Business Customer Information
As a business customer you have a choice of electricity suppliers. The Utility Regulator has produced a Buyer’s Guide for Large Energy Users and Buyer’s Guide for Small to Medium Sized Businesses to assist in purchasing energy and switching suppliers.
Contact details for suppliers can be found on our supplier contact information page.
Information on switching supplier
Your new supplier may initially request your historic load data (i.e. historic electricity consumption pattern). For customers with a half hourly meter this information can be requested from NIE on 08457 643 643 or by email at . For customers without a half hourly meter this information can be calculated by adding up the units on each invoice for a 12 month period. Where the supplier does ask for this, they will use it to provide you with a quotation of electricity supply. In order to comply with the terms of the Data Protection Act the supplier can only obtain historic load data on your behalf with your written consent.
You will need to sign a Connection Agreement with NIE. To enable an appropriate Connection Agreement to be put in place you must agree a Maximum Import Capacity with NIE. Maximum Import Capacity is the maximum capacity NIE has agreed is available for your connection and will be based on:
* the capacity (in kVA) agreed between NIE and yourself under your original letter of offer (i.e. Terms of Supply); or
* your highest recorded maximum demand (in kVA) in any half hour, in any day, in the current year.
If you have a Maximum Import Capacity greater than 70kVA and you do not already have a half-hour online meter, you will need to get one installed. This will have a communication line that enables NIE to retrieve your half-hour load data. NIE will use this information for billing or send it to your relevant supplier for billing purposes. This will have a typical installation time of approximately five weeks.
You must contact NIE in advance if you want to do the following:
* increase your demand;
* make any significant change to your connection, electric lines or electrical equipment;
* install or operate generating equipment;
* carry out work that could affect NIE Plc’s network; or
* require alterations to your connection.
As a non-domestic customer, if you are in debt to your current supplier, they may require you to pay money owed before you are allowed to switch. This does not affect domestic customers as they cannot be prevented from switching on the grounds of debt.
Who is responsible for meter reading?
NIE is responsible for carrying out the reading, testing, installation and inspection of the meters of all electricity customers. The meter readings are then passed to your electricity supply company who will issue your bill.
All business customers in Northern Ireland are able to change their gas suppliers. There are currently five gas suppliers, Airtricity, Energia, firmus energy, Phoenix Supply and Vayu. Their contact details can be found on our supplier contact information page.
NI Water is the sole provider of water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland. They are a Government Owned Company (GoCo) - which is a statutory trading body owned by central government but operating under company legislation, with substantial independence from government.
NI Water is responsible for carrying out the reading of all water meters and issuing the bill. Customers with meters should read them regularly. Customers are responsible for all water that passes through the meter, even where there are leaks on your own private property.
If you have a query about your non-domestic water bill, water supply, to report out of sewer flooding or a leak, or you require further information about a new connection to the water and sewerage system, contact Waterline (link to supplier contact details page).
NI Water also has information available on their website specifically for developers