SBS21: Looking for a New Energy Supplier? Here are some Energy Procurement Tips

Utility Works and the National Energy Initiative

This blog post has been produced for the Greater Birmingham and Coventry and Warwickshire Chambers of Commerce as part of the 2021 Sustainable Business Series: Net Zero campaign.

The Sustainable Business Series: Net Zero is the Chamber’s first campaign on environmental sustainability, which aims to share best practice, guidance and knowledge to increase business progress to net zero. In 2021, this involves 5 free online webinars taking place from the end of September and throughout October along with publishing thought leadership podcasts, videos and blog content. The campaign will feature a Sustainability Summit on 3rd November

Thanks to our Headline Sponsors – Aston University, Arup, Morgan Sindall and the University of Birmingham - all webinars and the Summit are free to attend. Interested parties can find out more and register to attend Sustainable Business Series: Net Zero events here, and the Sustainable Business Summit here.

Businesses are facing their tenth successive year of rising energy costs. Finding ways to mitigate increasing costs and reducing utility bills is a key focus for many businesses.

I’ve been advising clients for over 15 years on their energy contracts and management. One way businesses can ensure they get the best energy package is through better energy procurement. So, if you want to go about your energy procurement in a better way, here are my top five tips. Applying these tips and tricks to low-carbon energy procurement can help progress your business to net-zero.

  1. Comparing suppliers like for like: When you’re securing your energy supply contract renewal, ensure you compare offers like for like. This means validating if all costs are fully inclusive, fixed or ‘passed through’.
  2. Don’t leave it to the last minute: If you’re opting for a fixed supply contract, try not to leave it to the last minute. Give yourself plenty of time, take advice on market movements and use free online publications that inform you on the state of the energy market. Leaving your energy supply contract to last minute will result in less competitive offers and also less chance of transferring to a new energy supplier on time!
  3. Consider fixed vs flexible packages: If you’re an energy intensive user – consider using flexible procurement methods over fixed contracts. Fixed energy supply contracts give you 1:365 day chance of securing the best rate as the ‘energy commodity’ moves daily. But what if the energy market suddenly dropped in price the day after you secured your renewal? Well, flexible procurement contracts gives you options but, it’s important you have the appropriate risk management strategy in place.
  4. 4. Do you have more than one site? If so, grouping your property portfolio may be the way to go: If you own or operate more than one site, consider grouping and aligning your contract renewals to a common end date and use the power of group purchasing to negotiate a better rate. More consumption, meters and sites are more favourable to an energy supplier and drive competition – use your sites to your advantage!
  5. Green renewable contracts: Consider green or REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantee Origin) supply contracts, they don’t have to cost the earth or come at a premium. Most suppliers now offer competitive renewable supply contracts, this is also a great way to offset carbon emissions and increase your corporate social responsibility

If you’d like to find out other tips and tricks, please visit our website (see below) or feel free to contact

Tom Bailey is the Co-Founder of Utility Works and the National Energy Initiative

Utility Works deliver solutions to business utility challenges. We provide fair, transparent and educational approach to sharing information with businesses about the utility market. We help businesses drive down costs and reduce consumption through our intelligent procurement strategies, efficiency programmes and integrated technologies. See more here.

The National Energy Initiative focuses on educating and inspiring the leaders of tomorrow on sustainability, climate change and net-zero through interactive low-carbon energy tools and technology solutions. See more here