We know that every single cent and every single minute counts when you’re a small business owner. Here’s how you might save on business electricity or gas costs:
Connecting or switching your business to an energy plan is just as easy as connecting or switching your home. Compare business energy plans side-by-side at no cost right here.
Energy providers (also referred to as retailers) can supply energy to different premise types: residential, businesses, and commercial. Typically, businesses and other large establishments consume more energy and their energy consumption habits can differ significantly from residential homes.
Small to medium businesses that use up to 160,000kw of electricity or one terajoule in gas per year qualify for business energy. Businesses that use more than this amount must go through a tender process to apply for a commercial energy plan.
Like residential energy, business electricity runs off tariffs and tariff types. However, the price per kilowatt will vary from what you see in residential energy plans. There are several types of tariffs for businesses in Australia, including:
Find out more about energy contracts and tariffs.
The three tier-one energy providers in Australia all offer business energy:
Other providers may or may not offer energy for businesses. You can find out more about some of the ones that do and the plans they offer through our business energy comparison service. You can compare the rates, discounts and perks and find a great-value plan for your business in minutes.
If you don’t know whether there’s an existing electricity or gas supply at your business address, you can check this with the distributor in your area by calling or emailing them.
Most Australian energy provider websites include a distributor lookup tool, which prompts you to enter your postcode and/or suburb. Find the distributor in your area.
Your energy provider will arrange the connection with the electricity distributor. You’ll need to tell your provider in advance about the date you want to be connected on. Allow at least one day before you move in, as the power can come on anytime between early morning and midnight.
Give your energy provider notice before you move, as it can take them up to three business days to organise the connection at your new premises and the disconnection at your old location.
Changing energy suppliers (also referred to as retailers and providers) is easy! First, you’ll need to choose a plan to switch to. You can use our online business energy comparison tool to compare a variety of suppliers and look for a great-value plan that works well with your business’ needs.
Your distributor may charge you a fee, which is billed to your energy provider and passed onto to you. Make sure you refer to your energy offer summary, Basic Plan Information Document (BPID) or Energy Price Fact Sheet (EPFS) and see whether you have to pay this fee.
In most Australian states, you don’t need to be present on connection day unless your meter is located inside your business premises or behind a locked gate or requires safe access. In Queensland, you can either be there on the day, or authorise a person aged 18 and above to be present on your behalf.
In order to request a meter installation, you’ll need to contact a registered electrician, who’ll file the required forms for you. Or, you can apply online through your energy provider.
As with the electricity meter, you’ll need to apply with your provider first. There are two types of gas meter installations: service line and meter only. Service line installation takes place when you’re not connected to an existing gas pipeline, while a meter only installation just involves the gas meter setup.
Keep in mind that a service line installation can take up to 20 days, while the meter only installation takes up to three business days.
No, there’s no need for you to install a new meter in either event – unless you move your business to new premises without a pre-installed meter.
Your typical electricity or gas bill lists your account details, the amount due and the payment due date on the front page, and includes the payment slip at the bottom. The back page of the bill normally shows your next scheduled meter reading and tariff name, and lists your usage and supply details, energy charges (including and excluding GST), and your payment options.
Find out more about how to read your energy bill.
If you feel that you’ve been incorrectly billed, want to check a current meter reading immediately, call your energy provider and they’ll arrange a special meter reading at your business premises (you may be charged for this).
This depends on the nature of your business, and the ways you use energy at your premises. Because all small- to medium-sized businesses operate differently, it’s worth reading the relevant information from the Australian Taxation Office.
If you run a business from your home, you’ll need to calculate the electricity/gas expenses related to your home office. Make sure you store a copy of each business energy bill for taxation purposes.
Consider what you’re consuming your energy for, and assess whether you can change to energy-efficient appliances, or change your consumption habits to use less energy.
Some other ways you can make business energy savings include:
For more tips on how to improve your business’ energy efficiency, check out our page on business electricity.