2016 Compare Small Business Electricity Providers
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Compare leading electricity retailers for small businesses using Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction ratings.
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Canstar Blue research finalised in August 2016, published in September 2016.
See our Ratings Methodology.
EnergyAustralia ranked No.1 by small business customers
Electricity is a major overhead expense for any small business. With power prices only ever going one way, it’s perhaps no surprise that two-thirds (66%) of business owners and key decision-makers say the cost of electricity is a major concern.
Four out of five (80%) businesses surveyed say they have tried to cut back on electricity usage to save money, while more than half (55%) have even considered going solar. But slashing your electricity bill doesn’t necessarily require much effort on your part – it could be as simple as switching electricity providers.
According to Canstar Blue’s survey, nearly half (48%) of small business owners annually compare electricity rates to ensure they’re getting the best deal possible, while 22% say they’ve made a switch in the past year.
But when comparing electricity retailers, what exactly are you looking for? Of course you want to minimise the cost of electricity, but you also need a provider that supports you and your business with great service and support. So which retailer ticks all the boxes?
To find out which small business electricity retailer is delivering on customer satisfaction, Canstar Blue surveyed more than 500 small business owners and key decision-makers across Australia to find out how they are currently rated by those paying the bills.
Electricity providers were rated on factors including value for money, customer service and billing clarity. The results for 2016 are in and we can report that EnergyAustralia was the only one to rate five stars for overall customer satisfaction, taking over from AGL at the top of the table.
While AGL has historically dominated in this category, it now passes the mantle to EnergyAustralia which has seen an incredible improvement in its customer satisfaction ratings over the past couple of years.
How much electricity costs small businesses
The amount a business spends on electricity will naturally be determined by how many employees it has, amongst other factors such as location and energy retailer. If you’re running five computers at once, you can obviously expect a higher bill than a business with just two computers. We measured average quarterly electricity bill spending across different sized businesses, with the results as follows:
- Sole trader: $385
- 1-5 employees: $830
- 6-20 employees: $1,230
And for businesses with more than 20 employees, their average bill was $3,100.
What to look for from an electricity retailer
An electricity retailer must perform in a number of respects if it’s to keep its business customer happy. Our research found that small business customers care most about the following:
- Value for money 24%
- Billing (e.g. clarity and accuracy) 21%
- Customer service 21%
- Online experience 14%
- Availability of payment plan options 12%
- Electricity efficiency information and advice 8%
If you feel like your energy provider is not meeting your expectations in any of these areas, it might be time to start looking elsewhere. If that’s the case, we hope our customer ratings prove helpful.
Frequently asked questions
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 800 small business owners or decision makers (i.e. the main decision maker for a small business) across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have an account with an electricity provider and have used it for work purposes – in this case, 554 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.