Business Energy FAQs

Your Questions About Commercial Energy Answered…

When it comes to your business energies renewal date, it’s hard to know where to start when thinking about choosing a contract or supplier. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you to navigate the confusion.

Who are Exchange Utility and how can you help my business?

Exchange Utility is an independent business energy comparison service based in Bury, in Greater Manchester.

We’ve been helping businesses to save money on their energy costs for many years and we’re confident that we can help your business too!

We can do this by providing you with access to our team of business energy experts who will compare business energy prices and provide you with expert advice to help you keep costs low on your annual bill spend.

What types of contract can Exchange Utility secure for my business?

Exchange Utility can provide your business with a range of contract options from a selection of UK energy providers. These options include:

Fixed price business energy tariffs
Variable business energy tariffs
Flexible business energy tariffs
Green business energy tariffs

Which suppliers can you compare through Exchange Utility?

When comparing your business energy through Exchange Utility, you are optimising our close-knit supplier relationships to find your business a better deal.

The UK energy providers that we compare are as follows:

What is a Letter of Authority?

Let us set the scene: We have negotiated some fantastic new rates for your business, you have chosen your new tariff and we have gone through the verbal contract with you. The next step in your business energy switchover is to complete the Letter of Authority (LOA). A very quick form to fill in but very important as this enables us to act on your behalf so that we can liaise with the suppliers and handle the switch for you.

If you are switching suppliers, we will also use the Letter of Authority (LOA) to terminate your current agreement.

How can comparing business energy suppliers help my business?

According to the Competition Markets Authority, it’s estimated that 1.2 million UK businesses are overpaying their business energy supplier, resulting in suppliers accumulating excess profits of approximately £500,000,000.

The reason for this is that a lot of businesses allow their contracts to roll onto standard or higher tariffs, which can be ridiculously expensive!

Through a comparison with Exchange Utility, you could save 45% on your annual energy bill spend and we will make sure you NEVER roll onto a more expensive tariff again – saving your business time and money.

How do I switch business energy suppliers?

Please ensure you have a copy of your most recent business gas and electricity bills, and then get in touch with the team at Exchange Utility so we can provide you with an independent comparison based on your usage.

You can either complete an online enquiry form, call 0800 9777 000 or email to get started.

The team will lead you through the options available to your business and advise on a course of action: The end decision, however, is yours.

When you have chosen your preferred business energy deal and supplier we will organise all of the paperwork for you, making your switch as easy as possible.

Then all that’s left to do is sign and return the LOA and/ or termination notice in your Exchange Utility welcome pack and start enjoying your savings!

I need to renew my business energy contract – will my current supplier be the cheapest?

Not necessarily. We can search the market to find out which of the UK suppliers are offering the best deals for your business. Once we negotiate some off-market prices, we will get back in touch with you to share the findings. The choice is then yours! You can switch or stay with your current supplier.

How often do business energy prices change?

The energy market is constantly changing, therefore so are its prices. This is due to a variety of factors which we explain in more detail in our article – Which factors affect business electricity prices.

Who are the Big Six energy firms?

The “big six” is a term widely used to describe the biggest UK energy companies. These days, the big six energy companies are commonly identified as incorporating the follow;

British Gas
EDF Energy
Scottish Power
SSE (Scottish Southern Energy)

Further information about the big six energy companies.

The big six energy companies supply close to 95% British households and businesses with gas and electricity. That’s not to say there aren’t any other energy companies out there. Exchange Utility work with both large and small suppliers so that we can run comparisons based on all different types of tariff and usage options. Small or independent energy suppliers often represent a valid alternative to the big six.

What is a ‘fixed’ business energy tariff?

Fixed business energy tariffs are the friendly option for those who are looking for a bit more financial security, as unit prices remain the same throughout the agreed duration of your contact.

This style of business energy tariff makes budgeting and financial forecasting easier which is ideal for SME’s or those with less financial autonomy.

The disadvantage of this type of contract is that if the wholesale energy market gets cheaper, you will not see the benefits until you are next choosing a new contract.

In addition, these contracts, although safer, tend to be more expensive as some suppliers may charge you a little more per kilowatt-hour as a contingency measure for drastic market changes.

What is a ‘variable’ business energy tariff?

Variable business energy tariffs are different to fixed tariffs in that unit price you pay fluctuates as the wholesale energy market does.

A big benefit of this is that when energy prices are lower, you could end up paying considerably less than those who chose fixed tariffs.

The disadvantage is that if prices decide to go the opposite way, you could get stung with higher bills than expected.

Keeping an eye on the factors that affect your energy prices could help you to make an informed decision on whether this style of tariff is what you’re looking for.

If you’re looking into a variable business energy tariff, make sure that you choose your supplier carefully as some update their variable tariff unit rates faster than others. A delay in updating unit pricing means that, for short bursts of time, your energy will cost you more than it should. We can talk you through this when you call us.

What is a ‘flex’ business energy tariff?

Flexible (or flex) tariffs are often only offered to large businesses or those who have several premises in the UK. This style of business energy tariff is a little more complex as it consists of purchasing your energy directly from the wholesale market in smaller pieces throughout the duration of your contract.

Decent suppliers will always offer you some sort of guidance on when to make a wholesale purchase if you choose this type of business energy tariff so you won’t have to go it alone. This could include a dedicated account manager, online energy market analytics, online purchasing portals and/ or a guide book.

Each supplier offers different perks and ways for you to stay informed when it comes to flexible business energy tariffs. So it’s worth considering how much time you want to have to dedicate to your business energy management before making a decision.

The disadvantage of this sort of business energy tariff is that, just like variable tariffs, the price that you pay for your energy can change with the market, meaning that you could end up paying higher prices.

However, part of the point of using a flexible tariff is that you purchase the energy that you use at the time where the market is at its best so if you are receiving well-founded guidance, this should not be an issue – unless there’s a crisis in the market in which case the knock-on effect would be unavoidable.

What is a ‘feed-in’ business energy tariff?

Feed-in tariffs are an agreement between your business and energy supplier where they pay you a fixed price for the excess electricity that you generate from your own power source. To be applicable to use one of these tariffs, your business needs to be equipped with its own energy generation equipment e.g. solar panels and turbines.

Feed-In Tariffs also guarantee long-term contracts and stable prices for those who install renewable technology.

The disadvantage of this type of tariff is the initial expense that you will need to invest if you do not already have energy generation equipment. Dependant on what you are looking for, this can cost thousands!

There are, however, still Government schemes available that can help you to find the finance to buy your own renewable technology. Speak to our Corporate Energy Management Team to find out more.

Call 0161 696 0198 or email

What is a ‘green’ business energy tariff?

Using a green business energy supplier whose fuel mix consists mostly of renewables gives your business the right to take pride in that you are advancing toward becoming sustainable – which customers love!

There is also the added benefit of the feel-good factor for yourself and security in that it is likely that green business energy suppliers will soon become much cheaper than suppliers who use mostly non-renewable fuel sources as demand for those resources will soon far outweigh supply.

The disadvantage of using this type of supplier is that their prices are, at the moment, likely to be higher than those using fossil fuels. This is because it is difficult to generate quantities of electricity that are as large as those produced by traditional fossil-fuel generators. As a result, renewable fuel suppliers need to build more generation facilities, which is expensive. The cost of which then gets filtered down to the consumer.

What is a meter reference number MPAN/MPRN?

MPAN – Meter point administration numbers (electricity)

This is a 13 digit number used to uniquely identify electricity supply points like your business premises or home.

MPRN – Meter point reference number (gas)

This is a uniquely allocated number which is between 6-10 numerical digits long and is required if you wish to change supplier or are getting a first-time electricity connection to new premises.

If you wish to know either of these numbers, please feel free to get in touch with the team at Exchange Utility and we will assist you 0800 9777 000.

Can Exchange Utility help my business if I am moving premises?

We certainly can!

Whether you need new connections or just new business gas and electricity contracts, our team can help you make your move as easy as possible. Give us a call to get started:  0800 9777 000.

We’ve even devised some tips to help you pull off the perfect business premises move.

Can I save my business money by comparing business energy suppliers?

On average, businesses can save in the region of 45% on their annual energy spend.

According to a report by Inenco in 2017, 30% of SMEs have rolled over onto expensive contracts which means that many are overpaying by as much as 80%.

The reason for this is that a lot of businesses forget to compare at the end of their contract and do not shop around for better rates!

Through a comparison with Exchange Utility, you could save on your annual gas, electric and water spend and we will make sure you NEVER roll onto a more expensive tariff again – Saving your business time and money.

I have received a welcome pack from Exchange Utility can you advise what this is for?

Your welcome pack is like an induction into the Exchange Utility family. All you need do with this is read the information provided and sign and return the attached Letter of Authority and Termination Notice.

I have received an objection letter from my current supplier, can you advise why this maybe?

There are a few reasons that your current supplier may object to your new contract. This could be an outstanding payment on your account which you can arrange to pay in instalments. If you’re unsure on what to do please call 0800 9777 000.

Can you advise if my termination notice has been accepted by my current supplier?

Yes, we inform you when your new contract has been processed and accepted by the supplier.

Can you tell me if my contract has been accepted and when my supply is transferring over to the chosen supplier?

We advise you when your new contract has been processed, we’ll contact you to confirm your tariff transfer.

Are you able to confirm the rates I have agreed?

The simple answer is YES! You will receive a welcome call once your contract has been processed to confirm your rates and keep you informed on what happens next.

Do I need to make my current supplier aware I am terminating or do you do that on my behalf?

You will receive a Letter of Authority in your Welcome Pack which you simply need to sign and return to either or Exchange Utility, Athenaeum House, Market St, Bury BL9 0BW. This document allows Exchange Utility to act on your behalf and complete the transition from one supplier to another for you.

Is my current supplier the cheapest for my renewal or can you search the market for me?

Of course, we can, it’s our purpose to help UK businesses reduce their bills. Once you’re an Exchange Utility business customer, we compare suppliers for you year after year, continually giving you honest advice so you can make an informed decision on the right tariffs for your business.

What advantage do I have renewing so early (if the 180 days have just opened as an example)

Unfortunately, it’s not often we see energy prices go down. However, you’re able to lock down prices and beat rises by choosing your new business energy and utility contract with Exchange Utility up to six months in advance.

What is the advantage of signing a longer-term contract?

By signing up to a longer-term contract your business will be immune from the inevitable price rises to come. It’s a great way to safeguard your business utility and energy prices for longer.

My accountant handles my businesses energy and utility bills, what do I do?

With your approval, your accountant is welcome to contact us on your behalf, alternatively, you can provide Exchange Utility with your accountants’ details and we will contact them on your behalf and find you a better contract alongside them.

How long will it take to switch my business energy contract?

It all depends on when your current contractual agreement is due to end, although if you are not in a contract with your current supplier, it can take anything from 4-6 weeks to move your tariff from one supplier to another. If you aren’t moving supplier, it will take a little less to get your new rates up and running. We will handle all of this for you and will only disturb you if there are any problems with your transfer! Your old contract will move seamlessly into the new one so no need to worry about being cut off during the switchover period! We will let you know by email/phone when your contract is live.

Please call 0800 9777 000 if you have any queries about your new tariff.

I’ve received an objection letter from my supplier, why is this?

There are a few reasons that your current commercial energy supplier may object to your new business energy contract. This could be an outstanding payment on your account which you can arrange to pay in instalments. If you’re unsure on what to do please call 0800 9777 000 and we can look into this for you.

What is a rollover contract?

When your energy contract comes to its end date and you don’t actively renew it, your supplier will automatically renew on your behalf. This means you’ve rolled over. When this happens, the price you paid before the renewal will often increase without notification. You will often pay much higher rates on a tariff that has rolled over.

How do I stop a rollover contract from happening?

Find a better deal while you are in your renewal window so that you can jump to better prices rather than seeing your rates increase. However, if you are a customer of Exchange Utility, we will do this on your behalf so that you don’t have to worry about rolling over. We call you in your renewal window to remind you to renew and secure a better energy deal.

What is the advantage of signing a longer-term energy contract?

By signing up to a longer-term contract your business will be immune from the inevitable price rises to come. It’s a great way to safeguard your business utility and energy prices for longer.

How does Exchange Utility make money?

With regards to our fees, once your contract has gone live, we will receive a commission payment from the supplier. If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact our customer service team who will talk through your individual contract arrangement.

How can I get in touch with your Customer Service team?

You can contact us to discuss your issue via telephone, e-mail or in writing. We are committed to resolving the issue to your satisfaction within 24 hours of receipt.

Our contact details are:

Telephone:  0161 674 9936


Post: Exchange Utility Ltd, Athenaeum House, Market Street, Bury. BL9 0BW

Or see our Complaint Procedure

A commercial energy comparison could save your business a lot of money. Don’t delay, call 0800 9777 000 today and get started making savings on your business energy.