Carrying out a business gas comparison can be a daunting task, fraught with potential pitfalls. Businesses can easily end up wasting a significant amount of money if they don't navigate this process correctly.
Businesses need to compare gas providers in order to find the best and most affordable deal. This process involves considering the complexity of tariffs, contracts, and the numerous suppliers in the market.
Understanding business gas bills
To accurately compare business gas prices, it's crucial to understand the various components that make up a gas bill. Typically, these components include two main charges: the standing charge and the unit rate.
- The standing charge is a fixed daily cost. It pays for maintaining the gas supply to your place. It applies regardless of how much gas you use.
- The unit rate is the price you pay for each unit of gas consumed, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
Bills may also include additional expenses like the Climate Change Levy (CCL), VAT, and fees for ending a contract early. A comprehensive understanding of these charges will set the foundation for effective business gas comparison.
What makes business gas different to domestic?
Business gas tariffs differ significantly from domestic gas tariffs, primarily in how suppliers price them. The wholesale energy market often influences business gas prices, which means that prices can fluctuate based on supply and demand.
Household consumers have the option to choose between fixed or variable tariffs. On the other hand, businesses usually negotiate contracts with suppliers. These contracts are based on their specific consumption patterns and needs.
In addition, businesses typically have longer contract terms than domestic users, with contracts ranging from 1 year to as long as 5 years. Understanding these key differences is vital when carrying out a business gas comparison.
Why can't businesses get a dual fuel tariff for their electrcity and gas?
Businesses cannot obtain a dual fuel tariff for their corporate energy contracts, unlike their home energy contracts. This is due to the way corporate energy contracts are structured. Businesses have to make separate contracts for gas and electricity, unlike households who can get both from one supplier.
This separation is attributed to the differing usage patterns and pricing structures for gas and electricity in a commercial setting. Furthermore, energy suppliers often specialise in either gas or electricity, but not both, which further limits the possibility of a dual fuel tariff for businesses.
Our best practices for comparing business gas
When comparing business gas it is important to ensure you take the correct steps.
Look at lots of different business gas prices
To ensure a comprehensive comparison, it's vital to examine gas prices from many different suppliers. Don't stick to a few providers; there are many suppliers with different prices and conditions in the market.
Comparing prices widely helps find a deal that exactly fits your business needs and increases the chance of getting it. Remember, even minor differences in unit rates and standing charges can translate into significant savings over the term of your contract.
Consider different contract options
When choosing a gas contract, suppliers have different tariffs with their own pros and cons.
- Fixed-rate contracts lock in a specific price per unit of gas for the duration of the contract. This option offers price stability and benefits if gas prices are expected to rise. However, you won't benefit from any subsequent price drops.
- Variable-rate contracts, on the other hand, allow your price per unit of gas to fluctuate with the market. This contract is good if gas prices will go down, but it also puts you at risk of higher prices.
- Typically, you apply deemed rate contracts when you move into new premises and continue using gas without negotiating a new contract. These rates usually remain quite high, so we recommend switching to a better deal as soon as possible.
- When your current contract ends and no new agreement is in place, you apply rollover contracts. They can be costly, so it's better to prevent them by planning a new agreement well before your current deal expires.
You can make a well-informed decision that maximises your gas deal by considering different options. These options should be based on your business needs and market forecasts.
Keep on top of your gas usage
Monitoring your business's gas usage is a critical aspect of securing an accurate and cost-effective gas deal. Regularly reviewing your gas usage helps you understand your consumption patterns. It also allows you to spot trends or anomalies.
Additionally, it provides accurate data to suppliers for precise quotes. To stay on top of your gas usage, consider implementing the following strategies:
- Regularly Check Meter Readings: Manually read your gas meter on a consistent schedule, such as weekly or monthly. This will provide accurate data about your gas consumption, which is crucial when negotiating contracts with suppliers.
- Get a Smart Meter: It tracks and reports your gas usage, giving you the latest data automatically. They also eliminate the need for estimated bills, providing a more accurate portrayal of your gas consumption.
- Review Bills Carefully: Be diligent about examining your gas bills. This will help you understand your usage trends, identify any unexpected charges, and make sure that you're being billed correctly.
- Save energy: Use energy-efficient practices in your business to reduce gas usage and lower bills.
By tracking your gas usage, you can negotiate and get the best price for your business gas.
Comparing with Online Energy
There are numerous energy suppliers across the UK, each offering a unique set of tariffs and contracts. To streamline the comparison process and cut your time in half, consider using Online Energy's price comparison tool.
This tool makes it easy for you to compare prices from various suppliers. As a result, you can find the best deal for your business without much effort.
Save time and effort by using Online Energy's tool. It helps you find the best business gas deal quickly. You don't have to search through multiple contracts and suppliers.