If your business relies on gas to support its day-to-day operations, the price you pay for your supply will have a direct impact on your business’s overheads - and it will be especially significant if you’re paying unnecessarily expensive rates. Fortunately this can be solved by switching to a cheaper deal.
However, many business owners mistakenly believe that this is a complex process. As a result, they often fail to engage with the market, and ultimately end up paying too much for their energy when their contracts expire.
This doesn't have to be the case - provided you’re armed with the right knowledge, saving money on the gas that your business uses can be simple and straightforward.
The Business Energy Market
First, it’s important to note that the commercial energy market has a number of features that make it different to the domestic market. For example, business energy is offered through contracts - not through set tariffs as in the domestic arena. A business customer must secure their gas and electricity supplies under separate contracts - unlike domestic customers who have the option of dual fuel tariffs that cover both.
As well as the differences in how energy products are offered, the actual switching process also differs between home and business energy. When looking to switch your business’s gas supply, there are a number of steps that you should follow:
Step 1 - Check that your renewal window is open
Unlike domestic energy consumers, businesses do not have the freedom to switch at any point during their contract. Once you enter a business energy contract, you’re tied into it for the duration - which is typically between one and four years. You can, however, begin arranging a new contract six months prior to your current contract end date, in what is known as your ‘renewal window’. This new contract will then go live when your existing deal expires.
If your renewal window and contract end date have already passed and you haven’t arranged a new contract, then you will have been automatically placed on inflated ‘out of contract’ rates by your supplier. In this situation you'll be able to arrange a switch whenever you'd like, and doing so will almost definitely save you money - out of contract rates can be up to 30% more expensive than the rates that are available through switching. However, before you can switch, you must first provide your current supplier with 30 days’ notice.
Step 2 - Find a new contract
Once you’re in a position to switch, it’s time to start shopping around for a new deal. Because every business is unique, suppliers offer bespoke energy contracts to meet the needs of each individual business. This requires you to attain an individual quote from each supplier in order to find the best contract for your business - which can be very time consuming.
Alternatively, you can use the services of an energy broker who can assess the needs of your business and obtain these quotes on your behalf - saving you not only money, but also time.
Step 3 - Notify suppliers
Once you have chosen a new contract, you need to notify both your new and old suppliers of your intention to switch. Once all parties have received this notification, you simply need to wait for your contract end date to pass and your new supply to commence - providing neither supplier makes an objection.
Why switch your business gas?
There are many reasons that you may want to switch your business gas contract, with the most obvious one being to save money. It’s important that business owners don’t get caught paying more than they need to for their business gas, which is why it’s essential to switch your gas contract whenever you have the opportunity.
For this reason, the FSB has named Make It Cheaper as its trusted energy broker, to help our members get the best deal on their energy.
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To see how much you can save, call:
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