Hotels and B&Bs are the UK’s most cost-conscious businesses when it comes to their energy bills, according to the business price comparison and switching service, Make It Cheaper.

Providers of accommodation are three-and-a-half times more likely than the average business to switch supplier, having topped the list of 100,000 companies that have contacted Make It Cheaper throughout 2009 to compare business electricity and/or business gas prices.

The list, worked out proportionately for each business type, also ranks Pubs, Bars & Restaurants in the top three, just after Wholesale premises. Other savvy business types include: Manufacturers, Post Offices, Printers and Membership/Sports organisations. The latter group includes clubs such as British Legions, Scout Groups, Community Centres and other not-for profit organisations – all treated as business premises in the eyes of the energy suppliers.

Rank Business Type Switching Likelihood
1 Hotels / B&Bs x3.5
2 Wholesalers x3.3
3 Pubs, Bars & Restaurants x2.7
4= Manufacturers x2.6
4= Post Offices x2.6
6 Printers x2.5
7 Membership & Sports x2.3
8 Engineering x1.8
9 Churches x1.7
10= Hairdressers x1.6
10= Dry Cleaners x1.6

Jonathan Elliott, managing director of Make It Cheaper, commented: “The difference between the most expensive and the cheapest business electricity is threefold. Consequently, there are two types of business that switch regularly: those such as in the hospitality industry with a high consumption of energy in relation to their size and those on tight budgets that simply can’t afford not to. We manage to save the average business £2,300 a year just by switching them to a cheaper supplier and the beauty of it is that it doesn’t cost a penny to use the service.”

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Further evidence from Make It Cheaper suggests that businesses that have recently changed hands are also among the most common types to switch. A ‘change of tenancy’ usually means the energy supplier to the previous occupier will charge the new business out-of-contract, or ‘deemed’, rates which are significantly higher than average.
Elliott continues: “If you have just moved into a property, the same business electricity supplier that supplied the previous tenants will continue to supply you… but on rates that might easily be triple the cheapest option out there. It’s actually better to be in a contract than not and so it’s important that you shop around, compare rates and arrange one for your business as soon as you can after moving in.”

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Case studies available on request.
About Make It Cheaper: Established in 2007 and based in Central London, Make It Cheaper receives more utility price comparison enquiries (2,000 a week) and arranges more new contracts (1,000 a week) than any other business-only price comparison service. These enquiries include those from the business customers of most of the major domestic price comparison services as well as business membership organisations, charities and trade associations.

Acting on behalf of these customers with total impartiality and without charge, Make It Cheaper offers cost savings across a range of products including electricity, gas, insurance and telecoms. The prices it offers are often better than could be found by going direct to suppliers because of the volume of deals its negotiate.

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