If you're moving your business to new premises, there are a multitude of loose ends that you'll need to tie up to complete the transition successfully.

One of the most crucial features of a change of tenancy agreement (CoT) is the management of your business energy.

More specifically, when changes in tenancy agreements occur, it's important to keep your business energy supplier(s) abreast of the situation by completing a CoT authority form.

But what exactly is a CoT form and what personal or financial information does it require?

To avoid any confusion, the Business Energy UK experts have produced a simple business energy guide to changing your tenancy

Will my new premises have zero power when I move in?

The short answer is no. Energy suppliers are obligated to continue providing energy to premises even after the current tenancy has ended and the former tenant ceases to pay rent.

In such a situation, the energy provider should already have been made aware that the previous tenants have vacated the premises.

Unless you have arranged a new business energy contract, once your business moves into the premises, you'll find yourself paying "out of contract" rates.

These can be particularly expensive.

How to set up your business energy at a new premise

If the premise is supplied by your current supplier

If the premises you're moving your business to is already supplied by your current business energy provider, you need to inform them of your tenancy as soon as possible.

You can do this by contacting your supplier and informing them of your move.

Soon after, they'll provide you with a CoT letter which will require information pertaining to your new business address and the date that you intend to move.

Similarly, they will also require one of the following four proof of CoT forms to be completed:

  • Mortgage completion letter (copy) if you have purchased the property.
  • Confirmation from your estate agent.
  • Confirmation from the landlord.
  • Confirmation from the solicitor.

*It's important that you inform your supplier of your new tenancy immediately for two reasons:

  1. Your business may be held liable for charges incurred by the previous tenant.
  2. It enables you to negotiate a competitive rate with your energy supplier or to switch suppliers.

What if the premises is not supplied by your current supplier

On the other hand, you might be moving to a property that's not supplied by your current energy provider.

In this scenario, you need to inform your current provider that you are moving premises to a new location that isn't currently supplied by them.

This will ensure that:

  • Your business will not be held liable for any charges incurred by any tenants that move in after you vacate the property.
  • You can find out if your current provider has coverage in your new location. If so, you can negotiate a new, competitive rate. If not, you can move to establish a deal with a new provider.

As part of this process, alongside the receipt of your CoT letter, your current supplier might want to record a few pieces of information regarding your move.

For example:

  • Where you're moving to (in case they cover your new premises).
  • Who the new occupant if your old premises will be (where applicable).
  • The reason for your leaving.

Ultimately, whether your supplier can provide for your new premises or not, it's vital that you conduct a final, manual read of your meter on the day you leave your old property, and on the day you move into your new premises.

While business energy companies usually receive a half-hourly meter reading automatically, it's good practice to retain such information yourself in case payments on your final bill are queried.

How to choose an energy supplier for your business premises

Shop around

It's crucial that you shop around when choosing a new business energy supplier.

All energy suppliers have different tariffs, energy sources and levels of service, so it's important to get a feel of what's best for your business and tenancy agreement before committing to a company.

Happily, you can do this quickly and easily, with the help of our business energy suppliers comparison tool.

Look for good customer service

There's nothing worse than poor business energy customer service.

If your supplier has a poor customer service track record, you might find it difficult to speak directly to them or even establish clear contact via other means.

As such, you can view unfiltered customer reviews and feedback on independent review sites such as Trustpilot.

Consider eco-friendly providers

The future is unequivocally green and so a fantastic way to futureproof your business (and save money) is to sign up with a supplier that supports renewable energy.

So, head on over to our business electricity page and see which eco-friendly provider could save you the most money.

Frequently Asked Questions

A CoT letter is a signed letter provided by an energy supplier to their customer when the tenancy of the premises that they supply energy to is changing.

Customers must fill in the right form and return it to their supplier.

In the event that a premises has joint tenants, both parties must provide the right details and sign the form.

Business energy suppliers provide their own CoT letter templates in the event of a change of tenancy agreement; one for outgoing and incoming tenancy changes.

You can find these on your energy supplier's website or by contacting them directly.

Once received, simply follow the instructions provided and send the completed letter back to the company.

The current energy supplier at your new premises might contact you if the former or remaining tenant has passed on your details. However, there is no guarantee that this will occur.

As such, it's recommended that you contact the energy supplier of your new premises immediately to arrange a new agreement.

As a general rule, no.

Whether you're a new tenant entering an individual or joint tenancy agreement, a business energy client's account is separate from their tenancy agreement and rent.