Business energy vs Domestic energy


Electricity and gas are an essential resource that power both residential homes and businesses. While the quality of energy remains the same, there are distinct differences between business gas and electricity and residential gas and electricity, particularly in terms of pricing structures. In this article, we will explore the disparities between these two types of energy supply and examine whether business gas and electricity is consistently cheaper than residential gas and electricity.

Differences in Pricing Structures

Businesses typically require larger amounts of energy compared to residential homes. As a result, they must purchase gas and electricity in larger quantities, which necessitates specialised business suppliers. Many of these suppliers exclusively cater to businesses and do not sell energy to residential homes. The pricing structure for business gas and electricity is designed to accommodate bulk purchases, enabling companies to obtain a better price per unit. While suppliers may offer discounts on bulk purchases, they can still recover their costs by providing energy over an extended period.

Is Business Energy Always Cheaper?

Contrary to popular belief, business energy is not always cheaper than residential energy. The relative affordability depends on various factors such as market conditions, taxes, and other variables. Residential energy providers often procure energy in bulk months in advance, carefully selecting the optimal time to purchase it at the best possible price. In contrast, businesses acquire energy at the same time they establish their contracts, which means they agree to pay whatever the market dictates. Although business energy prices tend to be lower, taxes play a significant role. Residential energy bills are subject to a 5% VAT, while businesses must pay a 20% VAT, potentially resulting in higher costs per unit for businesses in the long run.

The Role of Contracts

Contracts play a crucial role in understanding the cost differences between business and residential energy. Homeowners who pay gas and electricity bills have the freedom to switch providers at almost any time to secure a better price. In contrast, businesses typically sign contracts ranging from one to five years, securing a fixed price for the duration of the agreement. Longer contracts often provide better pricing. However, if market prices for energy significantly decrease during the contract period, businesses remain bound by the fixed rates and cannot benefit from the price drop. This situation presents an opportunity for residential energy to become cheaper than business electricity.

Can Business Energy be Used at Home?

Under specific circumstances, it is possible to use business energy at home. If you work from home or conduct business activities that consume more than 50% of your energy, you may be eligible to purchase business energy for your home. This arrangement allows for better energy rates on a long-term contract. However, it is important to note that obtaining business energy for residential use typically involves navigating certain complexities.


When comparing business energy to residential energy, it is clear that there are notable differences in pricing structures and contractual arrangements. While business energy is generally considered cheaper than residential energy, this is not always the case due to market fluctuations and varying tax rates. Contracts also play a significant role, as they can either protect businesses from price increases or restrict their ability to benefit from price drops. Ultimately, the question of whether business energy is cheaper than residential energy lacks a definitive answer, as multiple factors can influence the overall cost.