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Archive for the ‘Business Energy Savings’ Category

Why do we need an LOA (Letter of Authority)?

This is a question that I am often asked by customers when informing them that I require a signed LOA. It’s not a legal document, it’s not intended to lock them in to anything untoward. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. One of the reasons for requiring an LOA, is to protect  customers. Simply put, it allows us to ‘act on their behalf, with their authorisation’ when approaching their current energy supplier.

What is an LOA?

Energy Broker LOA

Energy Broker LOA

An energy broker such as myself, acts as an intermediary between the client and the energy companies. However, as our name is not down on your account, the energy company (in particular, the current supplier) requires authorisation by the person whose name is on the bill to allow the broker to speak about the account on their behalf. As many people simply don’t have the time to deal with their bills, or the understanding of them, brokers can liaise on their behalf with the energy company to find out important details that allow us to obtain accurate quotes.

Why do you need an LOA?

Again, this is a common question, with the customer not entirely grasping the need for the LOA and believing that we can quote new prices there and then! Unfortunately this is not so. Anyone that claims to not need an LOA is either:

  • getting you to do the leg work in finding out important details
  • quoting based on estimated details and assumptions
  • acting unscrupulously

When quoting new prices for the customer, we require certain details by which we can obtain a highly accurate set of prices. These key details are:

  • Annual consumptions (EAC – electricity, AQ – gas)
  • MPAN or MPR numbers
  • Site address including postcode
  • Renewal date(s)
  • Current supplier

When speaking with a new customer, we request two things from them, a copy of a recent bill (or for them to complete our Client Info Form) and to sign our LOA.

So what do we do with this? 

With a copy of a bill, we will know who your current supplier is and by knowing the supplier we will know when they send out termination letters and how long we have to act on them. We will be able to see your MPAN or MPR numbers, as they should be on the footer of the bill. We will see what the site address is.  We may find the EAC (estimated annual consumption) or AQ (Actual Quantity) stated on the bill, or more likely is that through calculations, we could work out your approximate annual usage. However, armed with the LOA, we would approach your supplier to obtain these figures, thereby allowing us to quote based on accurate consumption figures, using the previous years usage. The LOA also enables us to attain quotes from certain suppliers, who require us to have an LOA, so it increases our remit.

Why can’t we just provide a price right now?

Unfortunately, price quotations require key pieces of information, as has previously been stated. Prices vary depending upon:

  • Your postcode
  • Your level of consumption
  • Your renewal date
  • Your MPAN/MPR number

not to mention which supplier you choose.

So to summarise, for us to provide our customers with the most accurate price quotation, we require an LOA so that we can obtain all the important information from the current supplier and allowing us to do so with the customer’s authorisation.

Business Energy Questions – Is saving money important to your business?

April 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Is saving money important to your business?

It would appear that not all businesses are actually keen to save! Astonishing really. They are too busy in their pursuit to ‘make’ money, yet sweep under the carpet their business overheads until it’s often too late to make decent savings. Those niggly bills that come around but once a year, requiring time and effort in dealing with them. We concur, we empathise with you. They are a nuisance, it does take time to find the best deals, however, given a little time and effort, you can make substantial savings. Don’t sweep this overhead under the carpet, face up to it and act now!

Of course in my line of work I would say this. I am an energy broker, or intermediary if you like, helping to facilitate the process of attaining the best energy rates possible. If you aren’t prepared to do it then I will take on board the role of your energy manager. Not only this, but I will make sure of the following:

  • Prevent you from rolling onto ‘out-of-contract’ rates at renewal time.
  • Find out what your current contract situation is (if indeed you’re in a contract).
  • Find out current tariff rates and annual consumptions.
  • If you don’t know who your supplier is, I can find this out.
  • Help with the process of installing a new meter (even a Smart or Half Hourly meter).
  • Resolve issues with your energy supplier.
  • Put you in contact with associated partners, who can help review and improve your energy efficiency, the aim being to lower your consumption and ultimately your expenditure.
  • Provide communications throughout to keep you informed and up to date.

Yes, we do undertake these tasks for our clients where and when required. Many simply don’t have the time or knowledge to deal with it and would rather outsource to someone such as myself, who will take the hassle away from them, yet work for them and with them.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you know how much energy your business consumes per year?
  2. Do you know how much you spend per year?
  3. Do you know how to reduce your energy consumption?

If you answered ‘NO’ to any of these questions, then our response would be ‘we can find this out, let us help you’. This is what we do, this is what we are here for. Don’t waste your precious time calling your energy supplier, hanging on the telephone for half an hour or more, only to then be passed on to another department. We can get direct to the appropriate person.

When renewing your energy contracts, what’s important for you and your business in terms of your energy supplier requirements?

  • Price
  • Quality of service
  • Fixed prices, fixed term
  • Budgeting
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • A managed service
  • Speed of processing

I suspect that for many, the top priority is price. The lowest price possible, I know that’s what I would certainly want. I also suspect that quality of service would be a distant second…perhaps. If you’ve previously had bad experience of a particular supplier, then you’ll want to switch away from them, making sure that you review customer ratings of the other energy suppliers, for their customer satisfaction levels. But how about considering the other requirements too.

A specialist in this area, such as myself, can assist with these requirements for you. Arranging fixed price, fixed term contracts so that you know exactly what you should be paying over the duration of that fixed term period, which will help with your budgeting. Nowadays with energy prices only ever seeming to rise, we should be reviewing our consumption habits and considering ways by which we can  improve energy efficiency and reduce our consumption, ultimately reducing your expenditure. Our managed service will help to keep you on top of your energy expenses. If you’re a multi-site business, could we align renewal dates to a single date – yes. If you are a property management company dealing with multi-meters (communal block) on a single site, we can review and align these. We can help with smart metering, extremely beneficial for multi-sited businesses, that require meter readings to be taken on a regular basis. With smart meters, you don’t need to visit each site. You simply log on to your computer, open up the online facility and review your energy consumption for each and every smart meter you have. You’ll have the ability to break it down to half hourly data. The speed of processing is due to you taking advantage of our service and being able to navigate to the appropriate people in a timely fashion and letting us address issues on your behalf.

We will challenge the existence of the costs and whether they are necessary. Our aim is to reduce your costs wherever possible, to the lowest prices. We will re-negotiate with your existing supplier as well as other suppliers for best rates.

One of our new services for tendering, is to provide you with a ‘Reverse Auction’ bidding process. We will submit your business energy details and renewal offers (if applicable) to several energy suppliers, who will then bid for your business, by attempting to offer the lowest rates possible, bettering the other suppliers. This is a fairly new approach to procuring your energy rates, but one in which:

  • will produce lowest rates
  • A large range of suppliers tendering
  • transparency of associated costs

All businesses need assistance in some form or other. Not everything in your business can be performed by you, which is why you seek out the expertise of others.

  • Does a builder do ALL the work themself? No, they will bring in experts – plumbers, carpenters, electricians etc.
  • Corporations will bring in auditors, contractors, project managers, I.T. firms etc.

It should be the same for one of your businesses largest expenses – your energy bill. Businesses focus predominantly on increasing turnover and making profit. But what about reducing overheads? Will this not increase your turnover?

Do you use an accountant, gardener, cleaner, restaurant or local take-away? All cater for tasks that you could do yourself , however, you don’t have the time to spend doing, the time to understand what to do, so you use these services. Throw in our service to this list. We have the time, the knowledge and expertise to undertake your energy procurement & energy management requirements. 

Businesses focus predominantly on increasing turnover and making profit. But what about reducing overheads? Will this not increase your profit?

We will work ‘WITH YOU’ & ‘FOR YOU’.

Business Energy Service – Contact us today for a cheaper business energy rate

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment

U-GET will review your business energy rates. If you don’t have time to check your energy prices, or simply don’t understand how to get the best rates, we are here to help. We’ll show you possible savings against current tariff and will also arrange the switch for you.

Simply fill in the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible:

Please have the details in our client information form to hand, when we contact you. These help us to accurately quote the best rates.

Client Info Form

If you could save £100, £500 or £1000’s off your energy bill, why wouldn’t you?

March 7, 2012 Leave a comment

If you could save £100, £500 or £1000’s off your energy bill, without paying for the service, why would you not find out more? http://ow.ly/j8Kcy Contact me today. It doesn’t need to be a recession to save money!

Cold snap could push business electricity prices up again

February 8, 2012 Leave a comment

The severe cold snap across Europe, which has pushed gas prices to their highest level for five years, is proof that business electricity prices  will remain volatile, according to the Energy Advice Line.

Julian Morgan, managing director of the UK’s leading business electricity price comparison  and switching service (Energy Advice Line), said although energy suppliers had recently cut their prices, firms would be wise to search for good deals now if their fixed-term contracts were ending.

Mr Morgan said there were fears that the unexpectedly harsh European cold snap would push gas and business electricity prices back up sooner than expected. Wholesale UK gas prices have jumped by 50% since the beginning of the cold snap to reach their highest level since 2006.

“To remain in control of their energy bills and to keep them as low as possible, businesses need to be vigilant and should not expect the lower business electricity  prices announced by the Big Six earlier this year to last,” Mr Morgan said.

“If your fixed-term contract is coming up for renewal it is now more important than ever to compare the market and investigate the best business electricity rates available. It may be wise for firms to lock in good deals now.

“Businesses can do this up to 120 days before the end of their fixed-term contracts.”

With more people forced to use more gas to heat their homes during the bitterly cold weather, and with Europe’s major gas supply from Russia not being as high as usual, some countries such as Italy, Greece and Australia have suffered fuel shortages.

Energy analysts say there is still sufficient gas in the UK, but if higher prices continued these could feed through to domestic and business electricity users eventually.

“If wholesale prices rise faster than expected, it’s obvious retail prices will rise faster than expected too,” he said. “But it’s not easy to predict whether prices are back up for long,” according to Stephen Fitzpatrick, chief executive of Ovo Energy.

Tom Pering, an analyst at energy consultancy Inenco, said gas prices had spiked even higher in the current cold snap because energy traders were worried that British supplies were dependent on a major Norwegian pipeline.

Any disruption to this supply could have serious consequences at a time when the weather is bad across Europe.

“It’s difficult to say whether the high prices will continue as the weather is uncertain,” he said. “We think there is a risk premium being built in to the price, even though something hasn’t happened. We need strong flows from Norway. If that was to have a disruption, things would be more difficult.”

Energy regulator Ofgem has urged all businesses to shop around for the best available business gas  and business electricity prices.

U-GET Energy Bill Review Process

February 2, 2012 Leave a comment
  • Too busy to review and manage your energy bill?
  • Don’t understand your energy bill and know which quote(s) are best for you?
  • Or simply do nothing currently?

Learn how simple it is to get your business energy bill reviewed by U-GET. Let us check you current contract situation, then quote new rates for you. After that you decide which tariff to go with and let us setup the contract for you.

It’s that straightforward.

Watch my video explanation.

Domestic Energy Renewal Catch

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Switching energy providers should save you £££’s. In fact, only last week, on ‘Rip-Off Britain‘, they claimed that if we all switched, then UK homes could save around £3bn!!! That’s quite a saving and yet many people still don’t do this. This same also applies to businesses.

Although we could save by switching, there is one slight catch. Typical I hear you cry!

Domestically, if you are in a 1 year fixed contract, you will receive your renewal letter (informing you that your tariff is coming to an end) approximately 4 weeks before the end date (renewal date). The 4 weeks prior, notice letter, is in effect your ‘Termination’ notice and is standard (or should be).

Now you have 3 possible options:

  1. Do Nothing – which means that you’ll automatically roll onto the quoted rates in your renewal letter, which will be higher than any fixed rates. They will also be subject to market changes (up & down).
  2. Stay with your current supplier and arrange a better deal than the one they initial quoted (probably a fixed term/price tariff).
  3. Compare & switch using a comparison site (or do it all yourself).

As this article is entitled ‘Renewal Catch’, I’ll focus on point 3.

So you receive your renewal letter 4 weeks before the end date. You hit that computer for a comparison site, find a good deal and proceed to switch. Excellent…well, not quite.

You see, you now assume that come the end date, your new rates will automatically take effect then. In the UK, it takes between 4-6 weeks for the authorities to switch over from one supplier to another. You’ve probably seen the problem. There could be 2 weeks whereby, well…what happens? What rates do I pay?

The truth is, that if you switch right away, it may take 6 weeks for it to go through, in which time for those extra 2 weeks, you would have been paying ‘out of contract standard rates’ which are higher than fixed and subject to market changes.

So what should you do? As it takes an age to switch in the UK domestic market, I suggest that you keep track of your end date, by placing a reminder in your diary, computer calendar, mobile…etc, for somewhere in the region of 6-8 weeks prior to your end date. This way, you shouldn’t get caught in this corridor of uncertainty and end up paying those unforseen higher rates.

To compare your rates, use our comparison site (Tip: do find out your annual consumption and use this figure, not monthly spend)

For your free business energy quote & switch, contact U-GET Consultancy Services

Cheque Users Losing out on Energy Bills

November 25, 2011 Leave a comment

New research by Which? Money has found that customers paying their energy bills by cheque could be paying almost £100 more on average over a year than paying by direct debit. The research looked at the standard annual duel-fuel tariffs available across the six biggest energy companies  – British Gas, EDF, Eon, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE. The difference in price between paying by quarterly cash and cheque and monthly direct debit came to an average of £98.60 over the course of a year. In order to get the UK-wide average price, annual costs were obtained for each region of the country with an average taken from each.Cheque users missing out Research by charity Age UK shows that use of direct debits to pay utility bills decreases directly with age, particularly among the over 70s. Many younger consumers, especially those in low-income households, also feel that direct debit gives them less control than other payment methods. Energy companies normally offer a discount to people who pay by direct debit as it guarantees payment to them and makes the account easier and cheaper to manage. Some companies do offer prompt payment discounts if you pay by cash and cheque on time, though these won’t be as high as the ongoing discounts given to direct debit customers. Which? researcher Alex Kouzarides commented: ‘While it may suit the energy suppliers to manage direct debit accounts, many people still prefer more traditional methods or simply have no choice in their circumstances. It’s vital that utilities companies develop fair and inclusive systems that ensure all consumers are given a fair deal.’ The full article entitled ‘Time to cheque out?’ features in the December issue of Which? Money magazine.

Winter Approaching, Higher Energy Prices – Take Action!

October 21, 2011 Leave a comment

With the British weather having hit it’s cold spell now and the first steps to a cold winter, you should be checking your energy rates.

Our heating is most likely to have been turned on & turned up recently. How long will it to remain on? Several months, no doubt. What if winter really is bitterly cold this year! Imagine the cost of your bills; far higher than last year.

Although you can take certain actions to to improve your energy/heating efficiency, which often comes at a cost, this does not account for all options in reducing your energy bills. You still use electricity and/or gas, so shouldn’t you start by making sure you are paying the lowest rates possible? I know I would.

Domestically, check out your energy rates on our comparison site: http://domestic.u-getconsultancy.co.uk

Commercially, we can attain quotes for you. Check out our website and contact us today: http://www.u-getconsultancy.co.uk

Save today, don’t waste your cash, get the lowest energy rates possible. Fix those rates and help with your budgeting.

Contact U-GET Today

Energy Bill Rates Check – We help you to pay less

Ever picked up the paper or listened to the news and heard them talk about how Mr & Mrs. Jones were overcharged £1000 for the gas and electricity? It happens quite often!

There may well be a certain ‘spin’ on it by the media, but customers are paying more than they could be, if they only took the time to review their bills. This is the problem though, they don’t always have the time, they can’t get their head around the bill and consequently, neglect it, thereby paying higher rates.

We’ve all been there haven’t we? We receive our utility or insurance bill and fling it to one side. If you do this with an energy bill, you will miss the cut off notification date and they’ll simply roll you onto that higher rate tariff, which you cannot get out of. Not until the next renewal date.

Mr & Mrs Jones may be paying £1000 more than they need to, because they didn’t act on their renewal letter or the energy company has made a mistake with their bill. Either way, don’t just leave it, there is assistance.

If you contact me, I can find out your renewal dates. This can be diarised and at the appropriate time, I will act on it. I will send off a termination notice (preventing you from automatically rolling over contracts), then look for new energy quotes.

If you believe that you have been over-charged, again, do call me, I can check this out, if you provide me with a set of historical bills.

Recently, I saved a client £1600 per year! How, through a simple telephone call to find out his contract terms, I was informed that his rates had increased, despite him being in a fixed contract! This was corrected and the over-payment was credited back to him.

To find out more about your energy bill rates, for business energy and for your home energy, then please contact me, I will be more than happy to help.

07710 118520 or 020 8327 0001

Ian Tiffenberg – U-GET Consultancy Services

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