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Struggling to pay your small business' energy bills?

Updated: May 2, 2023

If you can’t pay your supplier

If you've been told you'll be disconnected call the consumer helpline. They can help you resolve the problem with your supplier.

Coronavirus - get financial help

You might be able to get support from the government to help your small business recover from the pandemic if it:

  • is trading in the UK

  • has a turnover of £45 million or less

You’ll need to show that your business:

  • is viable

  • is not in difficulty

The Recovery Loan Scheme can help you access loans and other kinds of finance - check how to apply to the Recovery Loan Scheme on GOV.UK.

If you need more advice, you can:

  • contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline - they can give you advice about your business’s energy contract and help you understand your rights

  • contact Business Debtline - they can give you free debt advice if you have a small business or you’re self employed


If you're having trouble paying the energy costs for your small business, there are steps you may take.

What you ought to do is dependent upon:

  • You already owe money to your provider,

  • you received a bill you can't pay,

  • and you frequently struggle to make ends meet.


Check if something is an energy scam

Energy scams are on the rise.

Scammers have different ways of getting hold of personal information or bank details. For example, by pretending to:

  • be a supplier offering a refund

  • be from Ofgem - asking for information so you can get the £400 energy rebate

  • be a debt collector asking for money owed to a supplier that’s gone bust

  • offer green home improvement grants

  • offer energy investment opportunities

  • offer cheap prepayment meter top up keys or cards

  • offer energy-saving devices

You can also contact our scams advisers if you:

  • think you might have found an online scam

  • need advice about scams

  • want to report an online scam

If you're in debt to your energy supplier

It's critical to move fast because, if you don't make plans to take care of the debt, your electricity supply could be cut off within 30 days.

A disconnection fee will often be added to the amount you owe if you are disconnected. If you're reconnected, you'll have to pay an additional cost.

Make a call to the customer service line; they can assist you in resolving the issue with your supplier.

You'll need to provide information regarding your debt, so it's a good idea to gather any bills or correspondence from your energy provider before calling.

If you've had a bill you can't afford

Call your supplier and inquire about the calculation if you believe the bill is incorrect.

Ask whether you can set up a payment plan if the bill is correct but you are unable to pay it. Before you call, create a budget to ensure that you can pay the bills.

Contact the consumer helpline if your energy company won't let you arrange a repayment plan.

Check you haven't been overcharged

If you're a 'microbusiness' you can only be billed for energy you've used in the last 12 months.

Your company will normally count as a microbusiness if it either:

  • has fewer than 10 employees or turns over less than £1.8 million a year

  • uses no more than 100,000 kWh of electricity

  • uses no more than 293,000 kWh of gas per year

Check your bill or ask your supplier if you're not sure how much energy you use per year.

If you think you've been overcharged, call your energy supplier and complain.

Explain that because you're a microbusiness you can't be billed for energy used more than 12 months ago.

If you're struggling to pay your bills

If you often find it hard to pay your energy bills there are things you can do to try to reduce them.

Switch supplier

Contact us to see if there is a cheaper tariff available for you.


If your energy supplier goes bust

Don’t switch tariff or supplier until your account is moved to the new supplier. You might find it harder to get any money you’re owed if you switch before this happens.


Make sure you're being billed accurately

You may be paying more each month than necessary if your supplier estimates your bills.

Send your supplier the readings from your metres on a regular basis. To ensure that you don't forget, set up a recurring reminder on your phone or calendar.

It's important to inquire if your supplier can take additional measures to maintain the accuracy of your bills, such as providing you with a smart metre.

Make your business energy efficient

There are techniques to lower the amount of power and gas you consume, such as:

  • Make sure your building is insulated against draughts,

  • turn off computers and other equipment at night if they aren't in use,

  • and use energy-efficient light bulbs.

  • Use only the amount of hot water you actually need, and mend any leaky hot taps.

If you need more help

If you need more advice about dealing with your energy bills and we are unable to help, you may wish to contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline. They can give you unbiased advice about small business energy contracts and your rights.

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Have More Questions?

  • Is it possible to change multiple business utilities at the same time?
    Our switching service allows you to switch multiple utilities simultaneously. We have successfully assisted multiple businesses in the UK by helping them save on various services such as energy and water with savings within 2023 already over the £2 Million mark.
  • How much can I save on my business utility bills?
    The amount you can save on your business utility bills will depend on various factors such as your current usage, the rates offered by different providers, and the specific deals available in your location. However, our switching service is designed to help you find the best deals and save as much as possible. By comparing multiple suppliers and negotiating competitive rates, we aim to maximise your potential savings. Get in touch with us to discuss your specific needs and get personalised information on potential cost savings for your business utility bills.
  • How does switching business utilities work?
    Switching business utilities involves a straightforward process. Here's a general overview of how it works: Evaluation: Start by assessing your current utility bills and usage patterns. This will give you an idea of your current costs and help identify areas where savings can be made. Comparison: Use a switching service like ours to compare different utility providers in your area. We provide you with quotes from multiple suppliers, allowing you to compare prices, contract terms, and services offered. Selection: Based on the comparison results, choose the utility provider that best meets your needs and budget. Consider factors such as price, customer reviews, contract terms, and any additional services or benefits offered. Contract Negotiation: Once you've chosen a new provider, our team can help negotiate the contract terms and rates on your behalf. Switching Process: The switching service will coordinate the transition with your current supplier and the new provider. This may involve submitting termination notices, arranging meter readings, and scheduling the activation of new services. Enjoy the Savings: After the switch, you'll start receiving services from your new provider, typically at the agreed-upon rates. You will notice savings on your utility bills, providing you with cost advantages for your business. Remember, the exact process may vary depending on the type of utility you are switching, but our switching service aims to simplify the process and assist you at every step.
  • Who are the cheapest business utility providers?
    As market conditions and prices fluctuate regularly, it's challenging to provide an up-to-date and definitive list of the cheapest business utility providers. The prices we provide you are valid and available on the day of the quote and will provide most current and competitive deals available. Our switching service helps you compare prices and offers from multiple suppliers, ensuring you have the most accurate and relevant information to make an informed decision about your business utility provider.
  • What is energy procurement?
    Energy procurement is the process of sourcing, negotiating, and securing energy contracts to meet the specific needs of a business. It involves analysing energy consumption patterns, understanding market trends, and negotiating with suppliers to obtain the best possible rates and contract terms.
  • Why is energy procurement important for my business?
    Energy procurement ensures that your business secures energy contracts that are both cost-effective and aligned with your operational needs. Proper energy procurement can lead to significant cost savings, budget predictability, and reduced risks associated with volatile energy markets.
  • How does The Smart Energy Company help with energy procurement?
    We specialise in analysing your energy consumption, understanding your specific needs, and leveraging our relationships with over 20 suppliers to negotiate the best possible contracts on your behalf. Our team ensures you get optimal rates, flexible terms, and contracts that align with your business goals.
  • How do you ensure I get the best energy rates?
    Our team continuously monitors the energy market, staying updated with trends, price fluctuations, and supplier offerings. Coupled with our in-depth analysis of your energy needs and consumption patterns, we negotiate with suppliers to secure rates that are both competitive and suited to your business.
  • Are there any hidden fees associated with your energy procurement services?
    Transparency is a core value at The Smart Energy Company. We provide a clear breakdown of any commission we earn as a company when you come to agree any new energy contract. This is typically included as an uplift in your unit rate and paid to us by the supplier you chose to go to. Our primary goal is to secure the best energy deals for you, with no hidden costs.
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Very helpful, quick expert advice. We have been using Smart Energy for a while.


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