More and more businesses are working from home these days, but what does that mean when it comes to business energy tariffs?
Advances in communication and sharing has meant that an office isn’t necessary to starting a business. Remote working is very much a possibility now, and more and more budding entrepreneurs are taking advantage of it.
But what does this mean for your business energy? Can you still hop onto a business tariff if you’re working from the comfort of your own home? We’ve got the answers to your questions.
Can you get a business energy tariff if you’re a sole trader working from home?
If you’re a sole trader and you work from home, there’s still a chance that you’ll be eligible for a business energy contract. By meeting certain criteria (more on that below), you’ll be classified as a micro business.
Not only will this make a business energy contract more likely, but it will also allow you to receive more protection from suppliers than if you were a larger business.
What makes a business energy contract different?
You might be wondering why there’s so much fuss about business energy contracts in the first place. Why can’t you just make do with your home’s domestic tariff?
Well, you can, but business energy tariffs are specifically designed to suit commercial organisations. As such, there can be some great benefits attached. Some of the things that make business energy contracts different include:
- Unit rates. Business energy tariffs usually feature cheaper unit rates, meaning you pay less for your gas and electricity. Be mindful that VAT rates and CCLs can up these prices though.
- Fixed terms. Business energy contracts are usually fixed in their contract length and energy rates. This makes it easier to budget for your business as you can anticipate costs more accurately.
- Cancellation fees. The downside of these fixed terms is a lack of flexibility enforced by costly cancellation fees. Once your tariff has been agreed, your supplier will usually purchase the energy in bulk. So if you decide to cancel before the agreed switching period, your may incur higher fees or penalties than you would face if you opt out of your domestic contract early.
- Out-of-Contract rates. Be sure to renew or switch when the time comes, or you’ll be placed on the pricier Out-of-Contract rates. Switching and renewing gives you the chance to find an even better deal.
How do you know if you are eligible for business energy at home?
In order to be able to switch from a domestic energy tariff to a business energy tariff, you need to prove that you run your business from home and that a significant chunk of your energy use is due to your business. This chunk usually needs to be 50% or more.
This might sound high, but remember you can include lighting, heating and the powering of computer equipment in your calculations, as well as any devices you use specifically for your business – such as a printer. Items you would need regardless – like fridges – won’t count.
If you can meet these terms, you can reap the rewards of a business energy contract despite working from home.
Whether you’re a home business or office-based, finding the right deal is key. Start comparing prices today with The Energy Check, or get in touch with our team by calling 0191 691 18 02.