How the Bionic Digital Renewal service works

Glyn Britton
By Glyn Britton, Chief Customer Officer

The Digital Renewal service is a core part of what we do at Bionic. When it’s time to renew your next business energy contract, we compare prices for you to make sure there’s no risk of you rolling onto your supplier’s more expensive out-of-contract rates. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. We compare rates – When your contract comes up for renewal, we automatically search our panel of energy suppliers for the best available rates. Our suppliers buy early and buy in bulk, so your Digital Renewal prices will be the same or better than those available if you were to call Bionic on the day we arrange your renewal. 
  2. We share the quotes with you – We send you the quotes in an email, along with an SMS reminder to check your inbox. It’s important we have your most up-to-date contact details so you don’t miss this information. 
  3. You choose the best one – You'll have three days to choose the quote you prefer. Or, if you’re happy with our recommended option, you don’t need to do a thing. We’ll sort out your next contract, and you can get on with running your business. You're also free to opt out if you’d sooner sort it yourself.  

That’s how it works, but why should you sign up? 

Why use our Digital Renewal service?

The Bionic Digital Renewal service is designed to save you time, money, and hassle. Here’s how signing up can do just that. 

  • Save time and hassle – No need to compare rates. No need to speak on the phone. What could be easier than simply reading an email and leaving the rest to us? It's hassle-free and gives complete peace of mind that there’ll be no risk of an expensive gap between contracts. 
  • Competitive rates – Buying early and in bulk means we can secure rates that would be the same or better than those available if you were to call Bionic on the day we arrange your renewal.   
  • You’re in control – You can renew by simply choosing your preferred option in an email, or you can go with our recommended option and leave the rest to us. If you’d no longer like to be part of our Digital Renewal service, you’re free to opt out. 

If you’re still not quite convinced, here’s how the service has helped customers over the last few years: 

  • Our data shows that since January 2021, customers saved on average 2% on unit rates with Digital Renewal compared to those buying on the phone*  
  • By signing up for our Digital Renewal service, you avoid rolling on to your supplier’s out of contract rates which are on average 20% higher than those available over the phone**  
  • Our data shows that since January 2021, customers who used our Digital Renewal service to renew between seven and 12 months before their contract end date saved an average of 10% on unit rates compared to those who renewed up to six months before*** 

Everything you need to know about the Digital Renewal service

Now you know how it works and why it’s worth signing up, let’s answer the questions that most customers ask about the Digital Renewal service. 

Why are the rates I've been quoted higher than the rates I'm currently paying?

It’s unusual for energy prices to fall^, which is why your renewal rates are usually higher than the rates you’re currently paying. If your last energy contract was signed two or three years ago, you’ll generally find your new rates are higher simply because energy prices have risen.

Given that it’s very likely your new energy deal will be more expensive than your current one, how can a Digital Renewal help you save money? Here’s how: 

  • Against out-of-contract rates - The rates you’re offered on a fixed contract are usually lower than those you get when you’re out-of-contract. This means that fixing your rates usually saves money against rolling on to your supplier’s out-of-contract rates. 
  • Against your renewal offer from your current supplier - You might also be able to get cheaper rates by switching suppliers. When your current contract is up for renewal, your supplier should send you the offer of another contract. But the rates on offer may not be as competitive as those you get from another supplier.  
  • Against future price rises – Signing up to a long-term fixed rate deal secures price certainty that can protect against any price rises during the term of your contract.  

What if prices go down after you’ve arranged this contract?

Energy prices are always fluctuating, but the general trend is that they increase with inflation. Your Digital Renewal prices will be the same or better than those available from Bionic if you were to call on the day we arrange your renewal. 

Why have I been signed up for a new contract months before my current one ends?

When you switch business energy, your new contract doesn’t start until your current one ends. When we sign you up for a new contract, we’re not cancelling your current one, we’re simply getting your next one ready to make sure there’s no expensive gap between contracts. 

We sort Digital Renewal contracts between six and nine months before your current contract ends because buying early and in bulk means we can secure rates that would be the same or better than those available if you were to call Bionic on the day we arrange your renewal.

How can you automatically sign me up for a new contract?

When you sign up for Digital Renewal, you agree to let us sign a new energy contract on your behalf. This is done via a Letter of Authority (LOA), which permits us to speak with other suppliers on your behalf, within agreed limits. 

We always keep a copy of your LOA along with all relevant call recordings. This helps us to handle your account and means you can check on the status of your Digital Renewal at any time. 

Why do I only have three days to decide?

Energy prices are always changing, which means suppliers can only hold prices for a short time. This is usually for one day only, but we negotiate with suppliers to hold Digital Renewal rates for three days. 

We also email you three weeks before your new contract is due to be signed, and you can delay this if you won’t be available. 

For more detailed information, check out our guide to the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.

I don’t remember signing up for a Digital Renewal 

Non-domestic energy contracts can run for up to four years, so it’s often the case that the person who signed up for Digital Renewal has simply forgotten. Digital Renewal contracts can be signed verbally over the phone, just like an energy contract. This means you may not have a physical copy with your signature on it. 

There’s also the issue that people leave the business during that time and don’t pass on all the relevant information before they leave.  

Our customer service agents can tell you who signed you up and give you a copy of your LOA. We can also share a recording of the call that confirms you agreed to Digital Renewal.    

We’re working hard to improve our communications to make sure you’re reminded of your renewal in plenty of time, but it’s important that we have up to date contact details for the relevant people at your business. 

How can I opt out of the Digital Renewal service? 

Once you have signed up for a new contract with a supplier, this is legally binding and is unlikely to be cancelled. But you can opt out of the Digital Renewal service by getting in touch with our team at any time up to two days after your quote email is sent.  

Alternatively, if you’re not going to be around, or would like to delay receiving your quotes, call or email our team to arrange a more convenient date.  

The contact details for the Digital Renewal team are 0800 326 5552 on the phone or by email. 

* Based on contract signed date with a lead time of 8-11 months  
** Data as of September 2023
*** Based on contract start date and comparing Digital Renewal prices only 

^Covid and the energy price crisis have caused unnatural drops and spikes in energy prices over the last few years. In normal times, inflation usually means prices rise gradually and rarely fall and Digital Renewal has secured much better rates for the vast majority of customers over the last five years.