Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business Energy

When it comes to small business energy, many business owners feel like they’ve been left in the dark. Who’s the energy distributor? How do you arrange connections? What if you need a new meter? Are energy bills tax deductible? And why is the bill so confusing?! To shine some much-needed light on the subject, we’ve put together a list of the most frequently asked questions about small business energy:

  • How do I find out who the energy distributor is for my small business? If you’re unsure who the distributor is for your business energy then you can ask your current energy retailer for the details, or you can look up the details online via the Australian Energy Regulator. If you’re moving to a new business address and you’re uncertain whether or not the property has an existing gas or electricity supply, then you can check with the designated distributor for the area.
  • What should I do when my small business is relocating to new premises? The most important thing is to give your current energy retailer sufficient notice that you’re vacating the property so that they can organise for a meter reading. Try and give at least 2 weeks’ notice to ensure there are no delays. If you need to arrange for electricity to be connected at your new address then this can be arranged by your energy provider, but again, try and give them as much notice as possible. This is also a good time to do an online comparison of energy providers to make sure your small business is getting the best possible deal.
  • How do I get a new electricity or gas meter installed at a business address? Getting a new electricity meter installed is a pretty straightforward process – just ask any registered electrician and they will complete the necessary paperwork on your behalf. Alternatively, you can complete an online application via your energy retailer’s website. Getting a gas meter installed can be trickier depending on whether you just want a meter or whether you need a service line installed as well (if the property is not currently connected to mains gas). In either case, start by contacting your gas retailer, but be aware that a service line install could take up to 3 weeks, while a meter will usually be installed within 3 business days.
  • Why is my small business energy bill so confusing? Energy bills contain a lot of information but they generally all follow the same format. The first page will give you an overview of the main details: the total amount owing, the details of your account and the various ways you can pay your bill. The next page will give you a breakdown of the various fees (connection charges, energy tariffs, GST, etc), a summary of your total usage and information regarding your meter readings (whether it was actual or estimated and when the next scheduled reading is due).
  • Are small business energy bills tax deductible? Because all small businesses operate differently, some will be able to claim their energy bills as a tax deduction while others won’t be. The best thing to do is check with the Australian Taxation Office or speak with a chartered accountant. Small businesses that operate from a home office will generally be permitted to claim a portion of their energy bills using a formula determined by the ATO.
Author: Claire Stapley
Claire Stapley is's Energy Editor, based in Melbourne Australia. Claire is a founding member of News and Energy Team.