Advice Centre

Get Inspired! Check the latest industry expertise and read insider tips from our vetted tradespeople.

Review a Trade

Have you completed a project recently? Let your tradesperson know how they did.

Search For A Trade

We interview and vet all our tradespeople to ensure they meet our high standards.

Trade Advice Centre

Grow your business! Check out top tips and expert advice for boosting your reputation online.

Join Checkatrade

Join us and benefit from the millions of potential customers who use Checkatrade to find reliable tradespeople.

Login to Your Account

Edit your profile, view callback requests and ask for feedback from customers.

What’s the difference between business and home energy?

September 12, 2019

The energy market is rapidly changing, with new technology disrupting the way customers engage with their bills. While the home energy market has experienced a revolution in how customers and suppliers interact though, the business energy market has remained relatively unchanged.

Business energy comparison specialists, Love Energy Savings have sought to balance this discrepancy.

“We’re dragging the business energy market into the 21st century”, says CEO and founder, Phil Foster. “For years suppliers have taken advantage of the unregulated nature of the business energy market. We’re the vigilantes, using technology to level the playing field”.

The information below will give you the upper hand when negotiating with your supplier, alternatively use a trusted business energy comparison company to secure a fair price for your business.

The level of regulation

The main difference between the domestic and business energy markets is the level of control Ofgem, the market regulator exerts. Historically, Ofgem has been less reluctant to intervene in the business energy market, focusing their energy instead of protecting vulnerable customers in the domestic market. This means that in the business energy market, suppliers and third-party intermediaries (TPIs) have had carte blanche to operate with impunity and while many providers treat customers fairly some have taken advantage of business customers’ energy ignorance, intentionally making the switching process opaque, misselling contracts and charging and applying excessive commission rates. The Competition and Markets Authority believe this malpractice is costing business energy customers an extra £500 million a year.

Love Energy Savings formed in reaction to the widespread exploitation. Phil Foster again.

“I’ve been fighting for stricter regulation in the business market for 10 years.” Founder and CEO, Phil Foster. “For one, it would wipe out half our competition, but it would also increase engagement in the switching process as more customers would feel confident that the price they are quoted is fair and therefore worth their time exploring”.

Ofgem has recently called for a review into the microbusiness market; however, the broader market is still vulnerable. Until stricter regulation is in place, we recommend using a trusted business energy site comparison.

Cooling off periods

This is the grace period providers offer in which you can cancel your contract after the contract start date, without fear of reprisal. In the domestic energy market, a cooling-off period is standard practice and is usually 14 days from contract start. In the business energy market, business energy suppliers do not offer cooling-off periods, and once you have agreed your contract, even verbally, you will be obliged to see that contract through to the end or risk paying a hefty exit fee. This means business energy customers must make doubly sure they are happy with the terms of their new contract before agreeing to it.


Businesses typically pay a cheaper per unit rate for their energy. This is because the business energy market, like any other commodity, is an economy of scale and businesses tend to be higher energy users. There are, however, certain taxes imposed on business energy which do not apply to domestic users and may affect your bill.

Grow your business

Join Checkatrade today


Charged at 20% for business customers and 5% for domestic, VAT is a government charge incorporated into your bill by your supplier. Some businesses are exempt or can apply for a discount on their VAT; this depends on your usage, property and business type – use this guide to see if  you can apply for an exemption. The VAT is also exempt from a tax refund and although it is technically a business – to – business charge, you cannot claim it back at the end of the tax year.

The climate change levy

A governmental tax issued by the HMRC, the Climate Change Levy (CCL) was implemented in 2001 as an incentive to encourage energy efficiency within businesses. It is charged on a per-unit basis and is designed to reduce your overall usage. This year (2019) the CCL is increasing by 45% and 67% for electricity and gas respectively. Companies using electricity generated from renewable sources used to be able to apply for exemption from the charge, however, the government withdrew this exemption in 2015, and now fossil and renewable tariffs are equally subject to the charge.

Dual fuel tariffs

Unlike home energy, dual fuel is not available in the business market. This means, if your business uses electricity and gas, you’ll need to apply for two separate contracts. Not all suppliers, provide gas and electricity and one supplier might be cheaper for one than it is the other. Checkatrade’s main advice is not to make a snap decision when it comes to your business energy or to be defeatist about the switching process. Take a bit of time to research the suppliers and tariffs available, that way you can be safe in the knowledge of your prices, affordability and safeguarded against potential heartbreak down the line.

  • Was this Helpful?
  • YesNo

Search through our 39,000 recommended, vetted and monitored trades and service providers for free

Search now

More in this category

Cashflow folder get organised

TradeTrade News

How to manage your cash flow

Managing your cash flow is a vital part of being a successful sole trader or limited company. No matter how much money you’re bringing in, a huge turnover means nothing if your outgoings are just as big – or worse, bigger. That’s cashflow in its simplest form: making sure your incomings are greater than your...

Continue reading
all about windows developing new business streams

TradeTrade News

Unlock new business after lockdown

There’s no denying that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a profound impact on businesses across the world. Billions of people are in lockdown around the world. It’s no surprise that production lines have come to a halt, businesses have been forced to shut their doors to the public for the first time in years,...

Continue reading
PPE for traders

TradeTrade News

New guidance for tradespeople working safely in people’s homes for maintenance and home improvements

Staying safe and ensuring the safety of tradespeople, engineers and customers is of paramount importance. We must all evaluate what additional measures we need to take to protect ourselves, our colleagues and our customers. In line with Government guidance, completion of a risk assessment is recommended. Communicate before work begins Prior to visiting a customer,...

Continue reading