Gone of the days of sticking with regional business gas suppliers. Now, business owners can choose from a wide range of providers for all their gas needs. With so many providers to choose from, it is no wonder that 33% of SMEs switch suppliers every year. So, how can business owners switch suppliers?
Switching is not always as hassle-free as it seems. Different commercial gas suppliers have different switching processes, and there are lots of factors to think about. Switching is a big decision, and it is important to have a clear idea of the processes involved.
With rising business gas prices, our experts answer a bunch of common questions when companies are comparing commercial gas prices. In this guide, we break down these questions to help UK companies understand how to get a great deal on business gas whether they are at the end of their current contract or setting up a tariff on new business premises.
Why Switch Commercial Gas Suppliers?
Money is the number one reason why business owners switch commercial gas suppliers. Lots of business owners implement energy-saving tips only to find that their bill has been reduced by a minuscule sum. Whilst energy saving is a crucial strategy on the journey to becoming carbon aware, switching business gas supplier can also have a huge impact on the bottom line.
Modern energy suppliers are quick to respond to evolving consumer demands. They understand how competitive the market is, and often offer discounts and deals to entice new customers. It is well worth shopping around for better business gas prices because it operates at a much more competitive level than domestic tariffs. Energy companies want to onboard businesses onto fixed-rate tariffs as they tend to use more energy.
Just as business gas suppliers have evolved to become more competitive, they have also started to respond to hot topic issues. Sustainability is at the forefront of everyone's mind, especially with the government’s net-zero goal for 2050. By switching suppliers, business owners can invest in companies that better reflect their eco-conscious ethos. This is one of the ways that business owners can make their companies green. This opens companies to a whole new market of environmentally-friendly consumers.
Types of Commercial Gas Tariffs
Commercial gas suppliers offer a few different tariffs as standard. Some suppliers create unique names for their tariffs. More often than not, the unique name can be swapped for one of the following recognised tariffs.
Almost all business gas suppliers offer consumers fixed tariffs. They are often referred to as fixed-term tariffs or fixed-rate tariffs. As the name suggests, this type of tariff guarantees consumers a fixed unit price. Many energy suppliers will be open to negotiating better business gas prices for high-usage companies.
It is important to clarify that the unit price is fixed, not the overall monthly cost. If consumers use more units of gas from one month to the next, they will see their increased consumption reflected in their monthly bills.
Most fixed contracts are available for one, two, or three years. It is uncommon for business owners to find a fixed-term contract that lasts for more than three years. Commercial gas suppliers who offer longer fixed-rate tariffs risk losing money if wholesale energy rates increase in the future.
Variable tariffs are often called variable-rate tariffs and standard-variable tariffs. Unlike fixed contracts, variable tariffs do not guarantee fixed unit rates. Consumers will pay a fluctuating unit rate that is based on wholesale energy prices. Industry issues, such as the current gas shortage, have a big impact on variable tariffs.
Business gas suppliers automatically enrol consumers on this type of tariff if they do not request a specific tariff. In most cases, standard-variable tariffs are the most expensive contracts on the market. One of the biggest benefits of this kind of tariff is that it often does not have exit fees.
Deemed tariffs are also referred to as deemed-rate contracts or even out-of-contract tariffs. This type of tariff is reserved for businesses that do not have existing contracts with their suppliers. Deemed contracts are most common amongst business owners who move to new premises and begin using the supplier’s energy without agreeing on a deal.
Like variable tariffs, deemed tariffs are known for being expensive. More often than not, deemed contracts are based on wholesale energy prices.
28-day tariffs roll over into the next month. If consumers have not requested a specific tariff since the deregulation of the market, they will be on a 28-day tariff. Commercial gas suppliers can change the unit rate on these tariffs at any time. The rates decrease and increase from one month to the next, which is far too unreliable for business owners who depend on stable, or at least predictable, rates.
Rollover tariffs are designed for consumers who do not request a new contract once their existing contract comes to an end. Their contract ends, and they automatically begin paying for a rollover tariff.
Business gas suppliers make it difficult for consumers to exit rollover tariffs. Most consumers who fall into the trap of rollover tariffs will be on the contract for a year. The rates on this type of contract are amongst the most expensive on the market.
Choosing the Right Supplier
Choosing the right supplier is never easy. There are lots of different factors to think about, including prices, eco-friendly promises, and customer service practices.
Customer service is one of the most important factors. At Business Energy, we browse through reviews on Trustpilot to see how past and existing customers feel about commercial gas suppliers. Prospective customers can see an overall rating, the percentage of customers that think the service is excellent and bad, and whether or not suppliers have replied to reviews.
Some consumers search for suppliers that invest in eco-friendly practices. One of the easiest ways to find a green supplier is to browse through the tariffs. Lots of business gas suppliers have tailor-made, environmentally conscious tariffs that are designed for SMEs. Other suppliers embed sustainable practices into their sourcing processes. We advise consumers to read through suppliers about us and tariff pages before switching.
That being said, there is a much easier way to compare suppliers.
How to Find Great Business Gas Suppliers & Prices
At Business Energy, we exist to make switching easy. Our team of experts take the hassle away from this often time consuming and frustrating process. We partner with a range of commercial gas suppliers to bring business owners in the UK the best deals on the market.
Pop your details into our quote generator to find the best options for your business. With just a few simple details, we can produce a range of tariffs and suppliers that meet your needs. It is that easy! Once you have chosen a new supplier and tariff, our team will handle all the rest. Start the process today to switch to a cheaper tariff.