Should I renew or switch business gas suppliers?
Whether you renew or renegotiate with your existing provider, or switch to a new supplier, depends on how happy you are with your service, the rates on offer, and the overall estimated cost of your new contract.
You can switch to a new business gas provider if:
- Your contract ends: Your business gas supplier will normally contact you when your energy switching window opens. It is usually 90 days before the end of your contract. The switching window is the earliest point that you can start comparing new prices and arranging a new business gas deal. It is usually 90 days before the end of your contract. The switching window is the earliest point that you can start comparing new prices and arranging a new business gas deal.
- You’re on a default contract: This usually occurs when you take over a new property or have been moved on to a default or ‘deemed’ contract after a fixed-term contract ends.
Unlike domestic gas, many business gas contracts don’t offer a cooling-off period. This is a period of 14 days in which you can decide to cancel a service and get your money back.
So it’s important to understand the terms and conditions of your tariff before signing up.
The exception to this are micro businesses, which have their own set of rules that includes a 14-day cooling-off period. As defined by Ofgem, to qualify your business will need to have fewer than 10 employees, and an annual turnover or balance sheet of less than €2 million. It will also need to use no more than 100,000 kWh of electricity and 293,000 kWh of gas a year.
If anything is unclear about your business gas contract, get in touch with the supplier to clarify the details.
Why should I switch business gas suppliers?
Switching to a new business gas deal or provider could help you save money on business running costs. That is why it is so important to compare suppliers, and select the best option for your business.
Cost isn’t the only reason to switch business gas suppliers, however. Better service, better contract terms, and greener energy are all things to potentially consider when weighing up whether to change providers.
How much can I save by switching suppliers?
How much money you could save by switching business gas suppliers will, in part, be determined by:
- the cost of your original tariff, versus the deals currently available
- the size, and energy usage, of your business
- the length of contract you choose to sign
- what type of tariff you choose
- what type of energy you buy, i.e. whether it is renewable or not
When can I change business gas suppliers?
You will be able to switch business gas suppliers at the end of your current contract, but you can inform your provider of your intention to switch during your specified notice period. You should be able to find the end date of your contract on your business gas bill. If not, you may need to contact your provider directly.
How do I know when my contract ends?
You should be able to find the end date of your contract on your business gas bill, or your original contract. If not, you may need to contact your provider directly.
If you are a micro business, your supplier is required to put your contract end date on every business gas bill you receive.
What are automatic renewals on my business gas contract?
An automatic renewal is what sometimes happens if you fail to contact your supplier by the time your contract ends. They are also known as rollover contracts. These are typically more expensive than a standard fixed rate tariff.
Rollover contracts for micro businesses must not last longer than 12 months.
How to switch business gas suppliers
There are five steps you should follow when looking to switch business gas suppliers:
- Find the name of your current business gas provider.
- Check your contract to find out when you can switch suppliers.
- Get the details of your business gas contract, including yearly usage.
- Compare business gas providers to find the best deal for your organisation.
- Finalise your new business gas contract.
How long does it take to switch business gas providers?
It can take up to 21 days to switch to a new business gas supplier.
What information do I need to switch business gas?
You’ll need the following details to hand when looking for a new business gas contract:
- your supply type
- your energy usage in kWh or annual expenditure
- the date when your contract ends
These will usually be in your most recent business energy bill. If you can’t find a bill, it is possible to use estimates – but your quotes might not be as accurate.
You can use these details to compare quotes from different suppliers. Most suppliers let you sign up for a business gas deal online. You will also need to provide details about your business, such as its name and business type.
Can I switch business gas suppliers if my gas is supplied by an independent gas transporter?
Yes. The process to switch business gas suppliers is no different whether your organisation uses an independent gas transporter or not.
Should I use a broker to get the best business gas rates?
A business energy broker can help you with the entire switching process, including negotiating your contract and managing the changeover. However, you should be aware that these services are not free – even if your bill doesn’t show any costs, you will be paying some form of commission. If you do not receive a full written disclosure of your energy broker costs, you may be able to make a business energy claim.
» MORE: Business energy brokers
What happens when I switch my business gas supply?
Sometimes suppliers may stop or object to you switching to a new deal or business gas providers. This usually happens for one of the following reasons:
- You haven’t given enough notice.
- You are still under contract.
- There is an outstanding balance on your account that is more than 28 days old.
- You have just moved to a new location and need to register a new account before the old one is closed.
- Suppliers have incorrect details on file.
Your energy supplier has to explain why you can’t switch, and your options, as soon as possible. In some cases, you may be able to switch to a new business gas deal with your existing supplier if you’re unable to move to another supplier.
What if I run my business from home?
It is possible to get business gas, and business electricity, if you work from home. However, you will likely need to meet a minimum usage requirement for your business gas versus your domestic gas to be eligible.
What if I’m moving my business premises?
If you’re moving to new premises, you can choose to transfer your business gas supplier or end your contract.
If you would like to move your business gas supply to a new property, you will need to give your provider at least one month’s notice. Business gas contracts can be agreed upon years or months in advance, so you could arrange for the switch to be put in place much earlier too. The supplier will arrange your final bill, and you’ll need to set up a new business gas contract for your new premises.
If you don’t set up a business gas contract before you move to the new property, you will be transferred to a deemed rate tariff with the building’s current suppliers. These tariffs tend to be more expensive, so it’s worth having a deal ready to go for when you move in.
Have any business gas suppliers gone bust?
In late 2021, and early 2022, a number of energy suppliers went bust due to rising wholesale gas prices.
Should I switch to green business gas?
While there are fewer renewable options for gas when compared to electricity, there are a number of providers claiming to supply ‘green’ business gas. Often this will be a combination of renewable biogas (around 10%), and carbon-offsetting to help ‘neutralise’ the remaining gas generated by other means. It is possible, however, to find providers offering 100% green gas.
You should look out for mention of a Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin (RGGOs) certificate to confirm the status of the supplier’s ‘green’ gas.