Is British Gas The Right Business Energy Supplier in 2021?

papernest disclaims that they are not in partnership with British Gas

Papernest disclaims that they are not in partnership with British Gas

Your business has likely been through the wringer lately. The global pandemic has probably made some sweeping changes to the way you do business and engage with your clientele. It’s probably placed a strain on everything from your human resources to your marketing budget. Like any reasonably minded business owner, you’re always thinking of new ways to reduce business costs and improve cash flow without compromising on the quality that people expect of your brand. With so many smaller business energy suppliers seeming to be going under, you may be drawn to a known and reliable commodity like British Gas Business Energy.
Last updated: March 2021

Changing energy suppliers might seem like a small thing, but it can make a big difference to your expenditure, your cash flow, and even your green credentials. Here, We will take a look at British Gas Business Energy’s performance in all the areas that matter to you as a business owner. So you can make an informed decision as to whether the biggest of the “Big 6” energy suppliers is the best fit for your business.

Does British Gas do Business Energy?

Yes. As the UK’s biggest energy supplier, British Gas is well positioned to deliver bespoke and highly scalable business energy solutions for companies of all shapes and sizes.

So whether you’re a microbusiness, an SME or an enterprise-level company with multiple locations all over the country, British Gas for Business will be able to keep up with your demand, whether you use just electricity or electricity and gas.

British Gas Business energy

It’s important to note, however, that no business energy supplier offers the kind of dual fuel tariffs that are available to domestic energy consumers. Instead, rates are negotiated for each fuel individually.

As one of the “Big 6” energy suppliers, British Gas offers great scalability. And because they’re majority-owned by the French government, you know that they’re not going anywhere. But are they a good fit for your business’ energy needs?

Let’s take a closer look.

We’ll investigate British Gas for Business’ tariffs, and other products and services as well as looking at customer reviews to help you make the right decision on behalf of your business.

British Gas for Business Electricity Tariffs

British Gas has a very flexible approach to their business energy tariffs and plans. This will be a relief to business owners who are keen to avoid lengthy and prohibitive contracts that will preclude them from getting a better deal if they see one. Fixed rates can last up to three years, or as little as one. And there are even flexible options that will allow business customers the freedom they need to leave as and when they see fit.

Unfortunately, as is the case with all business energy suppliers, we are unable to provide detailed information on business unit rates and standing charges. These are bespoke, and will vary from one customer to the next. Your rates will depend on a range of variables including:

  • Your business premises location/s
  • Your business size, and how much energy you use
  • Your peak energy load hours

There are, however, several different kinds of plans available to British Gas for Business customers.

Fixed energy plan

These flexible fixed-rate plans are designed with the needs of SMEs in mind. They offer cheaper energy than the deemed rate you’ll pay if your contract lapses, or you move into a premises where British Gas is the incumbent supplier. At the time of writing, out of contract prices start at 21.25 per kWh with a standing charge of 56.26 p per day.

A summary of the fixed energy plan is available below:

  • Locked in electricity prices for contracts of 1, 2 or 3 years
  • Cheaper rates than deemed contracts
  • Easy to manage your account online
  • Discounts available when you switch at multiple locations

Rolling Energy Plan

If you’d prefer not to go with a Fixed Rate Energy Plan so that you can keep your options open, British Gas for Business offers a 30 day Rolling Energy Plan.

This Rolling Energy Plan is similar to a domestic variable rate tariff. Your unit rate and standing charge could go up or down, depending on the price of wholesale energy, inflation and other factors. However, you’ll have the freedom to move to a Fixed Rate Energy Plan at any time.

If you’ve got a half-hourly meter, British Gas are well positioned to give you a flexible energy deal based around how and when your business uses its electricity.

Electricity for large businesses

Because large businesses have more complex electricity needs, British Gas for Business also offers these even more bespoke energy solutions.

Features of these plans include:

  • Online billing
  • Automated Meter Reading / smart meters
  • Energy efficiency support
  • More competitive rates than those offered to SMEs
  • Rates vary by region and whether you require high or low voltage electricity.

Whichever electricity plan you choose, you can save money by paying by Direct Debit, which gives you a 7% discount.

British Gas for Business Gas Tariffs

Believe it or not, British Gas has been supplying gas for 200 years. So it’s understandable that you may feel that they are the best positioned to provide gas for your business premises. As with electricity, British Gas has a flexible approach to business gas tariffs.

While rates are calculated on an individual basis, gas plans fall into the same categories as electricity plans.

Fixed energy plan

Again, these plans are designed to suit the needs of small and medium businesses. Contracts are available in a range of lengths, and rates are favourable to those of deemed tariffs. Rates for deemed tariffs start at around 6.56p per kWh and 98.23p per day standing charge.

Features of these tariffs include:

  • Locked in rates for 1, 2, or 3 years
  • Multi-site quotes available
  • AMR and smart meters
  • Easy to submit meter readings online
  • A range of care plans are also available for gas appliances infrastructure including servicing, repairs and maintenance

Rolling energy plan

As with its electricity, British Gas for business offers 30 day Rolling Energy Plans to its business gas customers. These are recommended for businesses that want to keep their options open. Be aware, however, that rates may be significantly higher, although you can still get cheaper energy on this plan if you pay by Direct Debit.

Gas for large businesses

As with business electricity, British Gas offers more bespoke business gas solutions for larger enterprises. These are intended for companies that use 732,000 kWh gas per year or more. A range of contract types and lengths are available to ensure that your business is insulated against fluctuating gas costs, yet still maintains a degree of freedom.

Large business solutions typically come with greater support, suggesting alternative deal structures that could help your business to improve its energy efficiency.

What do I need to get a quote?

Getting a quote from British Gas is very simple. All you need to do is visit the brand’s Business Energy page and enter your postcode. Alternatively, you can call 0333 122 0377. Either way, you can get business gas and electricity quotes in a matter of minutes.

However, to ensure that your quotes represent an accurate reflection of your company’s usage, it’s a good idea to have the following information to hand:

  • Your supply type (whether your business uses gas, electricity or both)
  • How much energy your business currently uses (in kWh or pounds)
  • When your current energy contract ends

This will allow British Gas to calculate the best rates on your behalf, and ensure that you will be accurately billed. Billing inaccuracies can result in the one thing that no business can afford— wasteful expenditure. This in turn can be crippling to your business’ cash flow.

Reduced VAT and Climate Change Levy exemption

Most business energy users are subject to VAT at the standard rate of 20%, unlike domestic energy users who enjoy VAT at a reduced rate of 5% on their gas and electricity. Most business tariffs are also subject to the Climate Change Levy. This is a government tax on business energy that comes from non-renewable sources.

You may, however, be exempt from this if you switch to a 100% renewable energy tariff. British Gas for Business offers these to business customers whose usage stands at 150,000 kWh of electricity or gas per year.

You will also be exempt from the Climate Change Levy if you are a microbusiness.

You are classified as a micro business if:

  • You use less than 100,000 kWh of electricity a year
  • You use less than 293,000 kWh of gas a year
  • You have fewer than 10 employees (or the full-time equivalent)
  • Your annual turnover does not exceed two million Euros

Microbusinesses, and businesses with lower energy usage (less than 1,000 kWh per month) may also be able to apply for reduced VAT at 5%. You can also apply for a VAT reduction if your business is a charitable or non-profit organisation, or if some of your energy is for domestic use. You can find out more on reducing your VAT and make an application here.

COVID-19

More than ever, our team of experts remain on deck to help you make savings on your energy. We understand how deeply the lives of many are affected by these trying times and we want to support you the best we can. More on your energy supply during COVID-19 in our article.

What is British Gas Lite?

British Gas Lite is British Gas’ online service that’s designed exclusively for customers with smaller businesses or microbusinesses. Because this is an online-only business, it has fewer administrative costs which in turn means reduced energy rates. It offers a range of fixed rate tariffs with rates matched to your needs and usage.

There is no call centre support for this service and your account is managed entirely through the website or the app. All British Gas Lite customers get a free smart meter for their business.

You can find out more about British Gas Lite or get a quote here.

How must you communicate your business meter readings?

In order to ensure that you pay the right amount for the energy you use (and maintain a harmonious cash flow), it’s important to communicate your business meter readings regularly.

British Gas supply AMR meters to business customers which are functionally the same as domestic smart meters, although they transmit usage data much more regularly. However, if you prefer to take your own meter readings, you can communicate them to British Gas in a number of ways.

The easiest way is to submit them via your online portal. Alternatively, if you’re regularly on the go, or between sites, you can also submit meter readings via British Gas’ business customer app. You can also use the app to view and securely pay your balance.

Alternatively, you can submit meter readings over the phone. Just call

Whatever method is most convenient for you, it’s vital that you send them regularly in order to ensure that you are accurately billed and that your cash flow is not compromised.

What other products and services does British Gas Business provide?

British Gas also offers an array of service products available to business customers. These include:

  • Commercial boiler servicing, repair and cover
  • Air Conditioning installations, servicing and repairs
  • Commercial plumbing and drainage solutions
  • Installation of electric vehicle charging points

What’s more, British Gas are currently offering all business energy customers £500 credit to invest in any of their service products. You can find out more here.

what does British Gas business energy offer?

British Gas for Business energy fuel mix: Are they a green supplier?

Many businesses across the UK have made reducing their carbon footprint their number one priority. Not only is it an important part of your Corporate Social Responsibility, and something that your ethically-aware clientele expects, it can also save you money. Switching to a 100% green business energy tariff, for example, can save money by sparing your business from having to pay the Climate Change Levy.

Although British Gas offers 100% renewable energy tariffs to business customers that use 150,000 kWh of energy a year, they are not yet a 100% renewable supplier. They are, however, the greenest of the “Big 6” energy suppliers with zero fossil fuels in their overall fuel mix.

British Gas energy fuel mix and environmental impact are compared to the UK average in the table below:

Energy source British Gas UK average
Coal 0% 4%
Natural gas 0% 39%
Nuclear 24% 17%
Renewables 76% 38%
Other fuels 0% 2%
CO2 emissions 0 g/kWh 205 g/kWh
High-level radioactive waste 0,0017 g/kWh 0,0012 g/kWh

British Gas Business customer reviews

Although there is no Trustpilot review page that’s exclusive to British Gas business tariffs, there is a separate page for British Gas Lite, which might provide an insight into the experience of small business users. The main Trustpilot page for British Gas has an overall rating of 3.6 out of 5 at the time of writing. This puts it squarely in the realm of “average”.

Out of a total 50,387 customer reviews:

  • 23,621 (47%) were rated “Excellent”.
  • 7,822 (16%) were rated “Great”.
  • 4,020 (8%) were rated “Average”.
  • 2,851 (6%) were rated “Poor”.
  • 12,073 (24%) were rated “Bad”.

The British Gas Lite page fared a little worse with an average score of 3.0.

Out of a total of 181 business customer reviews:

  • 60 (33%) were rated “Excellent”.
  • 12 (7%) were rated “Great”.
  • 3 (2%) were rated “Average”.
  • 8 (4%) were rated “Poor”.
  • 98 (54%) were rated “Bad”.

Positive reviews focused on good customer service, helpful staff, flexibility, and ease of switching. Positive reviews also mention ease of and managing accounts and using the app.

Negative reviews, however, focused on a lack of support when using British Gas Lite, as well as billing inaccuracies and inconsistencies, and communications problems with staff members.

We can help you find the best deal for your domestic energy

As important as it is to find the best energy deals for your business, don’t forget that energy savings are just as important at home. That’s why we work tirelessly on your behalf to provide you with the best energy deal for your needs and usage. We can even manage your switch from end-to-end so you enjoy cheaper, greener energy completely hassle-free.

Would you like to know more about business energy suppliers? Great! Check out some of our related articles

  1. Octopus energy business
  2. Edf business tariffs
  3. Opus business energy
  4. Corona Energy

Call us to switch your energy supplier for free!

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Written by Baylee

Updated on 31 Mar, 2021