Small Business

Cheapest Small Business Utility Company 

Cheapest Small Business Utility Company 


    The utility business model is shaped by a number of characteristics that are typical in public services: users consider the service a necessity, high reliability of service is critical, the ability to fully utilize capacity is limited, and services are scalable and benefit from economies of scale. The idea of utility computing has received attention recently and for good reason. The use of computers continues to be a rapidly expanding feature of modern society, and industry has come to rely on computers to perform a multitude of tasks beyond simple data processing and storage.

Computer networks have extended the reach of computing to connect businesses across the supply chain and, in many instances, directly to the consumer. 

Common Characteristics of Utilities

In many parts of the world, although by no means everywhere, services such as water, power, heat, light, common carrier transportation (airlines, buses, and railroads), and telephone access are typically provided by a public utility because some kinds of services may not be easily or cheaply inventoried, if at all, redundancy must be built into production capacity to make up for the inevitable equipment failure. Necessity: Users depend on utility services to fulfill their day-to-day needs. Doing without service is an unwelcome option for them. Of course, seldom do utility services start out as essential. It takes time for distribution networks to spread and costs to decline. It also may take time for users to adapt to the service.


Reliability: The service provided by a utility must be readily available when and where the user needs it. A temporary or intermittent loss of service may cause more than a trivial inconvenience to the user; a prolonged loss of service may cause severe hardship. Because a failure in service has undesirable consequences, utilities must operate with an exceptionally high degree of reliability.

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Usability: No matter how technologically complex they may be on the production end, utility services are characteristically simple at the point of use. Users have what could be called a “plug-and-play” mentality. This is not to say that devices connected to a service are unsophisticated, but the utility service itself tends to exist only in the background. Users may become mindful of a utility only in those rare instances when the service fails to meet their expectations.


Scalability: Utilities are commodity businesses. Therefore, utility services can exhibit significant economies of scale that favor larger producers over smaller ones. As production capacity rises, the unit cost of production falls. There may be other size-related benefits as well.


The Utility Business Model

The factors of user necessity, reliability, usability, utilization, scalability, and exclusivity, when taken together, shape the business model for utility services. To understand the nature of the utility model, it is useful to place it in the context of business models in general. A business model is a method of doing business. All business models specify what a company does to create value, how it is situated among upstream and downstream partners in the value chain, and the type of arrangement it has with its customers to generate revenue.


Advertising Model: The advertising model on the Web is an extension of the traditional media broadcast model. The broadcaster, in this case, a Web site, provides content (usually, but not necessarily, for free) and services (like e-mail, chat, and forums) mixed with advertising messages in the form of banner ads. The banner ads may be the major or sole source of revenue for the broadcaster.


Merchant Model: Merchants are wholesalers and retailers of goods and services. Sales may be made based on list prices or through auctioning. Merchant models include virtual merchants or “e-tailers”, mail order businesses with a Web-based catalog, and traditional brick-and-mortar retail establishments with Web storefronts.


Affiliate Model: The affiliate model provides purchase opportunities wherever people may be surfing the Web. Financial incentives (in the form of a percentage of revenue) are offered to affiliated partner sites. The affiliates provide purchase-point click-through (i.e. direct linking) from their Web sites to the merchant’s Web site.


Community Model: The community model is based on user loyalty. Loyal users invest both their time and emotions in a business. Revenue can be generated based on the sale of ancillary products and services or voluntary contributions. The best-known example of a community model is that of “open source” computing.


Utility Computing

Recent projections from IBM have envisioned utility computing as an integral part of the future of information technology. IBM Global Services provides the following definition: 

Utility computing is the on-demand delivery of infrastructure, applications, and business processes in a security-rich, shared, scaleable, and standards-based computer environment over the Internet for a fee. Customers will tap into IT resources–and pay for them–as easily as they now get their electricity or water. 



A vision of the future of computing services based on the utility-computing business model has already begun to take shape. Application service providers, managed services, and hosting are an increasingly common part of the computing landscape. Users have come to depend on computers and have high expectations of their reliability.


The kind of utility-computing business model that will find favor with the customer remains to be seen. Already large enterprise customers are taking the first steps toward a model based on multi-year subscription contracts. However, the metered use of computing services is a significant leap from the current model of purchasing or leasing computer hardware, accompanied by software licensing.


  1. How can small businesses save money on their energy bills?

 A few quick fixes around the office can play a part. Turning off computers at night, encouraging staff to work from home once a week, using DIY insulation and turning down the thermostat can all help with saving money on your energy bill.

  1. How much will it cost to get a new business gas or electricity connection?


The cost of setting up a new business gas or electricity connection is entirely dependent on the location of your premises, how long the job in question will take and the amount of energy you’ll need.


  1. How much, on average, do small businesses spend on gas and electricity?


The cost of gas and electricity is dependent on the size of your business. On average, UK businesses spend £1,135 per year (source) on gas and electricity – based on a variable tariff. However, this could be significantly higher or lower, depending on the size and industry of the business.


  1. What affects the price of business energy?


Several factors affect the wholesale price of business gas and electricity, including the weather, how it’s stored, regulatory pressures, crude oil prices, flow and availability, and wind generation. However, few customers will notice these changes, as a fixed-rate contract protects small business customers from daily wholesale price fluctuations.


  1. How does business energy differ from domestic energy?


The biggest difference between business and household energy is how suppliers set up contracts. Business energy contracts tend to be for a fixed duration typically between 1-5 years, without the option to cancel early. Businesses can opt into fixed-rate contracts such as SEFE Energy’s – which will protect them against changes in the energy market. 


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