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Block Management – Energy Supply Specialists

At U-GET we specialise in working with property managers who deal with block management. We help them to procure the best energy rates for the communal landlord supplies.

We deal with multi-metered sites as well as multi-sites. Our work extends to resolving complex meter/supplier issues, saving you the time and effort in dealing with this.

We can align your multi contracts to a single end date, helping your account department, by eliminating those multi-renewals you may have scattered throughout the year.

Check our website for further information. Please share this post and pass on our details to friends and family who could benefit from this service. Contact me for further information.

http://www.u-getconsultancy.co.uk
Tel: 07710 118520
Email: ian@u-getconsultancy.co.uk

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Categories: Uncategorized

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.

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

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

Firms ‘ignoring energy efficiency’ des

Firms ‘ignoring energy efficiency’ despite soaring fuel bills. http://ow.ly/51rCl #SaveMoney

Categories: Uncategorized

Energy firms forced to warn on price ris

April 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Energy firms forced to warn on price rises – This is Money http://ow.ly/4IJVQ

Categories: Uncategorized

Property Management Companies – Client Energy Savings at No Cost

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Property Management companies have many tasks to face, on behalf of their clients. As owners or tenants of property, we are all too aware of the costs that we pay, as listed in the service charge. But to what lengths do the property management companies go, to keep these costs down?

I have spoken to property management companies, regarding residential management. Generally, these companies will attempt to obtain the best possible service, at the best possible price. This is often through tendering, from a handful of suppliers. Does this, however, extend to your property’s energy costs? For residential flats, are the communal areas & external electricity costs – such as street lighting and sub-stations, carefully investigated?

I recently saved one property development, over £3,000. How? Because they were not on the best rates, nor had they taken the time to review the energy prices! This saving only comprises half of the property development, as the remainder is locked into a longer term energy contract – again, another mess due to too many tasks faced and not enough time to spend resolving this problem.

How would you feel as a residential owner, if you were paying more for your service charge than need be, simply because there were too many issues to handle?

U-GET Consultancy Services has the experience to review your property’s energy costs. Utilising our expertise in this service allows you to spend more time on other tasks.

If you manage property, contact Ian Tiffenberg today. Through our energy brokering service, we can find out your current contract situation, then obtain the best market rates.

Fill in our Client Info Form and use it when we speak to you.

U-GET Business Services

Property managers, enhance your customer relationship, by working with U-GET who will work to lower those high energy costs.

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