When it comes time to negotiate your way to a better plan, it pays to do some research. Not all energy retailers are created equal. They can have different pricing, levels of service and terms; and what works for one business may not necessarily be right for yours. Here are top five points to consider before switching retailers: Do you understand the actual price you’ll pay after any discounts are applied? Focus on the price per kilowatt-hour shown in cents, as this may be the most effective way to measure the real cost of your electricity. Don’t be fooled by big discounts. If you’re being offered a discount, check the base rate the discount is calculated off. These can now vary considerably between retailers. Also ask how long the discount lasts and what happens to the price once it ends. Beware of hidden fees. Does the retailer offer your preferred payment method and will you be charged extra fees for paying a certain way, not paying your bill on time or when you leave? Credit card fees, and exit fees can all add up. Then there’s service. Does the retailer’s service model suit your business and is there a dedicated service team on hand that understands your needs? No small business should waste time and money waiting in long call centre queues behind hundreds of residential customers or sorting out unnecessary billing errors. See how customers rate the retailer before you decide to make a move. Understand what you’re signing up for. After you agree to switch to a new offer, the retailer must send you a copy of the contract with terms and conditions. Make sure you read and understand them. You have a 10 day cooling off period to consider the offer and decide if it’s right for your business. Learn more on how electricity pricing works.