There were 5.4 million micro businesses in the UK in 2016 - that's 96% of all businesses, so the odds look good!
Ofgem has different rules for micro business energy contracts, allowing for more flexibility, so it pays to know whether you qualify or not.
According to Ofgem, you qualify as a microbusiness if…
- Your business uses less than 100,000 kWh of electricity a year*
- Your business uses less than 293,000 kWh of gas a year*
- Your business has nine employees or fewer (or their full-time equivalent), and your yearly turnover does not exceed €2 million
(* Rule of thumb - Those kWh figures equate to around £10,000 - £12,000 a year for each fuel.)
Great, I'm a micro business. Why does that matter?
Essentially you don’t have to wait for a window to cancel your contract with your current energy supplier, even with a fixed-term contract; you can tell them you want to leave at any point.
By law, you only have to give 30 days notice instead of the 90 that applies to larger businesses, and you don't have to pay exit fees.
If you definitely want to leave, make sure you do give your supplier notice at least 30 days before the end of your contract, or you may end up on the dreaded 'deemed rates', (out-of-contract).
Should I tell my supplier?
Definitely. Even if you don't want to switch right now, it means when you’re ready, you’ll have a LOT more freedom to negotiate a good deal.
And if I’m not classed as a micro business?
You will have to wait for your switching ‘window’, typically 60 to 120 days before the end of your contract.
Look out for your renewal letter from your supplier and start to shop around straight away. If you miss that window you will probably end up tied into a more expensive contract.
Finding a new deal
There are several ways you can do this, using an energy broker, comparison sites, or by going direct.
- Brokers - A good broker will provide you with several options, but they will also charge a fee. This fee is built into your energy quote so you won’t pay it upfront
- Comparison sites - Despite claims to the contrary, there are not many legit offerings for business just yet (most just forward you to brokers), but Love Energy Savings is a genuine business energy comparison site that stands up to reasonable scrutiny
- Direct - Contacting energy companies directly is a good idea if you have the time. This is where the best deals are generally to be found as there are no third party fees involved. The direct approach also allows you to choose a provider based on more than just on price, if that's something you're interested in.
Our online quote tool is quick and simple to use. It will give you a personalised, live quote that is valid for 48 hours. You’ll know you’re buying direct from UK generators and you’ll be getting 100% clean energy for the same price as the dirty stuff.
Or for more information on how to switch, see our step-by-step guide.