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Tips on finding the best energy deal

When it comes to finding the best energy plan it makes good sense to compare energy providers and learn about the deals they offer. The costs and potential savings can play a big part in influencing your decision. But did you know there are some other important factors that may be overlooked when choosing the best energy options? 

Whether you’re a new business researching energy plans or an existing business shopping around, let’s explore factors to consider – so you can find an energy plan that’s aligned to your core business values. 

Going green

Saving our planet and minimising our impact on the environment is a hot topic. In Australia, we are fortunate to have many energy suppliers offer renewable energy options to business customers. As a naturally-occurring energy source, it can be produced from wind, sun and moving water (hydropower) to name a few. With renewable energy, there is no burning of fossil fuels so there is very little release of greenhouse gas emissions which helps slow down global warming.

By opting to go green you’re likely to incur a renewable energy charge. This information should be available when you sign up and on your bill. While it does add to your energy costs, if sustainable practices are important to you, it’s a small price to pay knowing you’re actively helping to reduce your impact on the environment. 

Question to ask: what is your commitment to renewable energy?

Check small details

You may find some suppliers offer a discount – but there could be another plan with no discount offering a lower tariff rate which may save you more money in the long term. Some providers offer discounts for paying on time or setting up a direct debit. Be aware of benefit period discounts. These are designed to sign you up for a set period and the discount is only applied to that time frame after which you pay the full price. 

Question to ask: is there a limited discount period on the plans you offer? 

If you don’t want to be hit with paying extra fees, here are some energy suppliers may charge:  

  • on new plans – account establishment fee
  • not paying your bill on the due date – late payment fee
  • paying via credit card – payment processing fee
  • cutting your energy (for not paying bills) – disconnection fee
  • energy being put back on (after disconnection) – reconnection fee
  • leaving contract early – exit fee or cancellation fee.  

Question to ask: what extra fees will my chosen plan incur?

It's important to understand the tariff you’re charged can depend on what time of day you use energy. Tariffs can be fixed and variable, here are some common types:

  • single rate – same rate on usage is applied at all times
  • time of use – different rates are applied at times of the day
  • controlled load – large appliances are metred separately
  • block rate – electricity is charged in blocks and can go up or down based on consumption.

Question to ask: can you explain the tariffs for business customers?

If you’re running a business around the clock, there’s a chance you may need after hours support at some stage. Check what support is available, if there are any limitations after hours and if the call centre is onshore.

Question to ask: do you offer 24/7 business customer support?

Understanding your bill

Do you understand how to read your energy bill? There’s a lot of technical information available on it and once you know what it all means, you can be in a better position when looking at energy plans. Some of the important items to look for include the billing period, if you’re using more or less than previously, in particular, the same time last year, whether there’s been an increase in price and any extra fees to be paid. 

Question to ask: do I understand the technical terminology on my bill?

Energy bill comparison

If value for money is the most important factor for you, consider comparing the costs on energy deals. My Business Energy (BAE) offers a free service and will take away the guesswork so you can compare, switch and save with confidence.

You may believe you’re already on a low pricing plan, but if BAE can compare and find one that’s better, this is an easy, hassle-free way to make the switch and save.

Question to ask: does this service involve lots of paperwork and time?

Energy consultation service

To go one step further, your business may also qualify for the Australian government’s Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP). As a comprehensive consultative service, the program is designed to help you apply sustainable practices in your energy usage and save on energy bills. You’ll receive a detailed, bespoke report and gain access to resources including case studies and fact sheets.

Question to ask: does my business qualify for the Business Energy Advice Program?

Jenny Dikranian

Content Writer, My Business

Jenny Dikranian is a content writer passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation in inspiring business success.

Full business energy consultation

Are your energy costs soaring? If you’re a small business with 6 to 20 employees or a micro business who is drought affected, you can take part in our free energy advice program. Book a comprehensive consultation with a business expert and receive a detailed report and recommendations on how to save

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