Small and Medium Enterprises (SME's) including Micro Businesses (Electricity less than 1 GWh per Year). The Electricity & Gas Industry has been transformed since privatization as companies have responded to a fluid and diverse range of competitive, commercial and regulatory pressures.
Prior to deregulation of the industry there were 21 small to large supply / billing companies, now we have 6 major supply companies who have majority control over the industry, most are owned from outside of the UK. Does it make a difference if your supply is through a foreign owned company? The answer is 'no' because who ever your supplier is the electricity or gas is provided by the National Grid direct to your meters.
To start with all businesses must enter into a contract of supply to the premises / property. The supply is regulated by one of the 14 Areas suppliers throughout the country and each area tariffs are set at different rates depending on your business use: Single Rated, Economy 7 Rated, Maximum Demand Rate or even Half Hourly Supply Tariff rate. Then there is the question of Fixed Term Period with Lower Unit/kWh rates or a 28 Day Open Notice Contract with rollover terms higher unit/kWh rates or a supply based on Deemed Tariff Rates the highest unit / kWh charged to business consumers, or are you paying (OOC) out of contract rates? It is all somewhat baffling to the untrained person.
Brokers have many different terms of service. Some will do a 'new connection / transfer' for a percentage of the cost saving they can obtain for your business - that however is not a true saving because you have to pay the percentage fee. There are others who will ask for a fee up front to do the investigations on your behalf and sign you up to a favoured supply company who will then pay them an extra fee; it is called double fee earnings.
There are few consultants & energy brokers who will work for your business offering a Free Service in obtaining savings by lower cost supplies. It is usual for the brokers to then be paid a nominal fee by the best price supply company; without any direct tie between parties for bringing a new business to the supply company, this system means no obligation by the broker to the suppliers and all parties benefit.