If you have just relocated to a business rental property, then you have to manage and pay your energy bills at these premises unless the agreement includes it in your rent. Regardless of this, as a new tenant, the energy supplier at your new premises can decide to place you on the most expensive deemed energy rates unless you choose to continue with your current energy contract.
Remember that electricity for business can be crucial for your daily operations. Therefore, it makes sense to secure the right energy contract when you move your business to another premises. There are several things that you must do before relocating your business premises. This post discusses the key things you need to know before relocating your business.
Switching Electricity and Gas Suppliers
You should never assume that your landlord can pay your energy bills. Remember that the tenancy agreement can include the details about the person who is responsible for energy bills of the property. Therefore, you need to check your tenancy contract or even ask the landlord to know your situation regarding the energy bills. Ideally, you can pay energy bills directly to your landlord or you can pay the energy bills to your energy supplier.
When it comes to paying your energy bills to your landlord, it means that the landlord can deal with your energy provider. This includes choosing the energy supplier, selecting energy tariffs, and paying the energy bills.
A gas or electricity meter usually records your business energy use. Your energy bill also needs to have a charge per unit and a standing charge. It’s worth noting that you may not be responsible to pay other charges associated with communal lighting.
And, the cost of the energy bill can be included in your service charges or rent. In some cases, if the landlord is responsible for the energy bills for your business, then you cannot switch energy suppliers. But you can ask the landlord to make the switch for you, though they don’t have to. It’s still important to ask your landlord to make the switch so that you can save money.
On the other hand, if you pay your business energy bills directly to the energy supplier, then it’s your responsibility to manage and pay the energy bills. Therefore, you can decide to switch the business energy suppliers. Keep in mind that you cannot get a new energy plan until the current one is in its renewal window.
Things You Have to Look Out for When Moving to Another Business Premises
Many energy suppliers have some measures in place designed to make sure that your relocation goes smoothly. However, you can still experience some issues while relocating your business.
One of the things you should look out for is the reconnection fee. This can happen if the previous occupant has their energy supply disconnected due to failure to pay their last electricity or gas bill. In such cases, the energy supply cannot supply energy to your business premises until this energy bill is paid. Therefore, you may need to pay a security deposit and a reconnection fee.
If the business premises you are relocating to have never had an energy supply before, then you may need to pay a connection fee so that the energy supplier can set up the electricity and gas supplies.
It’s also worth checking the termination fee. If you relocate to new business premises before the expiry of your energy contract, it means you have to cancel your energy contract early. Therefore, your energy supplier can charge you a termination fee. You can find the information about early termination fees in the terms of the energy contract. Hence, make sure that you look out for this before you decide to relocate your business. In some cases, energy suppliers can waive this early termination fee if you keep on buying energy from them at the new business premises.
If you desire your business premises to be more energy-efficient, then it’s a good idea to do an independent audit. You can use the energy performance certificate of the building to figure out the specific areas that require improvements.
If your previous business premises have solar panels so that you could take advantage of feed-in tariff payments, then you can consider taking them with you when you decide to relocate. But before you do, make sure that you look into the terms of the feed-in tariff. Also, ensure that the landlord can allow you to install the solar panels.
A deemed energy rate which is a default rate your energy supplier can put you on once you relocate to new business premises is usually quite expensive. It can sometimes be more than twice the cost of contractual energy deals, such as a fixed-term energy deal. This is the reason why you need to arrange a new energy plan with an energy supplier right away so that you can avoid overpaying your electricity and gas bills. Remember, you have to give a notice of your energy switch to the energy supplier, which can be 30 days.
It’s also worth noting that when you decide to move your business premises, you don’t have to take your current energy meters with you. In other words, it’s not necessary to relocate your electricity meters or gas meters.
But if the new business premises you are trying to relocate to don’t have the type of energy meters suitable for your business, then you should contact your energy supplier. There is a chance that the new business premises don’t have half-hourly meters for electricity or there is no supply of gas, so you need to speak with your energy supplier for help.
As explained earlier, a business energy contract can tie you for the entire period of the deal. Therefore, you cannot switch business gas or business electricity suppliers before the expiry of your energy deal. Regardless of this, you should still compare business energy deals available on the market so that you can get the right one when the time to make the switch comes.