Micro and small business engagement in the energy market 2016 - quantitative research report

Publication date
25th May 2016
Information types
Policy areas

In September 2015, we commissioned BMG Research, an independent research agency to undertake a survey of how micro and small businesses engage in the energy market. This quantitative survey follows previous ones in 2012, 2013 and 2014 which tracked the experiences of non-domestic customers, although the focus in 2014 and 2015 was solely micro and small businesses across Great Britain. These businesses were defined as those with up to 49 employees across all their sites within GB for the purposes of this research. 

The survey covered a wide range of topics including:

Current energy usage

  • Which types of energy are currently used
  • How much is spent on each energy type
  • Proportion of overall expenditure spent on energy
  • Which suppliers are used
  • How energy is paid for
  • Type of contract in place
  • Any monitoring arrangements

Information provision

  • Extent to which businesses understand energy bills and contracts
  • Extent to which businesses are satisfied with energy bills and contracts
  • Sales and marketing activity experienced

Market engagement

  • Frequency of reviewing energy arrangements
  • Experiences of last contract renewal process
  • Experiences of switching suppliers
  • Use of energy brokers/telephone/website price comparison services

Perceptions of market players

  • Perceptions of energy brokers/telephone/website price comparison services
  • Extent to which businesses are satisfied with suppliers
  • Overall perceptions of the energy market

In total, 1500 interviews were conducted with micro and small businesses across England, Wales and Scotland.