When it comes to conducting a gas price comparison, many consumers’ first step is to look into the tariffs of the big six gas companies. These companies dominate the gas supply market, and have a far greater capability in getting their names recognized by the public. For some consumers, however, the big six are not enough, and as such these consumers have begun looking into some of the smaller gas companies available. These companies, they claim, offer a good alternative to the big six, in terms of not just pricing, but also customer service and convenience. For you, as a consumer, how do you know whether you are better off going with a big or small gas company? In this article we will compare the big six suppliers with some of the smaller gas companies on the market in terms of price, convenience, and service.

Gas price comparison

Price

For many consumers, the most important question they have when it comes to gas supply is which company can offer them the lowest rate on their gas? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this question. With so many energy companies to choose from, inevitably some are going to be more expensive than others, regardless of whether they are a small or a large company. Nonetheless, we can deduce some generalities from the gas market in terms of cost. Overall, the smaller gas companies tend to offer the lowest prices. There are many reasons for these lower costs. One is that because smaller gas companies have to compete with the much larger companies, they are, as a result, much more willing to slash their prices in order to gain new customers. Furthermore, many smaller energy companies are subsidised by the government. While these subsidies have been criticized by the big six companies, it does at least mean that these smaller companies can pass the value of these subsidies on to their consumers. Lastly, because smaller gas companies are typically much more limited in their operations, they also tend to spend less on large workforces and overheads. By keeping their expenses low, they can also keep their tariffs low as well. As was mentioned before, however, lower prices are not a rule for small gas companies, and it is possible that the best gas price for your area will be offered by a big six company.

Convenience

When it comes to convenience, the big six companies tend to have the edge. These companies, because of their size, can afford to offer their customers almost every service imaginable. For example, if you live in a house that is supplied by an Independent Gas Transporter (IGT), you may have difficulty getting service from a small gas supplier. For the big six, an IGT serviced property poses no problems. Furthermore, for those who are planning on moving soon and are happy with their current provider, they may find it difficult to keep their provider if that provider only operates in a limited number of regions. Because the big six have a much more extensive network across the UK, you will have much less to worry about should you choose to move properties in the future with a big six supplier. Lastly, all of the big six companies offer online account management and direct debit, which not only makes paying bills much easier, but also means you can get discounts on your gas supply.

Customer Service

For some people, the most important thing they look for in a gas supplier is not a low tariff, but exceptional customer service. When it comes to the big six suppliers versus smaller suppliers, however, there is hardly one set rule as to which group offers the best customer service. In general, however, most of the smaller gas companies tend to score better when it comes to customer satisfaction. This higher satisfaction is likely due to smaller companies having to struggle harder than the big six in order to attract new customers, thus these companies will often go a bit further in order to make sure these customers remain loyal. Of course, this is, again, only a generalization, and plenty of customer satisfaction surveys exist online which will tell you which gas companies score highest with customer satisfaction.

If you are in the process of doing a gas price comparison, then you have undoubtedly already looked at the tariffs on offer from at least some of the big six gas companies. Smaller gas companies, however, can offer a good alternative for your energy needs, and by knowing how each company fares on price, convenience, and satisfaction, you will be able to make a more informed decision about your future gas energy needs.

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Laura Ginn knows that in order to ensure you are getting the best price for your home energy you need to look at the bigger picture, not just the main suppliers. Using the money saving website, uSwitch.com you can perform a gas price comparison which will show you where you can get the best price for the energy you need.

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