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Business gas: A complete guide to finding a better deal
Not all businesses require gas to operate. But, for those who do it’s important to secure the best deal possible on the gas that they’re using. However, it’s often the case that business owners are busy and simply haven’t got the time to decipher the many rules and regulations that exist on the business energy market, which leaves them paying for more than they should.
Fortunately, with the right knowledge, it is possible for you to take charge of your business’s gas bills and secure a better deal. To help, we have compiled a guide of useful information on business gas, which covers:
- Business gas tariffs and contracts
- Business gas prices
- Comparing business gas quotes
- Picking a business gas quote that works for you.
With the information in this guide, the next time you decide to switch your business’s gas contract, you will find it easier to identify a better deal.
To get started either read on, or click the links above to jump to a specific topic.
Business gas tariffs and contracts
When looking for a better business gas tariff, it’s important to understand that some differences exist between the domestic and commercial gas market that need to be taken into account.
For example, business gas customers cannot simply choose from a market of predefined tariffs, like they would when switching their home energy. Instead, they must individually approach each supplier and request a quote. The supplier will then assess the circumstances of your business, including your current consumption habits, and offer you a bespoke business gas quote based on this information.
As such, it’s unlikely that two businesses will ever have identical business gas contracts, which can make it difficult to identify which tariff best suits your needs.
To help you navigate business gas tariffs, we have outlined the different types of contracts that you’re likely to encounter on the business energy market below.
A fixed-term business gas contract is one of the more common types of tariff for businesses. This contract offers unit rates that are pre-agreed with the supplier, and outlined in the contract wording along with the duration of the tariff – usually 1-4 years. It’s important to note that once agreeing to a fixed-term business gas contract, you are tied in until you are within your renewal window – typically six months prior to your contract end date.
Rollover tariffs are contract types used by some suppliers when a customer fails to formally organise a new contract before their existing terms come to an end. With a rollover business gas contract, a customer must pay inflated rates for the gas that they use for the full term of the contract, which is typically 12-months. Fortunately, this type of contract is becoming increasingly scarce on the business gas market, and many suppliers have chosen to cease using the practice.
Deemed rates come into effect when a business gas customer reaches the end of their current tariff, but has failed to organise a new deal. The interim between the old contract ending, and a new one beginning, will typically be covered using deemed rates to charge for any gas that is used over this period. Fortunately, it is possible for business gas customers to switch from the more costly deemed rates after giving just 28-days’ notice.
Familiarising yourself with the different types of business energy tariffs is one way that you can properly understand whether or not you are getting a good deal on your current business gas contract. If you are currently on deemed rates, or a rollover contract, then this is an early indicator that you’re paying well above average for the gas your business is consuming, and you should look to switch as soon as possible.
For more advice on finding the right contract type for you, call us today on 0800 188 4930.
Business gas prices – How much should you be paying?
Naturally, one of the most telling signs that your business is paying over the odds for its gas is by the price that you’re paying per unit (kWh). However, the bespoke pricing that each business is offered on the commercial gas market means it can be tricky to understand how much you should be paying.
Essentially the price that your business pays for the gas that it consumes is dictated by two different costs:
A Standing charge
This is a charge that most business gas suppliers include on their bills to cover the maintenance costs of the grid, as well as any costs incurred by transporting the gas directly to your premises. This cost can differ from supplier to supplier, and is dependent on the location of your business premises, but you can expect to pay anywhere between 20 and 40 pence per day.
A unit cost
A unit cost is charged by a supplier to cover each unit (kWh) of gas that your business consumes. Again, each customer will be offered different rates, dependent on the supplier’s assessment of your business. However, as a small to medium sized business, you should expect to pay anywhere between 3.5 – 4 pence per unit (kWh) of gas.
Click the link for more infromation on average levels of gas consumption for businesses.
If you find that your business is paying more than the averages given above, then there’s a good chance that you could stand to save on your business gas costs by switching to a new supplier. To get started, call 0800 188 4930 and speak with one of our business savings experts.
How to compare business gas quotes
Even if you feel you are getting competitive prices for your business’s gas, there’s always the chance that there is a better deal on offer. With the limited opportunity business customers have to switch and find a cheaper business gas supplier, you should take every opportunity to shop around for a better deal.
Many business owners are put off the idea of shopping around as it’s perceived to be difficult and time consuming. But, in truth it can be simple and straight forward provided you’re armed with the right knowledge and understand what to look for when running a business gas comparison.
To help we have compiled a list of four steps for business gas customers to follow when shopping around for a new deal.
- Step 1 – Get business gas quotes. Approach business gas suppliers to request a bespoke quote. With enough quotes you can start building a picture of how your current business gas quote compares to other deals available to you on the market.
- Step 2 – Choose the best gas quote for your business. Think you would be better off switching? Then, you should decide which quote best meets your business’s needs and apply for the deal direct with the supplier. Your chosen supplier should provide you specific instructions on how to apply for a deal when they offer your initial quote.
- Step 3 – Inform your current supplier of the switch. Once you have applied for the new business gas quote, you need to inform your current supplier of the switch so they can organise the transfer of supply. It is recommended that this is done is writing so you have a written log of your correspondence.
- Step 4 – Wait for your new business gas supply to take effect. Once all suppliers have been informed of the switch, all that’s left to do is wait for your new business gas supply to take effect. Providing that neither suppliers object to the switch, this should happen automatically on the final day of your current contract – so you should not experience any interruption to your business gas supply.
Please note: There are a number of reasons that a supplier might object to a switch, but the most common reason is because you currently owe money to your current supplier. If an objection is made to your switch, the responsible business gas supplier will contact you as soon as reasonably possible to inform you of the issue and offer resolutions.
In four steps you are able to paint a picture of your position within the business gas market and understand if there are better deals available to you. However, the process of contacting suppliers and obtaining enough quotes to paint this picture can be time consuming. For this reason, many savvy business owners choose to use the services of a business gas broker, who can collect, collate and present a wide variety of quotes from different supplier in minutes – saving you both time and money.
If you interested in learning more about how a business gas broker can help find you a better deal, call us today on 0800 188 4930.
Business gas quotes and suppliers – knowing what is right for you
One of the trickiest parts of finding a better business gas quote is understanding your business’s needs and knowing which deal is going to be the best fit for them.
Many business owners are naturally drawn towards the cheapest quotes that are available. But a cheap business gas quote doesn’t always mean a good deal. For example, it’s important to assess what it is that your supplier can offer your business to ensure that they’re to best fit for you.
For more information on the benefits and strengths of each supplier, visit our business energy suppliers page.
Don’t fall into the trap over paying over the odds for your business gas. Switching with uSwitchforBusiness.com is one of the easiest ways to save money on your business’s overheads. A short conversation with one of our business savings experts is all that it takes to ensure you never have to pay over the odds for your business electricity and gas again. Simply pick up the phone, and call us today on 0800 188 4930.As you can see business gas suppliers can offer different benefits, and the quote that best fits the needs of your business depend on your own requirements. For example, if the ease of online account management and automated meter readings appeals to you as a busy business owner, then it’s important to ensure that these services are offered by your business gas supplier.