The Energy Advice Line has urged business energy users to act immediately to secure cheaper business energy prices as the major suppliers scramble to cut their tariffs.
Julian Morgan, managing director of the Energy Advice Line, the UK’s leading price comparison and switching service for business, said firms whose fixed contracts were about to expire, or those on variable-price deals, should move quickly.
Although wholesale energy prices had fallen over the past two months, the market remained volatile and the view of many industry experts was that prices would rise again, Mr Morgan said.
“Firms with fixed-price business electricity and commercial gas contracts should waste no time in checking when their deals expire, and move quickly to lock in some of the lower prices being announced today by some of the commercial gas suppliers,” Mr Morgan said.
“If businesses are on variable-price deals which can be cancelled with 28 days’ notices we strongly advise them to shop around and compare prices and lock in a fixed-price deal.
“Prices may be falling now, but the trend is for prices to go up.”
SSE (formerly Scottish & Southern Energy), British Gas and EDF Energy have all announced cuts in their electricity or gas prices.
SSE has reduced its gas prices by an average 4.5% from March 26. It is keeping its electricity prices unchanged. EDF has announced a 5% cut in gas prices from next month. British Gas, which supplies gas to half the UK market’s 20 million customers, announced it would cut electricity prices by 5% effective immediately.
Although the price changes apply specifically to domestic customers the changes will flow through to business electricity and business gas customers once their existing contracts have expired.
The cuts have caused confusion among consumers because the large suppliers have not applied price cuts across the board.
Mr Morgan pointed out that wholesale energy prices had in fact been falling before Christmas with some suppliers reducing their business electricity and/or business gas prices. The Energy Advice Line had been alerting customers to these deals as soon as they were available, he said.
“It’s a complicated and volatile market at the moment and things are moving quickly - that’s why it’s very useful for businesses to seek impartial expert advice about what to do.” Mr Morgan said.
He pointed out that business energy users should take heed of the warning by British Gas that the long-term trend for wholesale energy prices “continued to be upward”.
The cuts announced by suppliers this week will not compensate domestic or commercial energy users for price rises of up to 19% announced in the summer.
The Energy Advice Line is the UK’s only impartial business energy price comparison and switching service exclusively for business. It has campaigned for utility companies to change their business energy contracts and billing arrangements to make it easier for firms to switch suppliers to get the best business electricity and business gas deals.
For further information visit www.energyadviceline.org.uk
The Energy Advice Line, an impartial online business electricity and business gas price comparison service run by business energy experts for business energy customers, dedicated exclusively to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK. Realising that small and medium sized business electricity and gas consumers want product choice, EAL has developed an online price comparison and switching service exclusively dedicated to their needs. Visit energyadviceline for more details.