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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.

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Utility bill breakdown

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment
Utility bills contain a variety of charges, but what are you actually paying for? We look at how utility bills are put together, and how to cut down your usage. The average utility bill is made up of several different components. Here is a breakdown of an average utility bill to give you a better idea of where your money is going, a guide on how to use, and tips on how to cut down your usage.

Breakdown of your average utility bill

utility bills breakdown

Meter provision

8% of your gas bill and 7% of your electricity bill. Meter provision is the cost of your meter, plus its installation and maintenance

Environmental costs

4% of your gas bill and 10% of your electricity bill Government environmental initiatives have an impact on the cost of your gas and electricity, because a proportion of your bill is used to subsidies them.

These charges are not itemised on your bill, so you won’t see exactly how much you are contributing.

Environmental schemes which are subsidised by your gas and electricity bills include:

  • Feed-in Tariff scheme (FITs)
  • Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT)
  • Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP)
  • The Renewables Obligation (RO)
  • EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)

VAT

5% of your gas bill and 5% of your electricity bill. Contrary to popular belief, you do not pay full VAT on gas and electricity, but you do pay some. Currently VAT payments are capped at 5%.

Transmission charges

2% of your gas bill, 5% of your electricity bill Transmission networks are what actually deliver electricity and gas to your home, and some of the cost of building and maintaining transmission chargers is passed on to customers.

Distribution charges

19% of your gas bill, 18% of your electricity bill Some of the cost of building, maintaining and operating the local gas pipes and electricity wires which deliver energy to the home is passed on to customers.

Wholesale energy, supply costs and profit margin

63% of your gas bill, 54% of your electricity bills This is the charge for the actual gas and electricity that you use, which makes up the bulk of your bill.

Wholesale cost refers to the price that the energy supplier has to pay for the gas and electricity they buy.

Supply costs are the costs the energy supplier incurs for the general administration associated with a retail business – for example running a call centre and sending out bills – these vary according to what tariff you are on.

Profit margin is the amount of profit the energy supplier makes from each tariff.

How your energy bill is split

You can find a pie chart from 2011 below that shows you how a typical energy bill is divided up. Next to the pie chart, you’ll also find a table that shows you what the split means in monetary terms for the average household.42% of our energy bill goes on heating

Data for the pie chart and table sourced from the Energy Savings Trust.

With over £756 of your energy bill going on heating and hot water alone – you might consider putting on a warm jumper before turning on the boiler. If you find these figures worrying, there are plenty of things you can do to bring down your energy bills.

Cut your costs

Heating

The biggest portion of your energy bill is taken up with heating your home and your water. Follow these tips and you could save a fortune on your heating bills:

  • Turn your thermostat down by 1 degree. This could save you as much as £55 over the space of a year.
  • Make sure your home is adequately insulated. Loft and cavity wall insulation may require an initial investment, but could easily save you around £310 a year in heating costs.
  • If you’re on a low income, you may be eligible for an energy efficiency grant to make improvements to your home. Find out if you could be eligible and how to apply.
  • Help your heating to work more efficiently. Try using a radiator booster: a simple device that sits on your radiator and circulates the heat more efficiently, saving you between £70 and £140 a year on your bills.
  • Try to block any draughts that are coming into your house and make sure you close your curtains to keep the heat in.

In the kitchen

The next largest portion goes towards powering our washing machines, fridges, freezers and cooking appliances. Keep these costs down with these tips:

  • Do your washing less frequently . It may sound obvious – but keep the number of wash loads down by making sure the machine is full every time.
  • Use the ‘economy’ setting on your washing machine. Many washing powders will now work at temperatures as low as 30 degrees, helping your machine run more efficiently.
  • Dry your clothes outside or on a clothes horse. Tumble dryers use a lot of energy, and should only be used as a last resort.
  • Invest in a Hob Gas Saver to reduce the amount of wasted heat and energy when you cook. It simply slots over the gas burner to increase its efficiency, making energy savings of up to 12%.
  • Replace your current fridge/freezer with an energy efficient model. Look out for the energy efficiency stickers on modern appliances (pictured below). The greener, the better.

Energy efficiency label

Computers, gadgets and electronics

Next up is the amount we spend on consumer electronics such as DVDs, TVs and computers every year. Bring this cost down with the following tips:

  • Don’t leave electronics on standby. If you are forgetful, invest in a standby saver – it will automatically cut the power to any electronics left on standby.
  • Don’t charge your gadgets unnecessarily. For example, don’t leave laptops and mobile phones charging overnight, as this is a big waste of energy.
  • Don’t leave your computer and peripherals on when you’re not using them. Make sure speakers/monitors/printers are turned off when you’ve finished with them.

Lighting

Finally there is the portion of our bills going towards lighting our homes. The quickest, easiest ways to save on your lighting costs are to:

  • Buy energy efficient light bulbs. They last up to 10 times longer than normal lightbulbs and could save you up to £40 over its lifetime.
  • Turn the lights off behind you when you leave a room. Try and get into the habit of switching the lights off as you move through the house.

Cut £’s off your energy bills in minutes

These energy saving tips will help you bring your energy bills down as well as reducing your carbon footprint. However, the quickest and easiest way to save on your energy bills is to compare energy prices online and switch to a cheaper deal.

Information provided by USwitch

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

Top 9 Ideas To Save You Energy and Money

April 24, 2012 Leave a comment

1. Insulation – Draw curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping and to reduce draughts.

2. Fridge/Freezers – Replace your inefficient fridge/freezer with an ‘A’ rated model saving you up to £45 a year.

3. Home Laundry – Avoid drying clothes on radiators as it lowers the room temperature, making your boiler work harder.

4. Lighting – Low energy light bulbs last far longer than a conventional bulb and provide the same lighting for a fraction of the running cost.

5. Cooking – When boiling vegetables, only use enough water to keep them covered.

6. Appliances – Always use the television’s on/off switch and don’t leave the television on standby as this wastes energy.

7. Appliances – Only use the required amount of water you need, when boiling the kettle.

8. Home Heating – Don’t overheat your home. Turning your heating down by just 1°C could save you up to 10% on your energy bill.

9. Water Heating – If you have an old thin lagging jacket, fit a new thicker one over it – it will pay for itself in a matter of months.

Compare your home energy rates http://domestic.u-getconsultancy.co.uk

Discuss with us your business energy requirements. We can check your renewal dates, attain new rates, sort out meter related issues and also assist with improving energy efficiency in your work place. http://www.u-getconsultancy.co.uk

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.

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