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A look at your business energy bill

What’s on your energy bill? Not many business owners are able to answer this question due to their busy lifestyle. It’s important, nonetheless, to familiarize yourself with your business energy bills.

You can expect to see 2 sections on your bill: the billing detail and the billing invoice. The billing detail shows the elements making up the total bill.

The billing invoice, on the other hand, summarises your recent charges and balances. It shows what you need to pay as well as when you should make the payment.

Other aspects you will see on your business energy bill include:

Standing charge

This refers to the amount you must pay every day, regardless of the consumed energy. Although some business gas tariffs don’t have standing charges, this fee is included in all business electricity tariffs.

Climate change levy (CCL)

CCL encourages businesses to adapt to energy efficient practices. The amount is charged on the units used per kilowatt hour (kWh). It also includes a standard rate VAT.

VAT

The value-added tax for business energy bills is capped at a standard rate of 20% if the energy is used for business purposes only.

Unit rate

This amount is calculated per kWh used.

Although these charges are often accurate, they can be misleading at times. Below are some details that can help you understand your business energy bill better.

• The price you pay depends on your usage, not the unit rate. You can get a low unit rate and still pay what you pay when you get slightly higher unit rates. A combination of high unit rates and low standing charges is favourable for light users. Conversely, a low unit rate favours heavy users.

• You should know when your energy contract will end. Give a month’s notice to your supplier if you wish to end your current contract before the due date. Your energy provider may lock you in for another 12 months if you don’t issue enough notice. You want to avoid rolling contracts because they can be expensive.

• Residential businesses that consume low amounts of energy are eligible for CCL and a 5% VAT. Although there’s not much you can do about this, you can ask for advice from your supplier regarding the percentage that applies to your energy consumption.

My Energy Comparison recommends that you keep an eye on your business energy bills. Compare business energy prices to ensure you get the best deals.

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