All businesses need to keep a close eye on every aspect of the finances, and energy bills are a key area where spending can quickly get out of hand. There are business expenses and even tax credits that can be counted towards business energy bills, but not taking advantage of these or being on the wrong tariff can have a big effect on bills. And this can have a big effect on cash flow and the sustainability of your business.

cheapest ways to heat an office

cheapest ways to heat an office

With around 70 energy providers offering services in the UK it is no surprise that many business owners are confused about finding the best deal. This large market does mean that energy firms are fighting for business and offer a range of tariffs, but the vastness of the options can get confusing. It can also be very time consuming and frustrating to hunt out the best rates.

When looking at the deals available the main decision is whether to opt for a fixed or a variable tariff.

A fixed tariff means bills have a set maximum that will not be exceeded. This can be a good thing as it allows firms to budget accurately – particularly important for start-ups. But the price per unit will be higher than on a variable tariff, so you could be paying over-the-odds for the energy you use.

On a variable tariff there is no fixed cap and prices can fluctuate, making it more difficult to budget accurately.

If you have an office-based business with people sat at computers all day then a fixed tariff could be the best option. But if you have a small base and spend a lot of time working away then a variable rate can make more sense.

There are also duel-fuel options. These give you a discount for signing up for both gas and electricity from the same supplier and can be an excellent choice.

When you start to research the various options be sure to look at as many deals as you can, and be sure to compare like-for-like from different suppliers. Research by consumer body Which? suggests that many people in the UK are not being offered the best deal when they switch, and Electric Radiators Direct Managing Director Paul Walker echoes this. “It can be difficult to hunt out the best options, but consumers should not be put off by the sheer number of deals available,” he says. “Take some time to accurately compare suppliers and use online comparison sites to make it as straightforward as possible.”

It is also worth bearing in mind that different fuels will be priced differently. Gas is often cheaper for heating, but an efficient electric heating can make more sense. The high-end electric radiators use less electricity and give accurate temperature control so you do not use more energy than needed to keep your office warm.

There are also schemes such as grants for solar panels that could help you to keep down the cost of office heating.

However you heat your office be sure to assess your chosen method regularly and compare deals before your energy supply contract ends to make sure you are saving as much money, and energy, as possible.