Business Energy FAQs

Were here to help. If you have a question about business energy, we’ve probably heard it before and we’ll do our best to answer it.

Some of our frequently asked questions about business energy meters and contracts. 

Are all energy contracts the same?

No. There are three main types of energy supply contracts.

Fully Fixed
The contract duration is fully fixed for both energy and non-energy costs. However, HMRC set and adjust VAT and CCL levy’s annually.

Part Fixed or Partial Pass Through
This type of contract generally guarantees the unit rate (p/kWh) and the standing charge throughout the contract duration. However, “Third Party” charges within the contract can be Increased to the customer, if the costs to the supplier rise above set tolerances.

In addition to the contract version above, some suppliers may provide contracts that are not fully inclusive of all “Third Party” costs and therefore can include a “Pass Through” element. Although the charges included in the agreement will be fully fixed, it will exclude certain taxes or levies.

Pass Through
A pass-through contract separates costs in two, between the energy element, which is paid throughout the contract term and non-commodity and third-party costs, (which can be up to 60% of total contract cost). The supplier then passes these non-commodity costs direct to the customer .

What is a variable tariff?

A basic energy tariff with variable prices that go up and down with the wholesale energy market.

What is an energy tariff?

An energy tariff is the format in which an energy supplier charges a customer for their gas and electricity usage.

What is a deemed contract?

A deemed contract is normally in place when a business customer moves into new premises and starts to consume gas, electricity, or both, without agreeing a contract with a supplier.

What is a standing charge?

The standing charge is the amount you pay to cover the cost of physically supplying energy to your premises, and keeping it connected to the energy network. Most suppliers quote standing charge as a separate pence per day charge, while others incorporate the standing charge into the unit rate, which is often called a no standing charge tariff.

What is a half hourly (HH) meter?

A half-hourly electricity meter ( HH meter) is a special type of metering system which utilises AMR (automatic meter reading) technology to provide a more accurate electricity reading. The system relies on a fixed or mobile data link which sends updated meter reads to the energy supplier every half hour.

For a more in depth look at half hourly meters. Read a quick guide to half hourly meters.


What is an economy 7 or day and night meter?

Economy 7 or Day and Night meters, record two sets of numbers to separately record the electricity you use during the day and during the night.

What is an electricity meter profile?

An electricity meter profiles provide suppliers with an idea of how much electricity will be consumed and in what pattern.

What is an MPAN?

An MPAN or Meter Point Administration Number is a 13-digit reference, used to uniquely identify every electricity supply point in the country.

What is an MPRN or Meter Point Reference Number?

An MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number) is the unique identifying number for a gas meter.

What is a three rate meter?

A three-rate meter record’s three sets of numbers to separately record the electricity you use during these set periods. These can be day, night, evening & weekend or similar configurations.

What is a business credit score?

A businesses credit score is the measure of a business’s perceived creditworthiness. It is calculated by a number of factors, and helps suppliers understand the financial position of a business and its level of financial risk. The score ranges from 0 to 100, with 0 representing a high risk and 100 representing a low risk.

How will a low credit score affect your options?

Having a low credit score will cause issues and will limit your choice of suppliers and energy tariffs. Some suppliers will simply decline your businesses while other suppliers may just prevent you from gaining access to their lowest price tariffs.

An energy supplier may choose to accept your business, even with a low credit score, however they may insist on some additional measures, such as:

  • Request a security deposit.
  • Insist on payment by Direct Debit.
  • Install a prepayment meter.

How can I find out when my contract ends?

This information will be found somewhere on your monthly or quarterly energy bill, as suppliers are legally obliged to state the contract end date and notice period on all Micro-Businesses fixed-term contract bills. You will generally receive notification that your current contract is ending 60 days before your contract’s official end date (or 42-49 days before for non micro businesses).

My contract end date is not on my bill?

This generally means you are recognised by your supplier as a Non-Micro Business. This has some implications on how your supplier can deal with you. Either call or email your supplier and request your contract end date.

Please check the definition of a Micro Business (below). If you are a Micro Business, yet your supplier is recognising you as a Non-Micro Business. Then you should contact them and explain that you are a Micro Business.

What is a Micro Business?

A company is classed as a micro business if it meets one of the following criteria:

  • Employs fewer than 10 people and has an annual turnover or balance sheet no greater than €2 million;
  • Uses not more than 100,000 kWh of electricity per year, or;
  • Uses not more than 293,000 kWh of gas per year.

For further information on how the UK energy markets work - Ofgem - the energy regulator for Great Britain

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