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5 Jul

No Electricity Bill in 20 Years

by Sarah Wilkinson
 
Electricity bill free for 20 years!   The loss for her supplier would equate to a whopping £10 000 after somehow ‘slipping through the system’ in the 1990’s when her house was incorrectly marked down as having been disconnected. Carol Kellar sent her confusion across in an email to The Guardian, which left them intrigued and interested to find out more. It is promising that she would have been supplied by Norweb, the company was bought by North West Water in 1995 – the two companies came together to become United Utilities as we know it today. The customer base was sold to E.ON in 2002, Powergen at the time, while a company called Electricity North West owns and operates the regions electricity distribution network after buying it from United Utilities in 2007. After further investigation, it was found that Kellar’s MPAN had been disconnected in 2003. This seems to be apparent because information was received from the supplier stating that there was no activity on the meter meaning, it wasn’t being used. source: The Guardian If, like Carol, you haven’t received an electricity bill in a while then the below applies to you. If you are in this minority, there’s a chance you won’t have to pay for all the energy you/your business has consumed. By rights, your supplier is only obliged to charge you for a maximum of 12 months of energy us, if it has been over  tear since you last received an electricity bill – this information is found under the ‘back billing code’. However, life as we know isn’t all plain sailing… for the above to apply to you then the following is important: You must have already contacted your supplier and asked for a bill to be sent Co-operated with any requests from your supplier e.g. letting them visit your home to read your meter. In other words: You haven’t received an electricity bill in over 2 years, you call your supplier and ask them to send you a bill. You give them a meter reading. Next, await the arrival of your requested bill, you receive this to find they have charged you for 2 years’ worth of energy use. You respond with a letter stating that you are aware of the ‘back billing code’ and that you need only to pay for 1 year of energy use. Your supplier sends you a new bill – this time with the correct figures. It may be apparent that you can’t afford you pay your sky high bill which you have not been charged for over the previous months then you can request a payment plan from your supplier. For example, if it has been 13 months since your last payment/bill then your supplier could split your payment to be paid over a 13 month period. Source: Citizen’s Advice
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30 Jun

Business Gas Quote – Get the Best Prices

by Sarah Wilkinson
 
  Looking for a business gas quote? Fed up of long waiting times. Why not give us a try, you may not of heard of us before but our customers love us. Rated within the top 5 gas suppliers on Trustpilot. View our meet our customers page. We have been supplying business gas for 15 years based in the heart of Manchester.  We are a small family energy business and not part of the Big Six – we can not only match their business gas quote rates, but on most occasions beat them. Our friendly UK based call centre will guarantee your call to be answered in a maximum of five rings and no long waiting times.   We offer a friendly and personalised service, account managers are dedicated solemnly to you so any query or issue you may have is dealt with by an expert. This way we have built a loyal growing portfolio of hotels, care homes, schools who all use us as their preferred business gas supplier. Managing your finances in your business is important and is something that cannot be dealt with light heartedly. This is what drives us to give you the best fixed prices we can offer. With a fixed price business gas quote from D-ENERGi, you know specifically how much you will pay on your gas bill every single month. You may now be thinking why should I get a business gas quote from D-ENERGi? We have had plenty of practise forging the best energy deals and in negotiating exclusive deals higher up the supply chain so we can pass the savings on to you. Click here  to get a free no obligation business gas quote from D-ENERGi or call 0800 781 7626.
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27 Jun

Third sector solution to ‘bed blocking’ crisis

by Sarah Wilkinson
 
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman report hit the headlines when it raised the spectre of vulnerable patients being sent home from hospital, alone and helpless, with many unprepared to fend for themselves again following injury or illness. The report pulled no punches.  It said some families had been left ‘devastated’ by the treatment of their relatives.  It found distressing numbers of people were being discharged too soon – or being forced to stay in hospital because there was nowhere else for them to go.  The report blamed poor planning and inadequate communication in terms of admissions, transfers and discharge policies. It’s a scenario being played out across the country, and for many people the picture of their overall care is like a jigsaw puzzle with several significant pieces missing.   Enham Trust is one of the charities attempting to restore some of those missing pieces of the jigsaw.  One chief concern raised by the Ombudsman report was the issue of ‘delayed transfer of care’, or bed blocking.  When patients cannot be discharged from hospital because there is no suitable environment, with the necessary care, rehabilitation and therapy, for them to retreat to. Enham Trust, a disabled charity based in Hampshire, has just opened ten new residences designed for exactly this purpose.  Each of the new Cedar Park Apartments is furnished, has a wet room, kitchenette with fridge and microwave, a private patio with rural views and storage facilities. The apartments offer somewhere for patients to go, with short-term care packages structured around each individual.  Three meals a day can be provided, as well as a range of therapies, support and activities.  Care provision is available on site 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The Cedar Park Apartments are available to people leaving hospital and needing a place to stay, while longer-term health and social care plans are put in place or necessary alterations are made to their homes so they can eventually move back.  They can be paid for privately or with funding from the local authority. But the shortcomings in care aren’t just affecting individuals; they’re having a huge impact on the NHS as a whole.  In February, Lord Carter’s review of English acute hospitals revealed that 8,500 hospital beds were taken each year by medically-fit patients.  This has a tangible knock on effect on the entire NHS, in terms of admissions and elective procedure rates.  Bed blocking is threatening to bring some aspects of hospital care to a grinding halt. Furthermore, this effect is compounded by pressure from an ageing population plus a confusing array of local medical services, which are often perceived as inaccessible, and Enham Trust’s Chairman Khalid Aziz believes it’s time to rethink the system.  “The Carter Review estimates delays in discharging patients costs the NHS £900 million every year,” he said.  “But that doesn’t alter the fact that these vulnerable people who are taking up the beds still need some form of treatment, constant care or support.  You can’t free up the beds until an alternative form of care is in place.” Chief Executive Peta Wilkinson added:  “Everything is pointing to the fact that changes in the way we offer and deliver care are inevitable.  At a time when there is clamour for change, third sector organisations like Enham Trust are in a unique position.  They are at liberty to offer innovative and collaborate solutions for truly integrated care.  They can maintain a vision whilst operating with agility and flexibility. “Our specialist units offer a blueprint for other organisations.  They offer a way for patients to have space, time and facilities to recover and return to independence in a safe, supportive environment.  They give the patient’s family the confidence to know their loved one is receiving the support they need.  A solution like this seems to me to be the logical way forward.  We think we are offering one of the essential missing pieces of the jigsaw.”
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24 Jun

Hotels Are Best at Customer Service

by Sarah Wilkinson
 
Hotels are best at online customer service Hotels and B&Bs come top of the list for online customer service, while – surprisingly perhaps – online marketing businesses are at the bottom. That’s according to new research conducted by online search platform Intently.co, which analysed data from over 16,000 service providers covering 160 business sectors to find out which professions offer the best online consumer experience. The best industries for customer service, based on their average response rate, were: Holiday accommodation and services – eg, hotels, B&Bs and self-catering cottages (33%) Cosmetic surgery (32%) Pet services – eg, dog grooming, dog walking, kennels and catteries (28%) Beauty services – eg, beauticians, hair and make up artists (26%) The worst industries for customer service were: Technology Services – eg, web design and development, SEO services, online marketing and social media (5%) Delivery services – eg, couriers, flower delivery (11%) Home Services – eg, plumbers, builders and electricians (15%) Vehicle maintenance – eg, car servicing and tyre replacement (15%) All the emails were requests for bookings, appointments or work to be undertaken, so service providers should have been motivated to respond quickly. “Apart from a few service groups such as hotels and accommodation services, response rates are surprisingly poor,” Intently’s CEO, Neil Harris said.  “When customers choose who to buy from, cost is important, but speed of response and customer service matters even more.” He added:  “It’s ironic that technology providers have greatly underperformed considering that they cover services such as online marketing, social media consultancy and search engine optimisation – you would expect them to be strong on online communication. “Supply seems to outstrip demand in this area, and these technology providers regularly make unsolicited approaches to potential customers.  This makes it even more surprising that when a genuine lead arrives in a technology provider’s inbox, they don’t seem to know what to do with it.”
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