With business gas rates rising, it has never been more important to understand the fine print. Business gas bills are an essential part of managing monthly expenses, but business owners are often confused by the endless pieces of information and industry jargon.
At Business Energy, we arm business owners with the facts. In this article, our experts outline everything you need to know about commercial gas bills so that you can stay on top of your expenses. We have even included some advice about finding cheaper tariffs.
Why Understanding Your Commercial Gas Bills Is Important
When it comes to business energy, there are lots of pieces of the puzzle. Consumers might think that they have conquered their energy needs by finding a suitable tariff, forgetting that commercial gas bills are just around the corner.
Once consumers have navigated the confusing world of tariffs, they have to contend with an overload of information on their business gas bills. By gaining even a basic understanding of business gas rates and bills, you can stay one step ahead of the competition. Business owners who understand business gas prices, tariffs, and bills are more likely to find better deals. It is difficult to overcharge a consumer who understands the energy landscape.
Clued-up consumers can also notice and react to billing errors before they escalate. Your provider can:
- Calculate direct debit amounts incorrectly
- Apply incorrect fees
- Include incorrect tariff details
- Send bills to the wrong customer
No matter what the issue is, consumers can save themselves a headache by noticing errors right away.
What Is Included in Business Gas Bills
There are lots of pieces of information on typical commercial gas bills. Here are the details that you need to pay your current bill.
- Supplier’s contact details
- Date the business gas bill was issued
- Billing period (these dates show when the consumer used the energy in question)
- Unique customer account number (this number is always on the first page)
- Information about whether the meter readings are estimated or actual
- Payment slip for consumers who want to pay via post
- Dates when the readings were estimated or taken
- Amount of energy the consumer has used in the billing period before VAT
- The amount of business VAT (20%) is listed separately
- Total amount to pay
- Any applicable discounts
- The date that the commercial gas bill must be paid by
Here are the other pieces of information that are included in business gas bills. You might need this information at a later date.
- Details of the last payment the consumer made
- Supplier’s gas supply number (this is sometimes presented in a box or small font)
- Meter point reference number (consumers need this number if they want to switch suppliers)
- Contact number for alternative requirements such as braille
Commercial Gas Bill Energy Consumption
No matter which supplier you choose, your business gas bill will contain information about the amount of energy that you have consumed. This includes business gas prices by unit, the number of units consumed (including the cubic feet), and the most recent meter readings.
How to Get Cheaper Commercial Gas Bills
Consumers can get better business gas rates by choosing the right tariff for their business. Thousands of business owners in the UK are on the wrong kind of tariff. Lots of consumers even fall into the trap of not requesting a specific tariff and being automatically enrolled onto a standard variable tariff, which often has the highest business gas prices of all the tariffs.
So, which tariffs benefit business owners?
Economy tariffs are the go-to choice for businesses that operate in off-peak hours. All suppliers have different peak and off-peak hours. Consumers who operate within these non-standard times can get better business gas prices.
Economy 7 and Economy 10 are the most popular types of Economy tariffs. As the name suggests, Economy 7 tariffs offer consumers off-peak business gas rates for seven hours. Economy 10 tariffs often offer off-peak rates for ten hours. Off-peak hours are typically in the early hours of the morning, but Economy 10 tariffs tend to also include a block of time in the early afternoon.
We recommend this type of tariff for laundrettes, overnight call centres, nightlife venues, and any other business that uses a significant portion of its monthly energy consumption during off-peak hours.
Standard Variable Tariffs vs. Fixed-Price Tariffs
Staying on a standard variable tariff is one of the biggest mistakes that new business owners make. Energy suppliers automatically enrol consumers onto standard tariffs if they do not request a specific tariff. Consumers with this kind of tariff can expect some of the highest business gas prices on the market. Standard variable unit rates are based on wholesale energy prices, which means that they can fluctuate at any moment. Consumers can receive vastly different business gas bills from one month to the next.
Fixed-price tariffs are a far better and often cheaper alternative to standard variable tariffs. As the name suggests, this type of tariff allows consumers to lock in a unit rate. The only downside to this tariff is that wholesale prices may drop in the future. Consumers who are locked into fixed rates cannot benefit from any future fluctuations without paying hefty exit fees.
Overall, fixed-rate tariffs are better for business owners who want stable, reliable unit rates. Commercial gas bills can still change from month to month, but the unit rate will always remain the same.
Compare Tariffs and Suppliers
The easiest way to knock a lump sum of your business gas bill is to survey the market. Business owners can choose from a wide range of different suppliers, some of which have offerings that are tailored to specific businesses.
With our comparison generator, it has never been easier to get a comprehensive look at all the business gas rates on the market. At Business Energy, we secure exclusive deals with trusted suppliers. Put your details in, and in just 60 seconds you will see a list of suppliers and tariffs that meet your needs.