The Best Business Energy Suppliers in the UK

We know business leaders have never been under more pressure to bring their energy bills down. That’s why we’ve put together this comparison guide to the best energy companies in the UK.

During our energy research, we obtained sample quotes, examined green energy options, and looked at customer support options. All in the name of helping your business get the best possible gas and electricity deal.

Octopus Energy is the best energy supplier, according to our criteria. In second place is E.ON Next, with British Gas Lite coming in third.

Remember – unlike domestic contracts – businesses can negotiate energy rates. Don’t be afraid to shop around, because the last six months of your contract is your opportunity to switch to a better deal.

If you use our business energy quote request form, we’ll get you personalised energy price quotes from smaller energy providers. All you need to do is give us your contact details and we’ll only share them with trusted energy brokers. You’ll get a call back within a day to discuss your tariff options.

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The Big Six energy suppliers

These are the biggest business energy suppliers (the ‘Big Six’) in the UK, ranked in order of our latest research scores:

  1. Octopus Energy – challenger to the traditional Big Six
  2. E.ON (owns nPower)
  3. British Gas
  4. ScottishPower
  5. EDF Energy
  6. SSE (sold its domestic energy arm to OVO)

We believe these are the best energy suppliers for SMBs because they offer the cheapest tariffs. Here’s an easy comparison chart that summarises our research from spring 2023:

Swipe right to see more
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Octopus Energy

E.ON Next

British Gas Lite


EDF Energy

SSE Energy Solutions

Sample fixed rate electricity quote


Sample fixed rate electricity quote

£6,781.93/year (variable)

Sample fixed rate electricity quote


Sample fixed rate electricity quote


Sample fixed rate electricity quote


Sample fixed rate electricity quote


Sample fixed rate gas quote


Sample fixed rate gas quote

£3,177.07/year (variable)

Sample fixed rate gas quote


Sample fixed rate gas quote


Sample fixed rate gas quote


Sample fixed rate gas quote


Green energy as standard?
Green energy as standard?
Green energy as standard?
Green energy as standard?
Green energy as standard?
Green energy as standard?
Webchat support?
Webchat support?
Webchat support?
Webchat support?
Webchat support?
Webchat support?
Phone support?
Phone support?
Phone support?

Premium plans only

Phone support?
Phone support?

Premium plans only

Phone support?

UK energy supply has seen big changes over the past four years: E.ON bought nPower in 2019, and the brand now only supplies energy to large businesses. SSE’s business energy arm split from its retail business (which was sold to OVO in 2020), and is now known as SSE Energy Solutions.

This made room for Octopus Energy which though its investment in customer service and renewable energy challenges industry standards. So far, no other energy company comes close to Octopus Energy’s high customer satisfaction scores. Furthermore, after completing the acquisition of Shell Energy Retail in the UK and Germany in December 2023, is now the UK’s biggest power supplier.

Scroll down to get an overview of each energy supplier, its pros and cons, plus an in-depth evaluation of its customer service, renewable energy, and pricing.

Why is business electricity so expensive?

While energy rates have seen a welcome decline since the peak of Winter 2022, businesses have been squeezed harder by the rollback of government energy bill support (known as the Energy Bill Relief Scheme) as of 1 April 2023. Figures from the National Federation of Self Employed and Small Businesses show a typical UK pub may face energy bills three times higher. The same report anticipates 370,000 small businesses may have to downsize, restructure or shut down altogether due to higher energy bills.

Wholesale electricity and gas prices increased drastically between summer 2021 and winter 2022. A flurry of minor catastrophes fed into this, including:

  • Increased demand from industries such as hospitality starting up again after COVID
  • A shortage of wind-generated energy owing to weather conditions in summer
  • A fire at the IFA1 interconnector interrupting electricity supply from France
  • Russian invasion of Ukraine causing several countries to stop buying its gas

Energy resources were therefore under a lot of pressure, and suppliers passed the ensuing costs onto customers. While regular household customers are protected by a price cap known as the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG), businesses aren’t. After the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (October 2022 to March 2023) came to an end, the Energy Bills Discount Scheme (April 2023) provided just a fraction of protection from high energy prices.

As it stands in January 2024, energy prices are much lower than in 2022, yet they still haven’t returned to the double figures of pre-2022. This, coupled with reduced government support for energy bills, is putting a financial strain on small businesses.

Want to talk to an energy supply expert? They'll help you make sense of pricing for your business

What business energy support does the government provide?

On 1 April 2023, the UK government launched The Energy Bills Discount Scheme. This scheme replaced the previous Energy Bill Relief Scheme and is running for 12 months, until 31 March 2024.

Am I eligible?

According to The Energy Bills Discount Scheme, to receive this support, you must be:

  • signed up for a variable energy tariff
  • signed up for a ‘flexible purchase’ contract, or similar
  • have an existing, or new, fixed-price contract agreed on or after 1 December 2021
  • be out of contract, or on a ‘deemed’ contract
  • for those in Northern Ireland, be on a variable ‘Day Ahead Index’ (DAI) tariff

What will I get?

The exact support that you’ll receive will depend on usage but your bill will ultimately be calculated with discounted rates of:

  • £19.61 per megawatt-hour (MWh) for electricity, with a price threshold of £302 per MWh
  • £6.97 per MWh for gas, with a price threshold of £107 per MWh

What to know about our business energy pricing

Note on pricing

The majority of price quotes we’ve collected do not include VAT and CCL (Climate Change Levy – that’s another tax you have to pay). The exception is E.ON, which includes 5% VAT in its price quote.

We can’t give all types of pricing for every type of business, so we’ve put together a set of options to represent a typical UK SMB. That way, the energy quotes in this article are for one particular business. Your individual quote will vary.

We’ve made the following assumptions for the purposes of our research:

  • Small restaurant based in Leeds town centre
  • Electricity use per year: 20,000 kWh
  • Gas use per year: 30,000 kWh
  • Standard electricity meter (not a top-up one)
  • New one-year contract to start in January 2024
  • Paying by monthly direct debit

We got the price quotes from auto-generators on the suppliers’ websites. Sometimes quotes are not available online, for example, because the supplier tool can’t work out the meter point based on a given address.

Running a small business?

If your business uses less than 30,000 kWh of gas per year, then you might want to check out our guide to the best energy suppliers for small businesses.

Not all energy companies supply all meter types – Octopus Energy has paused new half-hourly meter customers “due to the current record energy prices and unpredictable wholesale market”.

notice from Octopus Energy website saying they won't take on new half-hourly meter customers
Don't be surprised if you can't sign up with Octopus Energy – its paused new half-hourly meter customers.
Direct debit = discount

Almost all energy providers will give you a discount of around 7% if you pay your business energy bills by direct debit.

Need to find the best deal for your business energy? We'll give you quotes to compare.

1. Octopus Energy: Best overall

Octopus Energy
Quick overview

Octopus Energy supplies renewable electricity and gas to businesses, with an emphasis on customer care and transparency. We found its pricing to be on the cheaper side compared to competitors.

Now the new owner of Bulb Energy, Octopus Energy is facing a legal challenge from its rivals over the government support it received. It's not clear how this could impact its rates or pricing, if at all. All you need to know for now is Bulb customers are now Octopus Energy customers, and you don't need to do anything if you were previously with Bulb.

The only tricky thing is Octopus Energy takes your full annual energy bill payment upfront. This is unique in the market, and rivals such as British Gas, SSE, and EDF Energy take monthly payments instead. It could make it really tough to find all the money in one go, so it won't be the right option for businesses without the spare cashflow.


Best Trustpilot score: 4.8/5

Weekend email support

Cheaper electricity pricing

Renewable energy as standard


Entire contract payment taken upfront

Octopus Energy customer service

Octopus Energy is the highest rated major energy company with a smashing 4.8/5 on Trustpilot. The next highest rated were E.ON Next and EDF Energy at 4.2/5. Quick responses and multiple ways to contact your energy supplier are vital for reducing stress on busy business owners. We’d recommend Octopus Energy to anyone who’s struggled with poor customer support from past providers.

Customer support isn’t 24/7, but there’s a phone line open 9am-5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am-4pm on Fridays. If you need support on weekends, there’s an email inbox that’s monitored seven days a week.

Octopus Energy and E.ON Next were the only two providers to publicise sign language video chat support for customers. That’s setting a great example for customer accessibility. There’s no webchat function (EDF Energy, British Gas Lite, and ScottishPower all have one) but Octopus Energy is active on Facebook and Twitter.

Octopus renewable energy

Octopus Energy owns and operates renewable energy sources to power two million UK homes. It won the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology’s company of the year prize in 2019 and 2020. All of its energy supplied is matched by renewable energy.

If you want to get cheaper energy on windy days, you can ask Octopus Energy to help you lobby for a wind turbine on your land. You can also profit from the green energy sold back to the grid, depending on the success of the project.

Octopus Energy pricing

We got quotes for both gas and electricity fixed rate tariffs for our chosen Leeds restaurant. The electricity quote was the second cheapest (above British Gas Lite) and the gas price was the cheapest (although we couldn’t get gas quotes from ScottishPower or SSE). This is even more impressive given the supply is backed by renewable energy at no extra cost. By comparison, you’d have to pay extra with ScottishPower or British gas Lite to pay for renewable electricity.

Octopus Energy fixed rate contract quote
Fixed rate energy with Octopus Energy is cheaper than most but you'd have to pay it upfront.

Octopus Energy will charge you the entire contract fee, upfront. This is to offer you the best price, but it’s worth bearing in mind if your business is not cash-rich at the time of starting a new energy contract.

2. E.ON: Best range of customer support options

E.ON Next
Quick overview

E.ON Next supplies energy for small businesses, while E.ON's nPower brand is only for large corporations. E.ON Next has pretty childish branding and we couldn't find its fixed rate business tariffs online.

Instead, we got a quote for a flexible rate for the Leeds restaurant. The online tool also said there were no fixed rate tariffs available for a given North London restaurant either. We'd have to phone up E.ON to hear about their fixed term contract pricing, which wasn't the case for EDF Energy, British Gas or ScottishPower.

However, the E.ON Next community forum seemed to suggest tariff rates are not yet available due to the emerging news about the April 2023 Ofgem Energy Price Cap. Overall, E.ON Next's customer service options are the strongest of any Big Six supplier we researched.


Most customer support options

Community forum for peer support

Supports renewable electricity


Fixed term tariffs by phone only

E.ON Next customer service

E.ON Next has the most customer service channels of any of the Big Six suppliers, including a WhatsApp service 8am-10pm, seven days a week. Phone service is comprehensive, with an out of hours available once the main line is closed. That means you can speak to a human staff person no matter what time you need one. That’s unique to E.ON – British Gas Lite and EDF Energy don’t offer their online business customers any phone support.

E.ON Next scores a good 4.2/5 on Trustpilot, which is exactly equal to EDF Energy but higher than British Gas Lite, SSE or ScottishPower.

Another unique bonus is the 16,000-member-strong E.ON Next community forum where customers and E.ON staff troubleshoot issues together. This is useful for discussing news such as the April 2023 Ofgem Energy Price Cap, as well as airing grievances, and seeking advice. We didn’t find a resource like this from any of the other Big Six suppliers.

We found E.ON Next's branding childish overall, but it's the only energy supplier to host an online community forum.

E.ON renewable energy

There’s at least some small effort from E.ON to reduce its environmental impact; E.ON has decided to link a quarter of its board members’ bonuses to “reflect the degree to which the company achieves its sustainability targets”.

But the company’s central claim of “100% renewable backed electricity” is certainly appealing for businesses trying to operate sustainably. This doesn’t mean E.ON can guarantee that all of the electricity supplied to your business will be from a renewable source. But it means E.ON pays for the generation of energy from renewable sources in a way that mirrors its customers’ energy use.

Overall, E.ON’s fuel mix from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 was 100% renewable, which is an improvement on the previous year’s 80.3%.

E.ON Next pricing

E.ON Next couldn’t offer us a fixed rate business tariff online. Instead, we were offered a flexible tariff. This makes it hard to compare pricing to other energy suppliers, as flexible rates are, of course, highly likely to change over time.

However, our quote for E.ON Next Flex, the standard variable product, for our Leeds restaurant was cheaper overall than SSE – Choice and the British Gas Lite variable price plan rates. But it’s important to note that there’s no guarantee this will be the same when your business gets a quote. So you should compare a range of offers from energy suppliers before making a decision.

It took us a lot of searching to find E.ON Next’s deemed pricing – that’s the price you pay if you don’t agree a specific contract. This was competitive (cheaper) compared to British Gas Lite and EDF Energy.

Here's our flexible tariff quote from E.ON Next for a Leeds restaurant in February 2023.

3. British Gas: Best electricity price

British Gas Lite
Quick overview

British Gas Lite (for SMBs) gave us the best electricity quote, but has the lightest customer service offering of its competitors.

Variable price plan rates have gone up a fair amount since December 2022; the electricity unit rate climbed 89% compared with the previous period, and gas unit pricing increased 59%.

The unit price for gas is 38% cheaper – and 60% cheaper for electricity – on a one-year fixed contract (online, direct). This goes to show the importance of committing to a fixed price plan to get the best rate.

Customer support is strictly limited: existing British Gas Lite customers can access webchat, but only premium customers can call phone support. Otherwise, SMBs can check out British Gas Lite terms and conditions online.

British Gas claims 75% of its energy is from renewable sources. That's better than the worst, but it's not the greenest of the larger energy suppliers. If you're willing to pay a premium, you can use 100% renewable energy from British Gas.


Best electricity quote

Partnered with domestic abuse support


High daily charge on variable plan

Fewest customer support channels

Renewable energy costs more

PlanDaily Charge (p)Unit Charge (p/kWh)Annual Total
1 year fixed rate term For Leeds restaurant (online, direct) February 2023 Electricity: 52.07 Gas: 45 Electricity: 37.53 Gas: 9.54 Electricity: £6,456.00 Gas: £3,026.25

British Gas Lite customer service

British Gas webchat opening hours

The fact is, customer service costs companies a lot of time and money. British Gas Lite is no exception when it comes to looking for efficiencies, so the firm has taken the decision to limit their resources in this area. The energy company frames this as the best way to offer you their best energy tariffs – which is technically true. But with a very OK score of 3/5 on Trustpilot for British Gas Lite, it seems some SMB customers would prefer more channels of communication.

There’s no phone support unless you’re a premium business customer. Not to mention the webchat currently shuts down on Mondays between 3pm and 5pm so agents can catch up on current support requests.

Still, at least British Gas Lite has a webchat – SSE Energy Solutions doesn’t. But there’s no email support at all – unlike Octopus Energy, E.ON, ScottishPower, and SSE.

British Gas renewable energy

Unlike E.ON and Octopus Energy, British Gas charges a premium for gas and electricity from renewable sources. In terms of its average fuel mix across all tariffs, 54% is from renewable energy sources. That’s brought up significantly by British Gas’ green tariffs (its other tariffs are just 24% renewably sourced). So if sustainability is a priority for your company, you should be prepared to pay extra if you want to go with British Gas.

British Gas Lite pricing

Like all business energy suppliers, British Gas Lite offers wildly different tariffs depending on the terms of your contract. If you take over a business and find the premises is already signed up with British Gas, you should negotiate a fixed term contract as quickly as possible. Or switch to another supplier.

Yes, it can be a little confusing to try and navigate the different rates. We found two different sets of renewal rates for existing business customers on British Gas websites. But we’re choosing not to take the “Gas Lite” part of its name seriously… How much will your energy from British Gas cost? There’s no blanket answer; your specific business will get an individual quote.

pricing table for British Gas Lite customers
These are the maximum contract prices for current British Gas Lite customers from in February 2023.

4. ScottishPower: Best for clear pricing

Quick overview

ScottishPower is a mid-priced business electricity supplier with a choice of slightly higher tariffs for renewable energy.

ScottishPower offered us slightly longer than one year contract quotes, but also gave us the total annual price as well as the contract price. This meant we could still break down business expenses in a clear and easy way.

Pricing for the For Business Online electricity plan was sandwiched between SSE - Protect (which was slightly more expensive) and SSE - Choice (a tad cheaper, but variable). This was for our chosen Leeds restaurant premises in February 2023.

Customer support options are middling – not quite as comprehensive as E.ON Next or Octopus Energy, but certainly better than British Gas Lite.


Balance of middle pricing and customer service

Customer support webchat available on app


Only 3.2/5 on Trustpilot

ScottishPower customer service

The advantage of ScottishPower overall is a decent level of customer service for a mid-range price. If we’re being picky, we’d say 3.2/5 on Trustpilot doesn’t signal the best customer satisfaction; it’s lower than Octopus Energy, E.ON Next and EDF Energy.scottishpower webchat frozen screenshot

There are the expected number of customer support options available, including a phone line open Monday to Friday 9am until 5pm. There’s an email address as well – which British Gas Lite and EDF Energy don’t provide. We noticed ScottishPower’s Facebook and Twitter accounts haven’t been active since December 2022, so don’t hold your breath for a reply on there.

The most convenient feature is the customer support webchat available on web browser or mobile app. The only hitch is that it froze when we tried to use it – suddenly not allowing us to click anywhere. It became useless at that point. Hopefully you’ll have better luck if you ever need it yourself.

ScottishPower renewable energy

You won’t be offered renewable energy as standard with ScottishPower, unlike with E.ON Next and Octopus Energy. But admittedly our quote for a fixed rate renewable energy plan (£7,333.08 electricity only, annual total) was only very slightly more expensive than the non-renewable fixed rate plan (£7,153.08).

But we know every penny counts in this economy, so unless using green energy is at the heart of your business, we can understand why the extra £200 won’t seem worth it.

At the end of 2023, clean energy production by Iberdrola Group (ScottishPower’s parent company) increased by 6.1%. This includes wind, hydro, solar, and others.

ScottishPower pricing

Overall, ScottishPower is fairly priced for the level of customer support and environmental care you can expect. Our fixed contract quote came out middle-of-the-road compared with the other Big Six suppliers.

We were pleased to see a range of tariffs offered, depending on the length of contract we wanted, and whether or not we prioritised green fuel sources. This was more convenient than E.ON Next, whose online tool only provided us with one (variable) tariff option.

However, we couldn’t get a gas price quote as the online tool couldn’t track down our gas point. This was also the case for SSE, but Octopus Energy, E.ON Next and British Gas Lite were still able to offer us fixed contract gas quotes.

scottishpower electricity quote
Our Leeds restaurant price quote from ScottishPower was mid-range compared with competitors.
Take your time

Gathering quotes online can give you more space to think over your options. But talking on the phone gives you the chance to ask more detailed questions. Just remember, no one should pressure you into making a rushed decision. You can report a mis-sold energy contract to Ofgem, the official regulator.

5. EDF Energy: Best mid-market option

EDF Energy
Quick overview

French energy firm EDF Energy quoted us the lowest daily charges by far, but charged the most per unit of electricity. Its customer service reviews are strong – 4.2/5 on Trustpilot – though you might have to wait on the phone lines.

For our Leeds restaurant, EDF's online tool couldn't find the exact meter, so we got a generic quote. The daily charge was just 25p, while SSE quoted 254% more. That said, EDF's electricity unit quote was 9% more expensive than our SSE Choice tariff quote. So you've got to bear that difference in mind.

Still, our total annual electricity and gas quotes came out higher from EDF Energy than any other supplier (SSE was second highest for electricity).


Lowest daily charges quoted

Mainly 5-star customer reviews

Webchat customer support


Highest total electricity and gas bills quoted

EDF Energy customer service

Like many other energy companies right now, the phone lines of EDF Energy are very busy. However, the opening hours of the call centre (Monday to Thursday 9am-6pm and Friday 9am-5pm) are better than most other suppliers, even Octopus Energy. That extra hour after 5pm gives you a chance to get through to a human assistant after close of business. Much-needed for shop owners and managers of beauty salons, maintenance companies, workshops, and the like.EDF energy webchat

Most customers are pretty pleased with EDF Energy customer service, judging by its 4.2/5 Trustpilot rating.

There’s even webchat for EDF business customers to ask questions and get help on account issues. When we tried it at midday on a Tuesday in February 2023 we had to wait nine minutes to get connected. We did notice there was no email support from EDF Energy, which E.ON, Octopus Energy, and all ScottishPower offer.

EDF Energy renewable energy

Despite branding itself as a leading renewable energy provider, the fuel mix for its non-renewable tariffs and products contains 40.5% gas and 4.4% coal. These are slightly above UK averages. EDF Energy’s cheapest business tariffs – like the one we got a quote for: Fixed for business online – are examples of its non-renewable tariffs.

In total, EDF’s fuel mix (April 2021 to March 2022) is just 21% renewable and 59.4% nuclear. By comparison, the E.ON Next fuel mix for the same period is 100% renewable.

EDF Energy pricing

When you get a price quote online, you’ll get the lowest possible price: the “Fixed for Business Online Tariff” from EDF Energy. However, this option comes without phone support which means you’ll have to rely on webchat or social media if you need extra help. As with most fixed contracts, there’s an exit fee if you decide to leave early.

If you want to avoid exit fees, you can choose a “Freedom for Business Tariff” which you can cut off at any time. Prices for your gas and electricity will vary, so it will be hard to know exactly what your monthly bills will be. But if wholesale prices fall, and EDF Energy chooses to pass that saving onto customers then you’ll save more money this way.

example fixed online quote from EDF Energy
This is our sample quote from EDF Energy (excluding VAT and CCL) for a small restaurant in Leeds.
Sorry, no combined discounts

In case you were wondering, energy companies don’t offer any kind of deal if you pay for both electricity and gas with them. While we recommend you do this purely for convenience, you won’t save any money by buying both fuels from one supplier.

6. SSE Energy Solutions: Best environmental investment

SSE Energy Solutions
Quick overview

SSE business energy – branded as SSE Energy Solutions – is still owned by the SSE Group, and therefore independent from OVO.

We were offered two tariff types for energy supply to a Leeds restaurant: "SSE - Protect" with fixed pricing, and "SSE - Choice" with variable third-party charges. Total bill prices came out middle-of-the-road compared with other suppliers. But SSE's daily charge for electricity was higher than all other suppliers.

Helpfully, SSE's variable rate pricing is readily available online, all the way back to 2015. Your business is charged in different price bands, based on how much energy you use. This is all explained neatly in the documentation on the website.

Customer support options are OK, but online customer reviews are terrible (96% 1-star).


Tariffs available online

Phone support 8.30am-5pm


High daily charge for electricity

Terrible customer reviews

SSE Energy Solutions customer service

SSE supplies a webform for business customers to submit questions, and its phone line is available Monday to Friday 8.30am-5.00pm.

But the reviews are bad. Really bad. It’s a cringeworthy 1.2/5 on Trustpilot for SSE Energy Solutions, the business energy arm of SSE Group. Problems mentioned include billing issues and a long wait for phone support. These issues aren’t universal across energy suppliers – the next lowest Trustpilot score is British Gas Lite at 3/5.

In our view, poor customer service is pretty unforgiveable. The energy crisis in the wake of the Ukraine war poses so much uncertainty for small business owners. Wholesale prices are so changeable that clear advice and support is a must. For that reason, we wouldn’t blame you for going elsewhere this time around.

SSE business energy ≠ OVO

OVO only bought the retail (domestic) part of SSE, so the business energy part of SSE is still owned by SSE Group.

SSE renewable energy

SSE generates renewable energy through wind farms and hydro plants, and it’s currently a major source of funding for the 277-turbine Dogger Bank Wind Farm project. This will provide energy for six million UK homes, and is set for completion in 2026. That’s a big check mark in the box for active investment in sustainable energy sourcing.

All SSE SMB fixed price plans include renewable electricity as standard – the same goes for E.ON Next but not for British Gas. SSE renewable gas is an optional extra you’ll have to pay a bit more for.

Overall, SSE Energy Solutions’ fuel mix is 53% renewable. That’s higher than EDF but much lower than E.ON. It’s pretty much on par with British Gas (54%).

SSE Energy Solutions pricing

We were able to get two quotes for electricity to a Leeds restaurant:

SSE quoted two tariff options for a Leeds restaurant in 2023: SSE Choice (variable) and SSE Protect (fixed).

We can’t stress enough that the out of contract tariffs are the worst rates you would pay with these companies, and that the sample quote is just that – a sample. Getting quotes with the details of your own business is the only way to be able to make an accurate comparison. And we can’t stress enough how easy it is! Simply fill in our online form.

How does business energy pricing work?

There are two charges for each “fuel” type: electricity and gas. There’s a unit charge that appears on your bill according to how much energy you use. Then there’s the daily (or “standing”) charge, a flat rate you pay every day of your contract. That means you’ll pay it even on days you use no energy at all.

Another things to note about pricing is that if you choose a fixed rate tariff, you have the certainty of knowing your bill for the year.

Most suppliers will charge you monthly, and you’ll get a roughly 7% discount for paying by direct debit.

If you’re looking for more of the basics on these charges, check out our essential guide to business energy. There you’ll be able to find out about different types of meters, as well as a summary of different tariff types.

Alternatively, you can choose a flexible (or variable) rate tariff. This means you’ll get a lower price, but it’s not guaranteed to stay that way. Instead, your energy rates will chop and change roughly in line with wholesale prices, which have been very changeable since the start of 2021.

Remember, energy rates vary according to:

  • Your local region
  • The date you request a quote
  • What’s happening in the energy market
  • Your choice of supplier
  • Government taxes
  • The type of meter you have
  • The tariff type you choose
  • The amount of energy you use
  • The type of business you are (this affects VAT)
  • Whether you go direct or through a partner

When you sign up with an energy supplier, you’ll go through a credit check. If you’re worried your business accounts aren’t in good shape, then you may wish to stay with your current supplier instead of switching. Reason being, an energy firm is likely to charge you more if your business is deemed at high risk of not paying.

We understand it’s a scary time to be thinking about bills, so we’ve put together an easy guide on how to save money on your business energy bills. Arming yourself with practical information is the best way forward in uncertain economic times.

How to choose between business energy suppliers

These changes mean a slight boost in the number of choices you have. Yet only 66% of customers are satisfied with the ease of comparing energy suppliers.

Honestly, it’s a seriously complicated time to plan your energy budget, but we’re here to help make things as clear as possible. With your small business in mind, we’ve compared the Big Six on criteria that matter most:

Prices (‘out-of-contract’ rates versus a sample fixed-term contract quote)

As small businesses UK-wide recover from the skyrocketing energy costs of 2022, price remains the most pressing issue when choosing a supplier. Our research showed that British Gas still comes out on top, with Octopus and E.ON closely following. Another consideration is whether you want to opt for ‘out of contract’ rates or a fixed-term contract.

The main differences between ‘out-of-contract’ rates and fixed-term contract rates for energy are:

Out of Contract Rates:

  • No fixed term length – you can switch plans or providers at any time
  • Prices can change at any time based on the provider’s discretion
  • Typically higher cost-per-unit rates for electricity/gas
  • May have higher monthly fees

Fixed-Term Contract Rates:

  • Locked into contract length (usually 12-24 months)
  • Fixed per-unit electricity/gas rates for the contract term
  • Possible cancellation penalties if you switch early
  • Lower rates compared to out-of-contract plans

It’s worth mentioning that the ‘out-of-contract’ rates are the most expensive, and it’s the price you pay for being disorganised. You will get the best rates if you commit to a fixed contract with a provider. It’s therefore really important to get quotes tailored to your business, so you can compare prices effectively.

Review ratings

Customer satisfaction is also important, that’s why we took a look at the experiences of real-life customers of the the Big Six suppliers. Octopus Energy smashes it out of the park here, being the highest-rated energy provider on Trustpilot, with a strong rating of 4.8/5. This shows that they not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. E.ON and EDF both scored a decent 4.2/5, beating British Gas, SSE and Scottish Power.

Customer support options

In case of any issues with your energy supply or contract, you’ll want to ensure your chosen provider offers adequate customer support in the method that you prefer to use, be it telephone, webchat or email. Customer service is the main source of complaints for energy customers. With more customer service channels than any of the Big Six suppliers, E.ON Next is our winner in this department due to its WhatsApp service and out-of-hours emergency phone line.

Whether they sell renewable energy

Sustainability is a major concern for most business owners, especially due to the ongoing climate crisis. Therefore, it is not surprising that many businesses are choosing clean energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro, instead of natural gas. Octopus Energy is leading the way in the country’s energy contracts by providing 100% renewable energy sources that are competitively priced compared to British Gas. E.ON is also following Octopus closely, but their fuel is only 80% renewable, which may not be the ideal option for businesses that aim to operate in a carbon-neutral manner.

How to compare and switch business energy suppliers

You’ve got to get the best deal for your business – and the only way to do that is to consider the different energy suppliers available to you. Remember that Octopus Energy has the best customer service, making it ideal for less experienced entrepreneurs and those without much time on their hands.

The energy price quotes we got from British Gas Lite were cheaper than ScottishPower, EDF Energy, and SSE Energy Solutions. If you’re curious to see whether that’s true for you as well, you should contact British Gas and ask for their best price (which will be on a fixed tariff).

In the mean time, get a broader range of pricing options via our free Business Energy Quotes Form. Once you provide your contact details, you’ll get a phone call back from an energy provider who can offer you a deal.


Who is the cheapest energy supplier in the UK now?
British Gas Lite gave us the lowest business electricity price quote, in our research.

But “the cheapest” energy pricing varies according to a range of factors including your location, current market activity, and the type of tariffs available to you specifically. Meaning the only way to get the cheapest energy for your business is to request quotes from a range of suppliers then pick the best deal.

Is there an energy price cap for businesses?
No, there is no energy price cap for business customers.
Do businesses get help with energy bills?
Currently, the Energy Bills Discount Scheme provides some relief from high energy prices businesses face between April 2023 to March 2024. You don’t need to do anything for this “baseline discount” as it’s applied automatically.

Business users can apply for extra support if they supply heat for domestic end users. If your business is part of an industry that uses a lot of energy (such as mining, metal casting or manufacturing), you can apply for a discount on 70% of energy volumes.

What would be considered a good business energy rate?
A ‘good’ business energy rate depends on the size of your business and your average energy usage.

As a guide, here are some average fixed-rate energy prices for January 2024 based on business size and annual consumption:

  • Small – 10,000 to 50,000 kWh/year – 25.2 per kWh
  • Medium – 50,000 to 100,000 kWh/year – 23.2 per kWh
  • Big – 100,000+ – 21.0 per kWh
How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?
If you’ve found that another supplier can offer you a better rate, switching is simple and can be done online or over the phone. After signing up with the new supplier, the switch should be completed within three weeks. Don’t worry, you won’t experience any disruption to your energy supply during the process of switching.
Are dual fuel contracts available for businesses?
Businesses are not usually offered dual fuel options as commonly as households. This means that if you’re a business owner, you’ll need to obtain separate contracts for gas and electricity.

While it may seem like a hassle to get two separate contracts, it gives you more control over your energy consumption. You can choose different suppliers for each type of energy, which can help save money by getting the best deal.

However, if you prefer the convenience of having both contracts with the same supplier, you can opt for that as well. Many energy suppliers offer both gas and electricity contracts, so you can easily find a provider that suits your needs.

Do I need a business energy supplier if I run my business from home?
If you work from home, you may not be eligible for a business energy contract. In order to be classified as a ‘business’, you’ll need to prove that you run your business from home and that the majority (more than 50%) of your energy use is caused by business-related activity. This can include power sources such as lighting, heating and computer equipment. Anything you’d use, regardless of if you were working or not, such as your washing machine or fridge, won’t count towards the usage.
What do I need to do if I move premises?
If you are moving your small business out of its old premises, notify your energy supplier of the move date as soon as possible. Then provide your new address or forwarding address and take photos of gas and electricity meter readings on your last day (even with smart meters), and ensure everything is switched off when leaving to avoid further charges.

If you’re moving into new premises, the same contract will not automatically roll over. Aim to arrange a new energy contract beforehand for the best rates from the off. You may have to pay connection fees if the previous tenant was disconnected or it’s a new build. If no contract, the old supplier will continue service likely at higher ‘deemed’ rates, so it is better to arrange your own deal.

To show proof of occupancy change to the old supplier, provide a confirmation from the landlord, solicitor/estate agent, business rates statement, or mortgage completion letter. Check for smart meters, otherwise, take photos of meter readings on the first day even with smart meters to ensure no overcharges from the supplier.

Written by:
Sabrina Dougall
Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master's in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camden New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation.
Reviewed by:
Heleana Neil, Business Services editor
Heleana Neil specialises in Business Services, managing the strategy and production of content for SMBs, helping businesses with the challenges and opportunities they face today. Covering everything from payroll to payment processing, Heleana uses her expertise to help business owners make better, informed decisions and grow their companies.