EU Business Electric prices rise ever higher. It marks just another difficulty facing the commercial world in today's economic crisis.  The balance of trade has dropped, skill deficits are troublesome and fuel prices of all types are putting a serious squeeze on spending. So when the price of wholesale energy is dropping, why is it businesses have to find even more cash to foot their electricity bills?

Energy Plans

The white paper “Energy Roadmap to 2050” made public in the last quarter of 2011 sheds light on this most contentious of issues. Predictions show energy price rises are something we need to get used to. 

Expected to continue to rise for the next 20 years, massive bills must foot the bill for investment into renewable energy for the future.

The 112 page document described how wind turbines may make up almost half of the electricity generated by 2050. This would outstrip production by both nuclear energy and coal.   If levels are achieved EU business electricity prices could be expected to double.  More economical solutions could involve carbon capture, solar and hydro energy, which are predicted to show a far more attractive 43% increase in bills. Either way investment in renewable energy is both desirable and essential but of course the funding has to come from somewhere.

Business UK Electricity Deals

It's a cost business owners can ill afford.  The owner who sits back and accepts the status quo is likely to see his costs sour.  Fortunately there are good deals to be found in the marketplace, for those prepared to keep eyes peeled. Scottish Power, for instance is offering a massive £500 incentive to switch to them. EDF Energy has a plan designed especially for start-up businesses.  Billed at 5p per unit, the discounted rate is available for 6 or 9 months.  Sadly as the time most new businesses start to feel the pinch, EDF customers are required to move on to a more “grown up” tariff.

Like all purchases the key is comparing all aspects of the deal thoroughly.  How much is the full unit price in comparison to other companies?  Often that vital piece of data is hidden under very deep layers of small print. Further complicating the issue is the volatility of energy prices, resultant in the main, from changing wholesale prices. Quotations can vary greatly from one day to the next. Price comparison websites are a superb way to keep a track of prices all in one place. As prices fluctuate so readily, it is important to snap up deals the very second they are seen.  Hesitate and they are gone, the market is that fast.

Supplier Swapping

The money gurus all advocate periodically switching suppliers, and with great incentives available it certainly serves the balance sheet well to do so. Swappers should keep in mind money saved is very quickly be eaten up by hours trying to sort out incorrect billing and unhelpful customer services staff.  Look deeper than the price per unit.  Check out how companies score for the billing accuracy. How many irate customers are cursing unsympathetic customer services jobs-worths on forums?  These issues may not seem important as shaving off the pennies, but time is money.  After-sales service in these matters is an extremely valuable commodity.

There are very large savings to be had (the average business customer can save £946 pa) by signing up to a fixed rate deal for a longer term, perhaps three or five years.  Initially there will almost certainly be a premium to be paid, however as energy prices continue to escalate; this savvy customer will be quids in by opting for a fixed price deal.

The Future?

EU Business Electricity Prices will continue to rise, of that there can be no doubt. Now more than ever, managers are going to need to compare business electricity costs across the whole EU when making investment decisions.