Top 8 UK Business Energy Providers: An Overview

September 25th, 2023
Top 8 UK Business Energy Providers: An Overview

In today’s competitive business landscape, energy costs play a significant role in shaping a company’s financial health. As such, it’s critical to partner with the right energy supplier that offers the best rates, top-notch customer service, and sustainable energy options. This comprehensive guide will navigate you through the maze of the top 8 business energy suppliers in the UK.

1. Octopus Energy

Renowned for its impressive customer service and focus on transparency, Octopus Energy has emerged as a significant player in the UK energy market. It offers renewable electricity and gas to businesses at competitive prices. However, it’s worth noting that Octopus Energy requires full-year energy bill payment upfront – a unique approach that might not be suitable for all businesses.

1.1 Customer Service

Octopus Energy’s commitment to providing exceptional customer service sets it apart from its competitors. With a phenomenal Trustpilot score of 4.8/5, it guarantees quick responses and multiple communication channels, making it an ideal choice for businesses seeking superior customer support.

1.2 Green Energy

Octopus Energy offers 100% renewable energy, underpinning its commitment to sustainability. It owns and operates renewable energy sources that power two million UK homes. If you’re seeking an energy supplier that prioritises green energy, Octopus Energy is a worthy contender.

1.3 Pricing

The pricing offered by Octopus Energy is competitive when compared to other energy suppliers. However, it’s essential to consider the unique payment structure, where the entire contract fee is paid upfront.

Key Features:

  • Excellent customer service with high Trustpilot ratings.
  • Competitive pricing options, including fixed-rate and flexible tariffs.
  • Strong focus on renewable energy, with all energy supplied matched by renewable sources.
  • Provides additional services such as energy efficiency advice and support for renewable energy projects.

2. E.ON Next

E.ON Next is a subsidiary of E.ON and primarily targets small businesses. Its branding might appear somewhat informal, but it offers a range of customer support options that are unmatched by its competitors.

2.1 Customer Service

E.ON Next excels in providing a plethora of customer support channels, including a WhatsApp service and an out-of-hours phone line. Its community forum, with over 16,000 members, serves as a valuable resource for troubleshooting issues and discussing industry news.

2.2 Green Energy

E.ON Next’s commitment to sustainable energy is reflected in its fuel mix, with 80.3% renewable energy. This is significantly higher than many other energy suppliers, further solidifying its position as a leading green energy provider.

2.3 Pricing

E.ON Next’s pricing is not readily available online, making it slightly difficult for potential customers to make informed decisions. However, its flexible tariff option could be an attractive choice for businesses looking for adaptable energy pricing.

Key Features: • Comprehensive customer support options, including 24/7 phone service and a community forum for peer support. • Offers a variety of pricing options, including fixed-rate tariffs and flexible plans. • Commitment to renewable energy with a fuel mix that includes a significant percentage of renewable sources. • Provides energy efficiency advice and supports the installation of smart meters.

3. British Gas Lite

British Gas Lite is a subsidiary of British Gas that caters to small and medium-sized businesses. It offers competitive pricing, but its customer support options are relatively limited.

3.1 Customer Service

British Gas Lite’s customer service is strictly online, with no phone support available. However, it does offer a webchat feature, providing businesses with a convenient communication channel.

3.2 Green Energy

British Gas Lite offers a higher percentage of renewable energy in its fuel mix compared to other suppliers. However, it’s important to note that opting for green energy with British Gas Lite will come at a premium.

3.3 Pricing

British Gas Lite offers some of the most competitive electricity prices in the market, making it an attractive choice for businesses seeking cost-effective energy solutions.

Key Features: • Extensive customer support options, including webchat, phone, and email. • A wide range of pricing options to suit different business requirements. • Offers green energy tariffs for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint. • Provides additional services such as energy efficiency advice and smart meter installations.

4. ScottishPower

ScottishPower offers mid-range pricing with the option for slightly higher tariffs for renewable energy. It provides clear pricing options, enabling businesses to make informed decisions.

4.1 Customer Service

ScottishPower offers a range of customer support options, including a webchat feature. However, its Trustpilot score is a modest 3.2/5, indicating room for improvement in customer satisfaction.

4.2 Green Energy

ScottishPower offers renewable energy tariffs, albeit at a slightly higher cost. However, its commitment to green energy is evident in its fuel mix, with 66% of the energy generated from renewable sources.

4.3 Pricing

ScottishPower’s pricing is fairly competitive, with a range of tariffs offered depending on the length of the contract and the preference for green energy.

Key Features: • Customer support options include phone, email, and webchat. • Competitive pricing options tailored to different business needs. • Commitment to renewable energy, though the fuel mix includes a percentage of gas and coal sources. • Provides additional services such as energy efficiency advice and smart meter installations.

5. EDF Energy

EDF Energy, a French energy company, offers the lowest daily charges but has the highest unit cost of electricity among the providers reviewed.

5.1 Customer Service

EDF Energy’s customer service is robust, with a Trustpilot score of 4.2/5. While the company doesn’t offer email support, it provides a webchat feature for quick and efficient communication.

5.2 Green Energy

EDF Energy’s fuel mix is 19% renewable, which is lower than several other suppliers. However, businesses can opt for green energy tariffs at a slightly higher cost.

5.3 Pricing

EDF Energy’s pricing is higher compared to other suppliers. Businesses need to weigh the benefits of lower daily charges against higher unit costs.

Key Features: • Customer support options include phone, email, and webchat. • Competitive pricing options tailored to different business sizes and needs. • Commitment to renewable energy, though the fuel mix includes a percentage of nuclear sources. • Provides additional services such as energy efficiency advice and smart meter installations.

6. SSE Energy Solutions Part OVO group

SSE Energy Solutions, previously part of the SSE Group, offers mid-range pricing with a focus on environmental investment.

6.1 Customer Service

Customer service is arguably SSE Energy Solutions’ weak spot, with a low Trustpilot score of 1.2/5. Its customer support options are limited, which could be a concern for businesses seeking superior customer service.

6.2 Green Energy

SSE Energy Solutions offers renewable electricity as standard in all its SMB fixed price plans. It demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainability with significant investments in renewable energy projects.

6.3 Pricing

SSE Energy Solutions’ pricing is mid-range compared to other suppliers. The company offers a choice of fixed and variable rate tariffs to suit different business needs.

Key Features: • Customer support options include phone, email, and webchat. • Flexible pricing options, including fixed-rate and variable tariffs. • Strong focus on renewable energy and sustainability. • Provides additional services such as energy efficiency advice and smart meter installations.

7. The Big Six Energy Suppliers

The ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers in the UK are Octopus Energy, E.ON Next, British Gas Lite, ScottishPower, EDF Energy, and SSE Energy Solutions. These suppliers are renowned for their competitive tariffs, making them a popular choice for businesses across the UK.

8. How to Choose Between Energy Suppliers

Choosing between energy suppliers can seem daunting, with numerous factors to consider. From pricing and customer reviews to customer support options and green energy offerings, businesses have a lot to weigh up. However, by comparing the options and understanding what each supplier offers, you can make an informed decision that best suits your business needs.

What Factors to Consider When Choosing a Business Energy Supplier?

When selecting a business energy supplier, there are several factors to consider. These include:

1. Customer Service

Customer service is a crucial aspect of any business relationship. A reliable energy supplier should have responsive and helpful customer support to address any issues or concerns promptly. Look for suppliers with positive customer reviews and multiple communication channels, such as phone, email, and webchat.

2. Pricing

Pricing is a significant consideration for businesses, especially when it comes to energy costs. Compare the pricing structures and tariffs offered by different suppliers to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money. Keep in mind that pricing can vary based on factors such as usage, location, tariff type, contract length, and market conditions.

3. Billing Accuracy

Accurate billing is essential for businesses to manage their finances effectively. Choose a supplier that has a reputation for accurate and transparent billing practices. This will help you avoid any surprises or discrepancies in your energy bills.

4. Fuel Mix and Sustainability

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important for businesses across all industries. Consider the fuel mix of the energy supplier and their commitment to renewable energy sources. Many suppliers now offer green energy tariffs, which can help businesses reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.

5. Additional Services

Some energy suppliers offer additional services that can benefit businesses. These may include energy efficiency advice, smart meter installations, and access to energy management tools. Assess the additional services offered by different suppliers and determine if they align with your business’s needs and goals.

6. Speed of Issue Resolution

In the fast-paced business world, downtime or supply issues can have a significant impact on operations. Look for suppliers that have a track record of resolving supply problems quickly and efficiently. A reliable supplier should have robust systems in place to minimize downtime and provide timely solutions.

Navigating the world of business energy suppliers can be complex. However, with this comprehensive guide, you now have the knowledge to make an informed decision. Whether you prioritise cost, customer service, or sustainability, there’s an energy supplier out there that’s the perfect fit for your business needs.

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