How to switch your business gas

You could save money on your gas bill by switching supplier, but it is important to time it right to avoid being tied into your existing contract. Here is how to switch your business gas.

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Why switch?

You may need to switch your business gas if:

  • Your current contract has come to an end

  • You have moved into new business premises and need a new tariff

Switching to a new supplier could save you hundreds of pounds on your gas bill each year, so get quotes from a range of suppliers to negotiate the best energy deal.

How to switch

Switching your business gas works in a similar way to moving your home service, although the initial comparison stage takes longer because you have to get quotes from each supplier.

The main steps to switching are:

  • Step 1: Check the terms of your current contract to see when you can switch

  • Step 2: Compare as many quotes as possible

  • Step 3: Confirm the switch and give notice to your old supplier

Here is what you need to do at each stage of the switching process:

Check your current contract

You can switch your business gas tariff if:

  • Your contract has ended

  • You are on a deemed contract and your rates are not fixed

  • Your current supplier has sent your renewal

You can get quotes once you have your renewal offer to compare them with. However, you can only switch when you are more than 30 days from the end of your contract.

If your energy company does not let you switch, they must give reasons why and tell you what you can do if you think their terms are unfair. Most suppliers will not let you switch if:

  • You are still tied into your contract

  • You are in debt to your supplier

If you are in debt, get advice from the Business Debtline website

Compare quotes

You will need these things to hand when getting quotes:

  • A recent bill: This helps suppliers work out your average gas usage and how much you currently pay.

  • Your company's registration details: This includes information about your premises, the size of your business and your energy needs.

  • The end date of your current contract: This lets prospective suppliers know when you need your service to start.

  • Your MPRN number: This stands for Meter Point Reference Number and is used to identify your gas meter. It is important for making sure your bills are accurate.

You can find business gas tariffs using our comparison, or you can speak to a broker if you do not have the time.

You can also compare how providers are rated for complaint handling on the Citizens Advice website, to find a tariff with the best service.

Here is how to choose the best business gas tariff

Confirm your switch

Once you have chosen the best tariff for your business, confirm the switch with your new supplier. You can do this over the phone or by accepting their quote by email or post.

Your new supplier will then post your contract and a welcome pack. You may get a 10 day cooling off period in which you can cancel the switch if you change your mind, but this is less common than with household energy.

Your new supplier will contact your current supplier to complete the switch. You will need to tell your existing supplier at least 30 days before the end of your contract.

Give your new supplier a meter reading and pay your final bill with your old energy company.

You will not lose service during the switch, but it can take up to 6 weeks for the price of your gas to change.

Managing your tariff

Once you have switched your business gas, it is important to make sure you continue getting the best price:

Payment methods

You can pay for most business gas tariffs by:

  • Direct debit

  • Paying by credit or debit card via your online energy account

  • Bank transfer

  • Cheque

Your supplier may offer a discount on some payment methods, so check to see which is the cheapest way to pay for your energy.

What if you have a flexible contract?

If you bulk buy your energy with a flexible contract, you will need to pay for your energy up front. Speak to your supplier about their payment options.

Giving meter readings

You can usually give meter readings to your supplier by logging into your online account.

Giving regular meter readings can help you save money, because your supplier will only charge you for the energy you have used. It also helps you give an estimate of your gas usage next time you switch.

Moving premises

You cannot keep your old account if you move premises because it is attached to your business address. You will need to cancel it and set up a new account.

You also have to set up a new contract if you change the name of your business or your legal status, for example from a sole trader to a limited company.

You can do this either by cancelling and setting up a new contract with your current supplier, or by shopping around if you are within your notice period or outside your contract.

Understanding your bill

Business gas bills look mostly the same as domestic energy bills.

Your gas bill should include:

  • Your business address and the number of sites supplied

  • A summary of your charges

  • The total bill amount and the due date

  • A payment slip for you to complete and send with a cheque

Multi site accounts include a site summary, which gives you a breakdown of the charges for each of your business premises.

Problems with your energy supply

If you have problems with your service:

  • Call or email your energy supplier

  • Give details of the problem you are having

  • Give your supplier eight weeks to resolve your complaint

If you are still unhappy with your service or your supplier has failed to resolve the problem, you can contact the industry regulator Ofgem to escalate things further.

Renewing your tariff

Your existing supplier will write to you before your current contract ends, usually between 60 and 120 days.

You must confirm if you want to renew or switch before your 30 day notice period, otherwise your contract will be renewed on a variable price plan.

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