your finances. One way you can save on your energy costs is to review your current electricity, gas or transport fuels contract and make sure it’s working for your business circumstances.

Your usage data and demand profile can help you discuss your circumstances with your energy providers and negotiate a better deal to suit your needs. Alternatively, you could use that information to help you find a better deal with another supplier.

Be prepared to negotiate your energy contract

It’s possible to negotiate a better deal from your energy company if you’re well prepared and understand what you’re able to negotiate on.

Here are some tips to getting the best price for your energy bill:

  1. Provide detailed usage data
    The more your energy provider knows about your current usage, the less likely they are to charge you a premium. Aim to give them at least 12 months of data showing your energy use for each half-hour period. This will show them your peak, shoulder and off-peak usage and your maximum demand, which may influence the network charges that you pay. See our page on Understand your energy use before you get started.
  2. Look at your contract carefully
    For smaller businesses on market retail contracts ask your retailer what terms and conditions are attached to particular deals. Pay particular attention to details on pricing and any discounts attached to an offer, such as pay on time discounts. If you’re on a negotiated contract, review your contract carefully before making any changes to your energy use or contract. While you’re reviewing your contract, it’s important to look for any special clauses. Some contracts include a ‘take-or-pay’ clause that means if you use less than a minimum amount of energy you still have to pay. Contracts and clauses vary between energy retailers, so it may be worth doing some research or talking to an energy broker to discuss all the available options.
  3. Shop around
    You can easily do an online search to see how your energy contract compares to similar businesses. You can also consider using an energy broker or third party to get a better deal. When you’re shopping around, make sure you consider any broker or exit fees in your comparison. Search the Energy Made Easy website to compare electricity and gas offers today.
  4. Go to market at the right time
    If you’re on a negotiated contract, you don’t have to wait until the end of your contract to get a better deal. Energy prices can change throughout the year, so consider negotiating on a low priced day or when the market prices are going down. If your contract has a fixed period, make sure you consider any cancellation or exit fees in your calculations.
  5. Choose the best contract period
    The length of your energy contract is another way you can save money. By keeping informed about energy market developments you can adjust your market contract period to suit. In a rising market, where current prices are cheaper than expected future prices, it may be better to choose a longer contract. In a decreasing market it may be better to select a short period, with the aim of buying cheaper in the future.
  6. Plan for the future
    When negotiating your contract, it’s important to consider any major changes you have planned for your business. If you plan to expand your operations, consider a shorter contract until you have a better idea of the energy you’ll need.

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