British Gas has announced an end to automatic rollover contracts for its business customers.

From September 1, 2013, the energy supplier will offer new business customers products without automatic rollovers and from June of next year existing British Gas customers will be offered renewal options that will include a choice of fixed-term or variable tariffs.

Existing customers who reach their renewal date before June 2014 will also be able to move to a non-rollover contract by contacting British Gas.

Stephen Beynon, managing director of British Gas Business, said: “Increasing numbers of our small business customers have told us they don’t like the way the energy industry automatically moves them onto new contracts, so we’ve decided we will lead the way and put an end to this practice for our customers.

“We’re the first supplier to announce an end to auto-rollover contracts and we’re calling on the industry and the regulator to work together to ensure that all customers have a transparent choice of products that never include auto-rollover.”

Welcoming the move, Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) chief executive James Lowman said: “British Gas’ initiative shows they have reflected on the concerns we have raised and their new approach will significantly increase the chance of retailers achieving better more competitive terms for their energy. We remain convinced that Ofgem must regulate to ensure consistency and fairness but initiatives such as this show our campaign is having an effect.”