OPINION: How to get the best deal with your energy supplier in a stormy market – Christine Hope

Improve your energy-price situation with our expert checklist of dos and don'ts

Ofgem electricity gas energy meter bills crisis

Energy alarm bells: finding a silver lining

Just like me, you will be aware that the energy market is in flux and, just like me, you will have checked your contract to find out when it ends. For us, our contract expires in June 2022, which means I have more than six months left on my contract.

I thought this would take me over this current blip in price hikes unscathed.

However, things haven’t gone according to plan and, sadly, our supplier has gone into administration. We are one of the lucky ones who are using an energy broker.

Our broker contacted us in advance, which enabled us to make a plan and not panic, even though the initial estimates were a 200% unit price increase.

Expert advice to manage business energy spending this winter

Our plan is to accept price rises, and work out over the next 12 months how to create energy on site and ask the community for help to get three-phase electricity, so our alternative energy options go into the grid and not into batteries, doubling the investment cost.

I plan to sign a new contract with a provider of our choice soon. I will be working out my annual and monthly usage so I can work out how much extra I’m going to need to pay, and budget accordingly. I’m not expecting prices to come down any time soon, either.

Here are my tips for retailers looking to improve their energy-price situation:


  • Check how long is left on your current policy
  • Ask your team for energy-usage-reduction ideas for free
  • Make an energy plan to reduce costs
  • Write to, email or call your MP explaining your situation, and ask for advice or support
  • Explain what is happening to anyone willing to listen


  • Don’t switch supplier if you don’t have to. If you are contacted directly, your current contract must be cheap, so don’t change until you need to
  • If you have switched to a new energy supplier, they often are not the most cost-effective option. You can choose your own or a broker, it must be within the same timeframe
  • Pay an estimated bill. Request to switch to an automatic meter reading and only pay for the electricity you use
  • Don’t get caught out of contract paying higher prices. Write it down six weeks before your contract ends

Read more of our expert opinion on the independent retail sector


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