January 26, 2021

SME Business News

Small Business News UK

Key messages for businesses as businesses struggle through lockdown

Phil Ivers, Head of UK Operations at Gazprom Energy, shares advice for business energy users

For the second time this year, businesses have entered into a national lockdown with many non-essential businesses forced to close and people advised to stay at home, wherever possible. As these businesses have shut their doors, we’ve taken a look back at some of the lessons we learned during the first lockdown, including basic preparations that can be made now to reduce unforeseen overheads and to set your business up for success after lockdown.

  1. Gas and electricity suppliers are classed as essential businesses and will continue to operate as normal – your supply shouldn’t be affected, but if you do have any concerns, we suggest contacting your supplier as soon as possible
  2. Speak to your energy provider about billing challenges as soon as possible and remember that you may still have to pay standing charges
  3. Submit your meter readings every month so that you are being charged on actual usage and not estimated usage
  4. To make sure you’re billed on accurate usage, request an Automated Meter Reading (AMR) device or smart device (if eligible) to be installed if you don’t already have one – at Gazprom Energy we are still offering COVID-safe installations
  5. If you are on a flexible purchasing agreement, continue to track prices. Our EPD team are open and available if you want buy/sell energy*
  6. As and when your business re-opens, ensure that you provide a meter reading to your provider as early as possible to ensure accurate billing
  7. If you are changing your business model during lockdown to continue to provide a service to your customers, consider how this will affect your energy usage and speak to your supplier for advice on the best course of action

*This is Gazprom Energy specific and may not apply to all providers

What is clear to us all is that there is nothing normal about 2020 and the unique business environment it has created. In order to prosper, businesses need to be able to be agile enough to change with the circumstances and reduce as many of the unnecessary overheads as possible in order to have a viable business again once this second lockdown passes. Your energy supplier can play a key role in helping you do that.