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27 Mar

How to Compare Business Energy Tariffs

by Simon Thompson
 
For any business, large or small, looking to reduce their costs then understanding how to compare business energy tariffs could pay dividends. Just as we find when looking at household energy suppliers, the tariffs available for a business can vary hugely and create confusion. This means conducting more research and calling a potential energy supplier to find their best offer. However, the one thing to remember is a business can only compare their business electricity and gas tariffs separately between suppliers since they cannot get a dual fuel deal like they can for their home. It should be remembered though that there are huge savings to be made from switching energy suppliers and depending on usage, some businesses could save hundreds of pounds and indeed several thousands of pounds. Compare business electricity and gas rates However, when a firm wants to compare business electricity and gas rates with various rivals, it’s not that easy since the supplier will need to offer a bespoke deal. The process of finding low bills not only sees lower overheads but it should be done as a matter of routine. This has been underlined by a survey from the Competition and Markets Authority which reveals that 40% of small and medium-sized businesses have not switched their energy supplier in the last five years. More worryingly, 39% admit they have never switched energy supplier. The survey highlights that many firms in the UK are probably overpaying for their energy and missing out on the huge savings to be made which is an exercise that should be done considering that energy prices are predicted to increase this year. The easiest way to compare business gas and electricity prices Perhaps the easiest way to compare business gas and electricity prices is to understand how the firm’s energy bill is put together; this means understanding the breakdown of the energy unit rate and any standing charges as well. By doing so, the firm will then make the process of comparing prices much easier though they should beware of a potential supplier offering an estimated annual cost since estimates can vary hugely. For a micro-business, that’s an employer who employs fewer than 10 people, they will know their energy prices because that’s the regulation for the suppliers to meet. Also, energy suppliers may automatically push their customers into a rollover contract after the firm’s initial tariff comes to an end. One reason for this is that the rollover contract is usually much more expensive than a new customer’s contract from the same firm. Comparing business gas and electricity prices There’s no doubt that when it comes to comparing business gas and electricity prices there needs to be plenty of homework done. The first step is to benchmark what the market is offering for the firm’s usage. Again, the firm should be wary about any quotes being offered since these will not be a precise offering and they will still need to call the supplier for an actual energy quote. Once the firm has a good idea of what the market offering is and how much money they can save every year, then they should begin calling around other suppliers. Contact business energy brokers It might, however, be easier to contact business energy brokers as well to see whether they have any better offers and tariffs available. The other important issue to remember is the business should never stop haggling or pushing for a better offer, even when their current supplier offers a new deal they should contact them to see if there is an improved offer. If the firm is happy with their current supplier then it might worth doing some research first to see whether their current supplier will meet a competitor’s offer. It would not hurt to ask but the business needs to be forearmed with the relevant information. The other big attraction for firms who are looking to compare their energy prices is that they can also fix into a longer-term deal which is worth considering if prices do begin to rise. Energy suppliers offer variable rates which can be expensive while others will offer a fixed price over one to three years of a contract term. Comparing business energy deals Finally, when it comes to comparing business energy deals and the firm finds an offer they like, they need to appreciate that once they sign a contract there is no cooling off period. This means they must ensure they are happy and understand the contract before committing to it because they will have to see the contract through until the time for renewal arises. Essentially, the easiest way to compare business energy prices is to contact experts in the field who know what the latest deals and tariffs are and can put together a cracking deal that will save searching the market extensively and take care of the switchover process which means contacting the experts D-Energi.
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24 Mar

Why Firms Should use an Energy Consultancy

by Simon Thompson
 
There are many reasons why a firm looking to lower their energy costs should use an energy consultancy and this article explains why. The main reason is probably the most appealing and that’s for those firms who do not have the time to source a new energy supplier to use the expert’s experience. They may also lack the expertise in trying to manage their energy needs and usage to pinpoint where potential savings in energy costs can be made. Indeed, most firms will appreciate that there are some very good commercial energy deals available that will help them lower their overheads and boost efficiencies at the same time. This will, inevitably, mean that profitability will be boosted as a result. The experts in energy services Turning to the experts in energy services is a highly recommended course of action since the energy consultancy will know what the latest and best deals are and they will also have a track record in delivering savings. The energy consultants will also understand the finer points in a potential new supplier’s contract and highlight any potential issues. However, energy consultants are not just about looking at the various tariffs and prices from a potential new supplier to find the best possible deal – they also aim to make the firm more energy-efficient. Indeed, the energy consultants should be able to take a holistic view of the firm’s energy needs, both for gas and electricity and also for their water needs too. That’s because the market for supplying water to businesses in England has now opened up and firms can switch suppliers to help reduce their costs. Energy consultants will be able to find better water deals This means the energy consultants will be able to find better water deals and offer water management tips to help improve efficiencies. The energy consultant should also be able to monitor and measure a firm’s energy use to pinpoint where efficiencies can be made. Essentially, along with the prospect of reducing their energy bill by hundreds if not thousands of pounds every year, further savings can be made by reducing energy use to reduce bills by up to, potentially, 15%. Obviously, for many firms and organisations this could add up to substantial savings being made every year by simply switching water, gas and electricity suppliers. It’s also important to use energy consultants who have an in-depth knowledge of the energy industry and have the expertise to deliver the savings the organisation is hoping for. The other benefit for using an energy consultancy is that once they source a new energy supplier offering much lower rates, they can also look after the switchover process and deal with the contracts as well. The switchover process is seamless While the switchover process is seamless, there will be no interruption in energy supply to the firm’s premises, the energy consultant will be able to ensure that the process is indeed trouble-free. Essentially, organisations will be looking to not only lower their energy bills but also their energy usage and improve their green credentials as well. It should also be appreciated that the energy consultants can work with firms of all shapes and sizes as well as those who have several business sites. This also means that those with more than one premises can also have an improved deal from an energy supplier and receive just one invoice rather than having to deal with several suppliers and their invoices. Again, the energy consultants will have the knowledge and experience of the market to find the best suppliers to those organisations with several premises or retail outlets. The work of the energy consultant Essentially, the work of the energy consultant is not just about sourcing lower prices to reduce a business energy bill, but also to monitor the firm’s energy consumption and highlight where energy is being wasted. This may mean tips and advice which may change the way the firm works to help boost their environmental impact and reduce their energy use as well.   So, for those firms looking to use an energy consultancy, they should speak with the team of experts at D-Energi to find out what they can do and what savings can be made over the short-term.
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22 Mar

Switch to a New Business Gas Supplier and Save

by Simon Thompson
 
There are big savings to be made for any business that switches to a new cheap business gas and electric supplier and this article will help explain why. All firms should check the market regularly to ensure they are on a gas and electricity tariff that best suits their business needs. However, since energy suppliers cannot offer a dual fuel deal, this means they must source their electricity and gas needs separately. The market for supplying business gas is a competitive one and the firm will, more than likely, find a cheaper supplier with a better customer service delivery. Despite the fact that firms could save hundreds or thousands of pounds every year on their energy bills, around 40% of them, according to the Competition and Markets Authority, do not bother to switch energy suppliers. There are a number of reasons for this, some firms will be happy with their business energy supplier and others will simplify believe it’s too time-consuming to carry out. Source a cheap business gas supplier The energy watchdog Ofgem and the government are keen to boost competition within the business energy supply market which means the firm will find it easier to source a cheap business gas supplier and electric too. It’s important to appreciate that they will not lose business gas supply during the switchover process since there will be no need to install new pipes or meters. It should be part of normal business practice to look at the business gas supply market on a regular basis to ensure the firm is enjoying the best tariffs available. This will also bring peace of mind and ensure that they are not paying more than they need to for their gas. Some firms may also be confused not only about the switchover process itself but the fact there are so many competitors in the market offering great deals. While many will want to stick with the ‘big six’ gas suppliers, it will pay to shop around and find better tariffs, better customer service and other services being offered as well. Savings to be made in the amount of gas being used Among these gas services for businesses is the opportunity from some suppliers to undertake an energy usage audit to see whether there are savings to be made in the amount of gas being used. This will mean that as well switching to a cheaper tariff, the firm will save even more money by being more efficient with their gas use. Some firms may also want to undertake the comparison process and then be astounded at the wide range of business gas suppliers available offering a multitude of tariffs, contracts, and services. But there’s an argument to be made that managing energy efficiently is a great way for a business to boost its environmental credentials and lower their overheads at the same time. For this reason, commercial gas procurement should be at the forefront of their regular tasks to see whether savings can be made and profitability improved. It should also be noted that while the commercial gas market is primarily aimed at firms both large and small, from one-man bands to multisite premises, the offers are also available for other non-domestic organisations, such as charities and even churches. It’s also worthwhile working with an organisation that will offer a dedicated account manager so the business will be informed should their tariff or terms change and also, when the opportunity arises, search the market once more for an even better deal. Source a new supplier and fix energy prices With industry experts predicting that business gas prices will inevitably rise in the coming months and years, it makes sense to source a new supplier and fix energy prices before increases are implemented. Along with business gas comparison websites to find better prices, there are also growing numbers of energy brokers available who can access the whole market to find a suitable bespoke deal. For those firms who are time poor to undertake an analysis of the available business gas deals, then this will be a suitable solution. It also means they don’t have to make too much effort to find a cheaper and better supplier. There’s no doubt that by switching energy supplier, the firm will reduce costs and have the option of moving to a fixed term contract so they will know what their energy prices will be for the next one to three years. By taking control of their energy needs and supply, the firm will be reassured that they have done all they need to and made the maximum savings possible.   However, for all firms who are looking to switch to a new cheap business gas and electric supplier, then speaking with the experts at D-Energi will be time well spent because they will, within minutes, be able to highlight just how much money could be saved by moving to a new energy supplier.
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20 Mar

Why Understanding What P272 Means is Important

by Simon Thompson
 
While it may sound like an obscure piece of business regulation, understanding what P272 means is important for all organisations. That’s because it is a regulation from the energy industry watchdog OFGEM which, in October 2014, stipulated that all organisations with non-half-hourly profile class electricity meters would be migrated to the energy market’s half hourly meters. This means that the difference between the two environments will now be leveled out and, more importantly, will see firms and organisations being able to access cheaper electricity bills since their energy suppliers will be able to define more clearly not only how much energy an organisation is using but also when they are using it. The extra information means the energy supplier could move their customers to lower tariffs so they save money. In addition, they may even encourage an organisation to use electricity when it’s cheaper in off-peak periods to help with energy demand and the firm will then enjoy lower bills as a result. All firms that had a non-half-hour electricity meter Essentially, all firms that had a non-half-hourly electricity meters, known as NHH, will have gone through, or will need to go through, the switch over to a half hourly settlement. The word settlement is used to determine how much electricity an organisation has used over a given period. For those organisations with a meter in the ‘Profile Class 05-08’ – the definition of the meter is on the organisation’s electricity bill and meter itself – will automatically send the actual energy usage for the previous half-hour to the energy supplier. One reason for this is that Ofgem says that organisations will be able to move their electricity demand away from the dearer peak periods and onto the cheaper periods or find a supplier who better meets their needs. This not only helps the energy market but it also helps the National Grid forecast more efficiently when demand for energy will increase. Switchover process for the implementation of P272 The switchover process for the implementation of P272 began in November 2015 so that all of the relevant metering systems in the country will have switched across to the half hourly market by April this year. Obviously, this timescale means that some business sites had to implement the meter switchover much earlier than others did but everyone will need to have the new meters in place by the April deadline. For those firms or organisations that have not been contacted or are unsure whether they are on the correct metering system, then they need to act promptly. The best way of doing this is to contact the experts at D-Energi and they will be able to help answer any questions. More importantly, should the organisation need to switch over then this can be arranged quickly and efficiently by the helpful advisers at D-Energi. One of the main reasons given for organisations not switching energy suppliers is they claim not to have the time to fully research the market for a new supplier – this is where experts in the market come into their own and help firms save time doing so. Electricity meter in the ‘Profile Class 05 to 08’ Indeed, it’s crucial that all businesses now have their electricity meter in the ‘Profile Class 05 to 08’ range so they have switched to a half hourly billing basis. If not, their energy supplier must install a new meter or help with the switch-over by the deadline. The result is that businesses will get more accurate electricity bills which means they should see a fall in their overheads but other organisations may see a rise in their bills. The P272 also encourages firms to introduce energy saving ideas such as switching off electric lights in rooms that are not being occupied and other efficiencies. The team at D-Energi can help Again, the team at D-Energi can help with advice on this subject with ideas that work and will save the company money. By shopping around, the organisation will be able to gain a better energy deal because a potential new supplier will be able to see how much the organisation is using in energy in clear detail and, more importantly, when they are using it. It’s important to appreciate that the new changes only apply to organisations and not to domestic consumers and every business using electricity will be affected. Under the new rules, it simply is not possible for any organisation to remain on their non-half hourly settlement and they will need an advanced meter installed. Another reason for OFGEM to arrange for the P272 switch to half hourly metering is for businesses to appreciate how much they are spending on energy and look to switch suppliers so the idea is to create competition within the industry. With greater competition for company, business means organisations can access lower tariffs more easily and reduce their overheads as a result. For more help and information about understanding P272 and how an organisation can switch energy suppliers or find a better tariff, then contact the experts at D-Energi.
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