Business gas comparison

One of the vital utilities your business needs is gas. Discover how to choose the best commercial gas suppliers for your start-up here

While you might not think it at first, one of the key considerations for setting up your business is ensuring you have an appropriate commercial gas provider. You may want to provide shower facilities for your team members, or simply need to heat your premises throughout the colder months.

Whatever your motivation, in this article we’ll compare business gas suppliers, as well as provide you with the key information you need to know to find the right supplier and contract for your business.

In this article, we’ll cover:

For a complete overview, you can read the entire guide. Alternatively, use the links above to skip to the section you most want to know about.

Or, if you’re ready to compare quotes for business gas now, just fill in the form at the top of the page.

We’ll focus specifically on business gas in this article. If you’re also interested in business electricity comparison, check out our guide on that too.


1. Business gas prices

As a small business owner, one of the key questions you’ll want an answer to is ‘how much is it going to cost?’

While we can’t provide a definitive answer, as business gas prices can vary (more on that in a bit), what we can do is provide an overview of gas charges so you have an idea of what to expect.

  • Shop around to get multiple quotes to help you find the best possible price
  • Understand that commercial gas prices depend on the market rate
  • Prices are calculated differently for business and domestic customers
  • VAT is usually applied at a higher rate for businesses
  • Providers often offer discounts for direct debit payments
  • Find out if it’s possible to supply multiple sites with the same provider (if applicable)

Businesses tend to be charged VAT at 20%.

If you’re company is defined as a small businesses (based on gas usage) or you run a charity or a not-for-profit organisation, you may be eligible to receive VAT at 15%, so check with your supplier.

How are business gas prices calculated?

As mentioned, how much your gas bill will be depends on a number of variables, including:

  • Location
  • Business size
  • Business type
  • Tariff type
  • Weather and temperature
  • How the gas is stored
  • Amount of gas used
  • What the wholesale price is

The charges include:

  • Unit rate – the cost of gas per kWh
  • Standing charge – the fee for the supply

According to the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), if your company uses 293,000 kWh of gas or less annually, your business is a micro business. You can find out more about micro business gas consumption here.


2. Business gas suppliers

There are a lot of commercial gas suppliers out there, so knowing which one is right for your business can be tricky. To make the decision-making process easier, here are some tips for finding the best supplier for your business:

  • An established provider can offer expertise and many years of experience, so should be able to help with most queries.
  • A new, small or independent supplier may be able to offer more individualised support, and may have more specific knowledge about your company’s area, sector or values.
  • Assess what type of customer support is offered. This includes the format it takes (such as phone, email or online chat) and where support staff are located (time zones can affect response times).
  • Consider how you’ll be able to access your account – is it available online and/or through an app?
  • Review if the provider matches your company’s values. For example, as a start-up you may wish to work with another small business, or if your business is focused on sustainability than a green energy supplier may be best.
  • Ask other small businesses for recommendations. Whether you’re attending a networking event or spending time in the cafe in your coworking space, you can use these as opportunities to find out which suppliers other similar businesses use, and why.
  • Research potential providers online ( such as on review sites) to find out what experiences other customers have had.
  • Compare quotes for business gas by completing the form at the top of the page

What is ‘green’ gas?

This term refers to gas that has been sourced environmentally. It has limited availability, as it depends on your business’ location.

What is ‘The Big Six’?

This term refers to the six energy providers that dominate the UK energy market. It includes:

  • British Gas
  • EDF Energy
  • E.ON
  • Npower
  • Scottish Power
  • SSE

Other options include using a small or independent provider, as well as working with a local or non-profit company, depending on your business requirements.

What is an independent gas transporter?

An independent gas transporter (IGT) is the network that provides pipes to areas that aren’t covered by the National Grid.

This is usually in remote or rural areas, as well as for some new residential and commercial premises. IGTs can incur slightly higher gas charges.

You should be able to find out if you’re on an IGT on your gas bill, or by speaking with your provider.

For more information, have a look at the Ofgem page on IGTs.


3. Business gas contracts

The type and length of contract you choose is a key decision to make, as you’ll need to be able to maintain the required conditions. Here are some questions to consider when deciding:

How long is the term? Some providers offer short term options, such as 30 days, while others only offer longer contracts, such as one, two or three years.

What type of term is available? Consider if your business would prefer a fixed term or variable contract type – see below for a detailed explanation.

Do the charges match your budget? You’ll need to factor in both the unit price and the standing charge in order to work out roughly what kind of bills your business can expect to see.

What’s included in the contract? Some providers may offer just the energy, while others may offer extras, such as boiler servicing, additional care or other incentives.

Fixed term or variable: what’s the difference?

Fixed term – with this option, you’re contract to pay a set unit price (gas per kWh) for a predetermined length (usually one-three years)

Variable – this offers a notice period, allowing you to switch more easily to another supplier as you’re not locked in to a contract. The unit price can fluctuate and is generally more expensive than fixed term

Which you choose depends on this question: does your business need lower costs or greater flexibility?

How to end a business gas contract

When the time comes to end a contract, you’ll need to take the follow steps:

  • Pay any remaining fees to clear your account
  • Organise any credit to be paid to your business (if applicable)
  • Do a final meter read

Note that if you’re ending a fixed tariff prior to the set than you may need to pay exit fees. Be sure to assess what you will gain or save by paying these and switching.

How to switch business gas contracts

Did you know?

  • Your new supplier is responsible for arranging the switch
  • When you switch supplier, the same gas pipes are used
  • Suppliers don’t tend to offer cooling off periods for commercial gas
  • All the key information you’ll need to switch commercial gas suppliers can be found your bill. This includes:

    • The name of your current supplier
    • How much gas your business uses
    • The meter number

    What is a rollover contract?

    This is when a fixed term contract ends and you stay with the same supplier without a new contract. This type of contract usually has higher fees – it’s also known as a deemed contract.

    You may consider getting your business gas and electricity from the same provider. One reason for doing so is that you may be offered lower charges. For more information, see our business energy comparison page.


    Compare business gas quotes

    At this point, you’ve learned more about what factors influence business gas prices, as well as how to choose a supplier and contract that best match your business’ needs.

    So where do you go from here? The next step is to compare quotes for business gas. Startups.co.uk can help with this – simply complete the form at the top of the page to compare quotes.