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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’.

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