The competitive nature of the energy market gives you, the consumer, the ability to switch from one gas supplier to another depending on your specific energy needs. While having the option of choosing among various gas suppliers is desirable, it can also leave you feeling overwhelmed which thereby may hinder you from choosing the right gas supplier for your business.
With the right gas supplier for your business, you’ll be able to make your business a lot more efficient and cut down on operational costs.
With that said, how do you go about choosing the right gas supplier? If you’re currently stuck in this position and don’t know what to do, look no further. Here’s a guide highlighting valuable tips you may consider when searching for a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) supplier for your business.
1. Identify Your Priorities
You need to know your company’s priorities before choosing which gas supplier to avail of. To determine them, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. Some of them are:
- Do you want a gas supplier who charges relatively lower prices?
- Do you value the quality of service?
- Do you have any special needs?
Once you answer these questions, you’ll be able to rank your priorities from the least to the most important. By doing this, you’ll be able to determine which gas company like Supagas and others is indeed the right gas supplier for your business needs.
2. Know Your Usage
It’s important that you first understand your business’ daily and monthly gas usage before choosing the best gas supplier to meet your energy demands. Once a gas supplier successfully meets your current energy needs, your company’s efficiency and productivity are ensured.
If you’re uncertain about what your gas usage data is, consider hiring a professional to provide an estimate to help better approximate the gas needed by your business. You can also request this information from other business owners running a company of the same size as yours and operating in the same industry.
3. Check The Gas Supplier’s Credibility And Reputation
You must consider a gas supplier’s business reputation before selecting any specific provider. After all, you want a provider who guarantees to give you reliable and high-quality services. In addition, you should assess the supplier’s financial stability to ensure continuous delivery of gas supplies even during the ups and downs oftentimes battering the energy markets.
One clue you can use to determine a supplier’s credibility is by confirming how many years of experience they have in the market. You should also check whether they’re well established to run across the different deregulated areas. It’d be best to work with a gas supplier with these qualifications as they’re mature and tested through time. Their proven expertise can help customize your energy needs now and, in the future, depending on your company’s financial position.
You can also determine how credible a specific gas supplier is by finding out a couple of crucial details such as:
- Their credit rating;
- Years of experience they’ve been in operation and their reputation;
- Current company financial statements;
- Gas’s supplier’s brand values; and
- How their website looks, functions, and serves its clientele.
While it’s understandably difficult to quantify such attributes, you must always ask yourself these questions in advance. This way, you’ll be able to determine better whether a specific gas provider will indeed be the right pick to satisfy your company’s gas needs.
4. Compare Different Pricing And Plans
While price shouldn’t be the sole basis for choosing a specific gas provider, it still needs to be considered. It’s advisable to look for ways of cutting down your business expenses without compromising on quality as prices in the modern energy sector are usually very volatile. Due to these drastic price changes, your monthly bills may become higher than anticipated-reducing your profits considerably.
Knowing this, you must always consider the fees charged by a gas supplier before deciding which one best suits you. This is even more important as there are other different fees applicable at the various steps of acquiring gas including:
- Gas delivery fee;
- Minimum monthly purchases;
- Storage tank installation costs;
- Storage tank disconnection fees; and
- Early termination charges.
Ideally, you’d want to choose an energy supplier that offers you a plan you’re expected to pay the same even when there’s a shift in energy demand. This makes it easier for you to plan as a business owner by not later needing to pay for hidden costs you hadn’t planned for in advance.
5. Check Contract Terms
After signing a contract with a particular gas supplier, you’re obliged to observe the agreed-upon terms. Because of this, you must always closely take a look at the contract terms as it acts as a guide when deciding the gas supplier to choose. The contract period varies from one supplier to another. They can either be six, twelve, or twenty-four months. If your business is well-established, getting longer plans would be ideal as they’re usually cheaper.
Analyze other contract details when deciding a gas supplier to choose by asking the following questions:
- Does your contract expire after the end of the at a variable rate?
- Is your contract auto-renewable?
- Are you expected to select a new rate after every month?
You should also carefully read over the contract terms to determine whether there are barriers to changing to another supplier in case of unsatisfactory performance or cancellation fees. You must understand all these details despite how minuscule they might look to mitigate increases in your business expenses. Have your company’s legal officer read through the document before making coming up with a decision.
6. Inquire Gas Supplier’s Certification And Insurance
Dealing with LPG energy supply is very sensitive, as the slightest mistake can negatively impact your business’ safety. Therefore, you must always choose a gas supplier that, in addition to having the knowledge and relevant experience, observes the latest industry practices and standards is certified and insured. This means that the gas supplier is accredited and approved to deliver LPG gas to your business and conduct the necessary installation up to the state’s standards for safety.
Other than having the necessary certification, it’d be best if you chose a gas supplier that’s working with an insurance company. Hence, make sure to ask potential gas suppliers whether they do observe these requirements. If a supplier gives you half-baked answers or is hesitant to provide answers altogether, this is enough clue to consider another gas supplier.
7. Look At The Quality Of Customer Service
Every LPG supplier must have an after-sale customer support team to help out their customers with the different types of problems they may encounter after availing of their service. And because one may experience an issue or need help from the gas supplier at one point in time, it’s essential to assess the quality of their customer support before settling on any one supplier. A delayed response may drastically affect your company’s operational efficiency.
For this reason, you must always choose a gas supplier that values customer support, letting you enjoy peace of mind as a business owner. Some of the questions you should seek to try and find answers to are:
- Does the supplier have customer representatives available to pick your call?
- Can you get emergency services after normal business hours?
- Does the gas supplier offer 24/7 assistance and support?
- How quickly will they respond to an issue you’re experiencing?
Having the answers to each of these questions will help you gauge the treatment you’ll receive from a gas supplier you’re considering.
8. Take Time To Check Working Timescales
Another consideration you’ll need to have in mind when deciding whether to choose a particular gas supplier is the amount of time taken to perform the installation after signing the agreement.
This usually differs from one gas supplier to another and can range from weeks to a couple of months. This great disparity is brought about by the availability of the tanks and the supplier’s current workload. To address this issue, some gas suppliers outsource the installation of tanks and other related equipment to third-party contractors.
Therefore, you need to understand the supplier’s working timescale, more so if you’re hoping that the installation is done immediately for the smooth running of your business.
9. Does The Gas Supplier Offer Automatic Or Online Billing Plans?
Too much paperwork is said to reduce your company’s efficiency. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure the paperwork is kept to a minimum.
The best way to clear all those clutter is by making sure all your company’s energy billings are done on your computer or phone. And with many other expenses paid monthly, the option of handling your gas bills monthly either by using your debit or credit card is no doubt a much more welcome change.
Having a gas supplier that can go ahead and charge you directly from your company credit or debit card each time a delivery is made offers a great deal of convenience.
Before choosing a specific gas supplier, you need to carry out extensive research. Only after doing this will you be in a position of picking the right gas supplier from the hundreds of options present in the market.
This article has walked you through the essential factors you should consider to help you pick out the right gas supplier for your business. Hopefully, you’ll be able to determine the most suitable pick before entering into a binding contract with a given gas company.