As businesses evolve over time, there’s often a need to move premises, whether it’s upscaling or downscaling or due to companies adopting the hybrid working model. But what happens with your business electricity and gas supplies?
We’ve published this article to guide you through the complexities of dealing with business energy when moving premises.
Moving out a business property – What to do with your energy supply?
Typically businesses will be paying for electricity and gas under an agreement that lasts between one and three years.
Business energy contracts are linked to specific supply points (MPANs and MPRNs) and are not readily transferable between one property and another.
However, when you move out of a property, you can always cancel these agreements early without incurring any fees.
When moving out of your premises, here’s a checklist of things you’ll need to consider. You’ll need to do this separately for your electricity and gas supply points.
- You need to give your energy supplier 4-6 weeks’ notice that you’re moving property. This will allow your supplier enough time to sort out the end of your contract. Your existing supplier may offer to supply your new property if you’re moving (see relocating with current supplier below).
- You will need to ensure the supplier has the relevant information for the change of premises. You will need to complete a “change of tenancy” form. The customer services department of your supplier will provide you with a form to fill out, which will ask for the following information:
- Account details and numbers.
- The date your lease or ownership of your old location finishes – so your supplier knows when to stop billing you for energy used at that address
- The incoming tenant’s details, if known (if this goes back to a landlord, provide them with these details)
- The address and postcode of your new premises.
- You will need to give your business energy supplier a meter reading on the day you move out. This ensures you only pay for the energy you’ve used and that all payments are up-to-date and accurate. We recommend taking photos of your final meter readings in case there is any dispute at a later date.
You’ll receive a final business energy bill from your old supplier shortly after your move-out date. Once you’ve paid for this, you should be all sorted with your old business energy supplies.
Relocating with your current business energy supplier
When you go through the contract cancellation process with your current business energy supplier, they’ll likely offer also to be the supplier of your new property.
The relocation process with your existing supplier does have a key advantage of admin because a designated team will make all the business energy arrangements for your move.
Your supplier will typically offer you fixed-term rates for all the gas and electricity supply points at your new property. The rates you’ll be offered will depend on the current state of the energy market and usually won’t be the same as your previous rates.
Although the relocation process is less admin, we recommend using a business electricity comparison and business gas comparison service to check that the offered rates are competitive.
Moving into a business property – What to do with your energy supplies.
Now that you’ve exited your old premises, it’s time to move into your new business premises, but what must you do?
We’ll assume that you are not going through the relocation process with your current supplier.
What do I do when moving into my new business premises?
When moving into new premises, there are a few things to consider. Let’s look at each:
- How you’ll pay for energy on the day you move in
The day you move in, your property’s electricity and gas supply will likely still be working. In this scenario, where you haven’t arranged a contract with a supplier, you’ll start to pay for electricity and gas under a deemed contract.
Under a deemed energy contract, you’ll pay a variable unit charge for electricity and gas, which is typically twice as expensive as negotiated rates in the market. To save money, it’s important to ensure this deemed contract period is as short as possible.
- Arranging a new business energy contract
To avoid paying unnecessarily expensive rates, you’ll want to negotiate a new business energy contract as soon as possible.
It’s typically not possible to agree to a new business energy contract before you start to occupy the property, but it is possible to begin making arrangements before you move in.
We recommend using the AquaSwitch business energy comparison service to compare multiple business energy suppliers in one go. We recommend starting the process one to two weeks in advance of your move-in date.
If you choose to go ahead with one of our quotes, our experts will arrange all the paperwork on your behalf to ensure a seamless switch to cheaper energy rates.
Here’s our complete guide to the process of switching business energy suppliers.
It’s important to take opening meter readings of all electricity and gas meters at your property on the day you move in.
Both electricity and gas rates are charged per unit kWh used. It’s advisable to take meter readings to ensure you don’t end up paying for the electricity a previous tenant used.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here’s a breakdown of frequently asked questions about moving business premises and your energy contracts.
Who’s responsible for energy bills in my new business premises?
This needs to be clarified at the time of signing your lease to the property if you do not own it yourself.
It’s best practice not to assume your landlord will be responsible for your energy bills. Review your tenancy agreement and find the information on responsibilities for business utilities.
If you can’t see this, speak to your landlord and ensure you agree. If it’s your responsibility, you can begin by using our business energy comparison tool to compare the latest energy rates.
If your landlord manages the energy, you don’t need to worry about it.
Can I switch gas or electricity suppliers if I’m a tenant?
Yes, you can. As long as it’s your responsibility according to the lease agreement; if it’s not, then your landlord will handle your energy supplier.
Can I cancel my current business energy contract if I’m moving out?
Yes, you can. This is one of the rare occasions you can break your existing contract. You need to send your current supplier an energy termination letter and give them about 6-8 weeks’ notice for moving to the new property.
This allows them time to complete everything and ensures a smooth switchover.
Then on the last day of your tenancy, you will provide an electricity and gas meter reading to ensure you pay an accurate final bill.
Will I need new energy meters when switching business premises?
No. Each property will have their own meters, so it will not be necessary for you to relocate both your gas and electricity meters.
However, if the new property doesn’t have the meters you need to run your business or a half-hourly meter required to meet legal requirements, speak to your energy supplier for the new property in advance to ensure these are installed ready for your move-in date.
View our guide for the contact details of each of the business energy suppliers.
Will I pay the same rates when moving to new business premises?
It’s unlikely. Business electricity and gas contracts are associated with particular supply points in a specific property.
When you move properties, you’ll need to arrange for a new contract. Your current business energy supplier may offer you a contract at your new property, but the price will depend on the current state of the wholesale energy market.
What if the electricity and gas supply is disconnected when I move in?
Suppose your new property has been empty for a while, or the last occupier wasn’t paying the bills. In that case, your business energy supplier may have disconnected the electricity or gas supply.
In this case, you’ll need to determine the property’s current supplier and ask them to reconnect the property.
You can find your supplier by going to the Energy Network Association site and finding out who your electricity/gas network operator is.
Then contact your electricity network operator and gas network operator, who will be able to give you the details of the business energy supplier. Your business energy supplier will then be able to arrange a reconnection.
Unfortunately, you may incur a reconnection charge to get your electricity and gas supplies up and running.