Compare Business Gas Tariffs

Why switch business gas?

If you haven’t switched your business gas supplier recently, your energy bills could be higher than they need to be. To help your business save money on essentials like gas, it’s vital to compare energy deals on a regular basis. Here’s what to consider when it comes to choosing the best business gas tariffs for your needs.

Why switch business gas?

One of the main reasons to switch business gas suppliers is to save money.  If you can’t remember the last time you switched or renegotiated your business gas contract, there’s a good chance you’re paying over the odds. This is because energy prices fluctuate according to factors like operating costs and wholesale prices. By switching to a new supplier, you can lock in more competitive business gas tariffs for up to five years depending on the contract end date.

Switching is also a good opportunity to find a commercial gas supplier that can meet your expectations when it comes to customer service. Plus, comparing gas suppliers can help you find an energy provider that caters to your values — particularly when it comes to the environment. If you’ve taken the decision to cut your carbon footprint, switching to green business gas can help you achieve this.

How is business gas different from domestic gas?

Business gas tariffs aren’t quite the same as domestic contracts. Before you decide to switch business gas supplier, bear in mind that:

  • Business gas contracts often last longer — typical domestic energy contracts last for 12 to 24 months, whereas business contracts can last for up to five years or more. 
  • There’s usually no cooling off period — domestic customers have up to 14 days to change their minds about switching gas and electricity supply, but business gas tariffs don’t usually offer this. You can ask to stop a switch from happening, but allowing this will be at the supplier’s discretion.
  • You don’t need to physically sign a contract — when it comes to business gas, a verbal agreement is binding. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re happy with all the terms and conditions before you give any verbal confirmation.  
  • There’s no dual fuel option — unlike domestic energy, commercial energy is usually bought separately, so you’ll need a contract for business gas and business electricity separately. 

What to look at when comparing business gas tariffs? 

When you compare business gas, there are two costs you’ll need to look at:

  • Cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) — gas is measured in kWh and you’ll be charged for every unit you use. The more you consume, the higher your business gas bill will be.
  • Standing charge — this is a fixed amount you’re charged daily and covers the cost of supplying your business premises with gas. 

You’ll need to factor in both these costs, as some gas suppliers offer a low cost of gas per kWh but a high standing charge (or vice versa). 

What business gas tariffs are available to UK businesses?

Business gas tariffs are bespoke and set out what you pay for your commercial gas over a specified amount of time, so it’s important you’re happy with the tariff you agree to. While they will be tailored to your specific business need, they’re likely to fall into one of these categories:

Fixed rate tariff

Fixed tariffs set the unit cost of gas per kWh. Your gas bills can still go up or down according to the amount you use, but you won’t need to worry when the wholesale price of gas goes up. 

If the amount of gas you consume is consistent, a fixed rate tariff can help you budget to a certain extent. It does mean, however, that you won’t benefit from lower gas prices if the wholesale price falls. 

Variable rate tariff

On a variable tariff, the price of gas per kWh fluctuates along with the wholesale price of gas. The advantage is that you’ll benefit from lower bills if the market cost falls, but you’ll pay more if wholesale costs rise. 

Deemed rate (out-of-contract) tariff

This is a supplier’s default tariff and, in most cases, the most expensive. You’ll usually come across deemed rates when you move into a new business premises and haven’t yet agreed a new contract.

Rollover tariff

Rollover tariffs are the energy equivalent of auto-renewals. This tariff kicks in if you don’t renegotiate a new gas deal when your old contract ends. 

Even if your old gas contract was competitively priced, by the time it ends it’s unlikely to be the best deal on the market. To make sure you get the latest business gas deal available in your area, it’s crucial to compare business gas tariffs rather than simply letting your contract rollover. 

How does switching business gas work?

Switching your business gas supply is quick and easy. After you’ve compared quotes and chosen a deal, your new supplier will manage the handover with your current supplier. The only loose ends you’ll need to tie up include taking a gas meter reading and paying off your outstanding gas bills. 

Your new supplier will let you know when the switch will happen but you won’t notice anything on the day. If you’re worried about your gas supply being cut off, you can rest assured that this won’t happen. There are no physical changes involved and you shouldn’t experience any disruption. 

The whole process should take no more than three weeks and most switches happen in just 17 days. Don’t forget that business energy deals don’t usually come with a cooling off period, so make sure you’re completely happy with the tariff you’re on before you commit. 

What information do you need to switch business gas?

To get an accurate business gas quote, you’ll need to know the postcode of your business premises as well as the name of your current supplier and tariff. If you can, it also helps to know what your gas consumption is, which you can find on a recent bill.

How much could you save by switching business energy suppliers?

Commercial gas deals are bespoke, so the rates you’ll get will be tailored to your business needs. With that in mind, potential savings can vary according to factors such as:

  • Business size and gas usage
  • Location, as the deals available will depend on gas suppliers in your area
  • The gas tariff you choose
  • The length of the contract you agree to

As business gas tariffs are bespoke, the best way to see how much you could save is to compare business gas deals, which you can do right here. 

Who is the best business gas provider?

The best business gas provider for you will depend on your needs and expectations. If price is more important than anything else, it makes sense to base your decision on the unit price of gas and the standing charge.

However, if you’ve experienced poor service or had issues with your supply, you might prefer to look at providers with a good customer service team. Similarly, if you’re looking at lowering your business’s impact on the environment, switching to a green gas provider might appeal to you.

Can you switch if you’re tied to a business energy contract? 

If you’re tied to a fixed business gas deal, leaving part way through your contract could mean you end up paying exit fees. To ensure a new tariff is worth the move, check whether the savings you make outweigh the penalties for breaking your current contract.

Otherwise, the best time to change supplier is during your switching window, which is a period just before the end of your contract. Switching windows vary in length but most open about four months before a fixed tariff officially ends. During this time, you can make the switch from your old supplier without being penalised.

Why is business gas expensive? 

Business gas includes a higher VAT rate, as well as a tax called the Climate Change Levy (CCL), which aims to make firms more aware of their impact on the environment. 

Nevertheless, the unit cost of gas is generally cheaper than domestic gas because commercial energy usage is usually higher. So, if your business gas is on the pricey side, it’s more than likely because you haven’t switched gas suppliers recently. 

Can I buy commercial energy if I work from home?

If you work from home, you can buy business gas and electricity. To be eligible, a certain percentage of your energy use will need to be specifically for your business. This amount can vary by provider, but it’s usually around 50%.  

Business energy isn’t just for limited companies either; you can also compare business gas prices if you’re a sole trader or a microbusiness. Just remember that business gas isn’t the same as domestic gas, so you might not be able to get a dual fuel tariff.  

Can you get a smart meter for commercial gas?

Smart meters help monitor your energy usage and encourage efficiency. The government wants all homes and small businesses to be offered a smart meter by 2025, but it’s up to energy suppliers to roll this out. 

If your business already has a smart meter and it’s compatible with your new supplier’s systems, you should be able to continue to use it. If you don’t have a smart meter (or the one you have is incompatible), you should get a new one if your supplier is able to provide it. 

Can charities get discounts on business energy prices?

If you’re a charitable or not-for-profit organisation, you could be entitled to a 15% discount on the VAT you pay on business gas. In some instances, you may also be eligible for zero rate VAT on your business energy, but this will depend on the nature of your charity. You’ll also need to send a VAT declaration form that shows you’re entitled to the reduction.

For more information about what qualifies for the discounted rates and for examples of a VAT declaration form, go to gov.uk.

Compare business gas tariffs and switch to cheaper gas 

Comparing business gas tariffs is the quickest and easiest way to find the best business gas deals in your area. For lower gas prices and to save money on your business gas bills, start your search with us right here.