As a microbusiness owner, are you hesitant to work with a broker when renewing your energy deals, for fear of hidden charges and commission fees? The latest Ofgem announcement may help make ‘rogue brokers’ a thing of the past.

At Experienced Energy, we are proud to be considered a fair, open and transparent energy broker. Unfortunately, we are all too aware that there are some energy brokers on the market that are not as clear in their methods of communication with customers, which often leads to miss-sold contracts or incorrect advice being followed. We are therefore pleased to see that earlier this month, Ofgem proposed a series of new regulations which aim to protect our smallest businesses from getting trapped in bad energy contracts.

Our Operations Director Craig Watson believes the movement is long overdue but thinks brokers can still do more in the short term to make immediate changes.

The reason we exist as a business is to try and support the many businesses across the UK who aren’t receiving the best advice from companies they trust. There are far too many companies out there using brokers and they aren’t aware of how brokers earn their commission, and whilst that remains the case, it’s impossible for customers to validate whether they’re getting a good deal.

Our ethos is to be open, honest and transparent with every conversation and we’re comfortable in recommending to our customers that they benchmark our services, as we truly believe having more than one broker in the conversation will increase the chances of getting the best advice’

If you run a microbusiness, the proposals in this latest policy consultation would protect your company from those dishonest brokers on the market who aim to make a big profit at your expense. Ofgem are supporting small businesses to access brokers who are reputable and provide true value for money.

The proposals set out in the Ofgem policy consultation include;

Suppliers to only work with brokers that operate in a fair and honest manner, who are part of an independent dispute resolution scheme.
New sales and marketing rules for suppliers and brokers to ensure customers are fully informed when selecting a contract.
Brokers required to be open and transparent about commission payments.
Introduction of a 14 day cooling off period for microbusinesses when starting a contract.
Introduction of 30 day contract extensions if a supplier switch is blocked.
Removal of the requirement for microbusinesses to give suppliers notice of intent to switch.

The proposals aim to create a more open and transparent market for energy deals, and will place microbusinesses in a much better position to get the best deal possible. This is incredibly timely, with many microbusinesses planning their recovery from the largely disastrous impact of COVID-19.

The only drawback as of today is the fact proposals are currently subject to consultation, and set for implementation in 2021, which leaves the rest of the year still free for bad practice within the industry and this is something we’re keen to highlight.

At Experienced Energy, we will always make sure we find the best deal for you, and are in full support of Ofgem’s latest proposals to tackle the issues highlighted.

We often receive enquiries from customers who are looking for clarification on a number of issues and if you feel you have some unanswered questions about your own energy contracts, please get in touch and we’ll make sure we can support and provide peace of mind.

For more information about how the team at Experienced Energy can assist your business to find the best possible deal for you, please contact us on 02475 094 090 or email us at hello@experiencedenergy.co.uk

Have you considered the impact of Coronavirus on your household bills? Follow these tips to minimise your energy expenditure.

Life is going to be changing for many of us, in the short term at least. Following the recent UK government advice regarding social distancing and self-isolation, you may now be preparing to work from home, home-school your children, and spend a lot more time indoors. This will inevitably lead to an increase in your energy usage, which could raise your monthly energy spend considerably.

With so much economic uncertainty on the horizon, now is the perfect time to review your domestic energy spend and make adjustments to help save on your bills. Here are 5 tips to help reduce your energy bill while you are spending more time at home over the coming months.

  1. More time at home is going to mean lots more boiling the kettle. When you’re having a coffee break, only fill the kettle with the water you need and you could see a reduction in your energy usage.
  2. Turn your lights off when you’re not using them. Enjoy the break from artificial office lighting, and work in a naturally-lit space. When bulbs need replacing, using energy efficient LEDs will save you money.
  3. When you’re having a break from your laptop or the children have lost interest in the TV, make sure appliances are turned off and not just on standby mode. What’s more, unplug your laptop/phone and iPad when they’re fully charged to avoid wasting energy.
  4. Spring is finally here, and you may not need to use your central heating as much. If you do need to have your central heating on while you are at home, turning your main thermostat down by 1 degree can make a considerable difference to your bills. Also, make sure you set a timer for your heating and hot water to come on only when it’s needed.
  5. Do a price comparison on your energy tariffs to make sure you are paying a fair market price for your energy. Experienced Energy’s energy comparison service compares all major energy suppliers in partnership with U-Switch. It’s quick, easy, and for every dual fuel switch made, we donate £15 to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. (https://www.experiencedenergy.co.uk/domesticenergy/)

If you would like to discuss your domestic energy usage and receive more detailed advice and tips on how we can help you to reduce your energy bills, please contact our Operations Manager Craig Watson on 02475 094 090, or alternatively email hello@experiencedenergy.co.uk quoting ‘Domestic Energy’.

Then it could be time to introduce a revolutionary bill validation system.

If your business works across numerous sites, the volume of energy bills that you receive can be overwhelming. Processing these can be resource intensive for your organisation, and often result in human error and/or money lost through inaccurate billing. The solution? Introduce a bill validation system which uses RPA to assist with your energy management requirements.

RPA, or Robotic Process Automation is a new technology which transforms the bill validation process. Through using RPA software and a bill validation platform, you will instantly access the exact cost of your energy bills without needing the manual calculations.

So, how does it work? RPA works by integrating with your energy suppliers’ billing systems, receiving bills in a specific format. This then enables the system to validate the accuracy of all bills against your contracts and meter data, before payment is made and data stored. This results in transparent, accurate billing and ensures your company is only paying bills against the actual energy used during the designated billing period. This offers a cashflow benefit to the business and avoids the frustrating and time-consuming reconciliation of annual re-bills.

At Experienced Energy Solutions, we understand how important it is for our customers to receive accurate billing in a timely and efficient manner  Therefore, we created ‘Evolve’ – our bill validation platform powered by RPA – which can transform your billing process and provide major benefits to the energy management process within your business.

Our experienced team use the Evolve platform to manage your energy spend end-to-end, liaising with suppliers on your behalf. They do this by inputting initial contract data at the onset of your agreement, before arranging the required billing format with your suppliers and then by managing any queries until a resolution is agreed. This means you can focus valuable resource on other priorities for your business.

Not only does Evolve provide a superior energy spend management solution, it provides additional functions to benefit your business. The platform processes your data and provides automatic reports, offering greater visibility of the energy efficiency across your sites. Evolve also supports the more strategic energy buyer with market reports and can help create alarms and triggers which can be set for your budget strategy, ensuring you access the market at the best times to minimise total energy spend.

To find out more about how Experienced Energy Solutions and the Evolve platform can support your business, please contact our Operations Manager Craig Watson on 02475 094 090, or alternatively email hello@experiencedenergy.co.uk quoting Evolve.

Does your business operate within an energy-intensive sector? If so, it may be time to put a CCA in place to minimise both your environmental impact and your energy costs.

At Experienced Energy Solutions, we often receive enquires from customers about Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) and how we may be able to support them with navigating this area. As with much of the regulation in the energy sector, CCAs can be daunting to begin with, however the team at Experienced Energy are here to guide you through the process of setting up a CCA and support you throughout your reporting period.

What are CCAs?

Climate Change Agreements are voluntary commitments made by companies in energy-intensive sectors, with the aim of reducing carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency. Whether you are an SME or a large national corporation, all businesses have a duty to monitor their energy consumption and minimise their impact on the environment. CCAs provide a framework to achieve this.

There are two ways for businesses to participate within the CCA scheme; through ‘Umbrella’ agreements, or ‘Underlying’ agreements. Umbrella agreements are negotiated between sector associations and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Alternatively, you could hold your own underlying agreement, covering individual or groups of sites operated by your organisation.

 

Why you should have a CCA

CCAs encourage positive changes towards energy usage for the benefit of the environment. They also have a financial incentive for participation. By holding a CCA, you will receive significant discount on the Climate Change Levy applied to your energy bills.

The percentage discount applied can be found below:

Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/climate-change-levy-rates

How Experienced Energy can support you?

Participating within the CCA scheme can require a time commitment towards submitting your application, implementing efficiency measures and reporting on your targets. This is where Experienced Energy Solutions come in. We have supported numerous businesses with their CCA application, and using this experience we will ensure that any agreements you commit to are right for you and your business. Once your CCA is in place, we take the pressure away from your organisation, providing ongoing support with all reporting requirements, and by ensuring you receive the best deal for your energy costs.

Targets for participating sectors under the current scheme run until 31 March 2023; therefore time is of the essence to benefit from CCL discount, and make positive changes towards being a more environmentally friendly, sustainable business.

To find out more about how the Experienced Energy team can support you to reduce your energy costs and maximise the efficiency of the energy you consume, please contact our Operations Manager Craig Watson on 02475 094 090, or alternatively email hello@experiencedenergy.co.uk quoting CCA.