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How to Find the Best Commercial Electricity Rates

Looking for the most affordable business electricity rates in Australia? With the right strategy, you can find great deals and maximise savings on your power bills. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know.

Finding the best business electricity rates ultimately comes down to shopping around, negotiating contracts, monitoring usage, and more. We'll break it down step-by-step so you can start saving your business money.

Why Shopping Around for the Best Rates Matters

Electricity costs are a major expense for any business. From powering equipment to lighting premises, electricity keeps operations running smoothly. However, business energy rates vary widely between retailers. Failing to secure a competitive plan can cost your business thousands annually.

Comparing business energy plans from different providers ensures you find the most affordable option. You should also negotiate contracts to get the best possible deal. Renegotiating when offers expire helps maintain optimal rates long-term. Monitoring usage and controlling consumption further maximises savings.

Taking the time to find the best rates gives your bottom line an immediate boost. The savings enable you to invest in other areas like staff, marketing, or expansion.

How Electricity Pricing Works for Businesses

Before searching for better rates, it helps to understand how business electricity pricing works. The main components are:

  • Supply charges - Daily fee for being connected to the grid
  • Usage rates - The per kWh rate for power consumption
  • Demand charges - Costs based on peak energy usage
  • Solar feed-in tariffs - Credits for exporting solar power (if applicable)
  • Discounts - Percentages off usage and supply charges
  • Contract terms - Length of the agreement
  • Fees - Account, credit card processing, and exit fees

Supply charges, usage rates, and demand charges combine to form your overall cents per kWh pricing. Providers quote business energy rates based on this pricing structure.

Understanding these elements helps you accurately compare plans on a like-for-like basis. It also helps you negotiate better contract terms.

Step-by-Step Guide to Finding the Best Rates

Follow this step-by-step process to secure the most competitive business electricity rates in Australia:

Conduct a Usage Analysis

Analyse at least 12 months of past bills to determine your usage patterns. Identify when you use the most and least power. Calculating your average daily usage in kWh is also useful for comparing plans.

This usage profile helps target plans with rates and contract terms that best fit your business. It also aids in managing consumption.

Shop Around and Compare Plans Extensively

Use comparison websites like Energy Made Easy to compare business energy rates from all retailers. You can filter and sort plans by location, contract term, discounts, and more.

Look beyond just usage and supply rates. Compare all fees, demand charges, solar feed-in rates, and other components. Avoid plans with credit card processing fees.

Shortlist the most competitive options that suit your usage. Reach out to retailers directly for customised quotes too.

Negotiate the Best Deal

Use your usage data, competitve offers, and business credentials to negotiate with providers. Push for lower usage and supply rates, bigger discounts, zero account fees, and more.

Bundle electricity with gas plans or sign longer contracts if it secures a better overall rate. Just ensure exit fees aren't excessive.

Ideally negotiate rates and terms that balance savings with flexibility. Don't simply accept the first offer.

Monitor and Control Usage Closely

Install smart meters to monitor real-time consumption by equipment. Identify priorities for reduction based on usage and costs.

Switch off all non-essential lighting, heating, cooling and equipment out of hours. Upgrade old appliances and machinery to more efficient models.

Optimise with solar power, batteries, and load shifting/staggering. Review usage data regularly and keep finding savings.

Renegotiate When Offers Expire

Revisit steps 2-4 once your contract ends. Shop around for better plans as the market changes, then negotiate new terms with your provider or switch retailers entirely.

Avoid rolling onto inflated out-of-contract rates. Proactively renegotiate to maintain competitive business energy rates long-term.

Following this process consistently ensures you always pay the lowest rates possible. Patience, persistence, and usage control are key - the savings for your business make the effort worthwhile.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much can I save by switching electricity providers?

Savings vary widely based on location, usage, and current rates. However, businesses typically save 15-25% or more by switching from inflated default plans. Shop around and negotiate for the biggest savings.

How often should I review business energy rates?

Review rates at least every 1-2 years. Check plans from other retailers when your contract ends or out-of-contract rates apply. Renegotiate new terms regularly.

What contract term should I choose?

Longer contracts like 3 years often have lower rates but restrictive exit fees. Shorter 1 year contracts can offer more flexibility. Compare options to find the best balance for your business.

Should I bundle electricity and gas?

Bundling can secure better discounts from retailers. Just ensure you analyse both electricity and gas rates thoroughly first and don't simply default to the same provider for convenience.

How can I reduce my peak demand charges?

Stagger equipment usage, switch off non-essentials, and shift demand with batteries. Installing smart meters also helps identify priorities.

Finding the best electricity rates takes effort, but following this guide maximises savings for your business long-term. Shop around extensively, negotiate the best deals, control usage tightly, and regularly reassess options when contracts expire. With the right strategy, you can substantially cut one of your largest operational costs.

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