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Business Energy Costs - British Gas Lite

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So it would appear that our contract with British Gas Lite has expired, to be honest I thought it was April 2023 but it wasn't. Looks like it was end of December 2022!

We have recently received our bill for that last 2 months and it is almost 10 x times higher than usual. Our usage is very low and historically we were barely paying £80 per month. Since the price hikes, that has increased to c£170 per month. This most recent bill is just over £1,000. It would appear that our standing rate increased from 49.77p to 93.84p then 168.00p for a couple of weeks then now 278.81 per day. This would be a joke if not so serious. We received no notice of the expiration of the contract. We should have seen it to be honest but surely there is some kind of protection in place, especially given the current climate and volatility of the energy market. It seems wrong and immoral to place us on the highest possible contract. Where is the loyalty, we have been with them for a few years. They said we are on the VPP rate?

What I am keen to know is if anyone has experienced a similar situation and more important whether there is any recourse here. I will be complaining to BGL but wanted to check here first. We have today tried to contact them through 'live chat' and we were 374 in line. We also contacted a broker via here and we have agreed a new fixed price of £157 per month for next 2 years with guess who...British Lite Gas! 

Any help or guidance appreciated. 

Comments

  • Robin9
    Robin9 Posts: 12,184 Forumite
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    Is this domestic or business ?
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • Mstty
    Mstty Posts: 4,209 Forumite
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    edited 27 February 2023 at 8:51PM
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    It's business to remove any doubt
  • Robin9
    Robin9 Posts: 12,184 Forumite
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    MSE is essentially Domestic.

    There are a few (like me) have some business accounts for Village Halls, and you really have to keep your eyes on the ball. I was too slow to accept a contract offer at the end of 2021 and ended up then of contract.  It took me 2 months to get a new contract and then only for 7 months. I

    n Business you don't have the protection that exists for domestic consumers.



    OP ring around the big 6 
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    I doubt very much that your new contract is a 'fixed £157 per month'. What you are being offered is a fixed unit rate which is estimated at £157pm. Use more than estimated, and you will pay more. Look at the unit rates: the monthly DD is meaningless.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Robin9
    Robin9 Posts: 12,184 Forumite
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    OP Have a look at BG's Small Business Support.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • lev441
    lev441 Posts: 41 Forumite
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    So it would appear that our contract with British Gas Lite has expired, to be honest I thought it was April 2023 but it wasn't. Looks like it was end of December 2022!

    We have recently received our bill for that last 2 months and it is almost 10 x times higher than usual. Our usage is very low and historically we were barely paying £80 per month. Since the price hikes, that has increased to c£170 per month. This most recent bill is just over £1,000. It would appear that our standing rate increased from 49.77p to 93.84p then 168.00p for a couple of weeks then now 278.81 per day. This would be a joke if not so serious. We received no notice of the expiration of the contract. We should have seen it to be honest but surely there is some kind of protection in place, especially given the current climate and volatility of the energy market. It seems wrong and immoral to place us on the highest possible contract. Where is the loyalty, we have been with them for a few years. They said we are on the VPP rate?

    What I am keen to know is if anyone has experienced a similar situation and more important whether there is any recourse here. I will be complaining to BGL but wanted to check here first. We have today tried to contact them through 'live chat' and we were 374 in line. We also contacted a broker via here and we have agreed a new fixed price of £157 per month for next 2 years with guess who...British Lite Gas! 

    Any help or guidance appreciated. 
    `The business energy market is a bit of a minefield - Upon getting our first  business property after renting with all bills included previously, it's been a real eye-opener.

    We are on a deemed rate too - Whenever i've looked to fix, the prices have been too crazy and i'm glad I didn't fix in 2022 as prices have now fallen sharply.

    We are with Eon Next and currently paying on a deemed rate 66p day rate and 52p night rate. However since October have got a discount of 39p and 30p respectively so our actual rates are 27p and 22pm which are lower than at any time in 2022 thanks to the government support. The standing charge on our tariff was a high 200p per day. 

    Do you know what unit rates you were paying prior to your contract ending in Dec 2022?

    Had you given regular meter readings throughout the year? If not, this may have been why your bills were so high.
  • pochase
    pochase Posts: 3,449 Forumite
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    You have a business and therefore not the protections a consumer has.

    You are responsible for knowing when your contracts expire and get ew contracts in place in time. There is no protection for you for the pricing of the VPP, that is applied to those who have no fixed tariff, like a cap on the SVT - the equivalent to the VPP -  for a private customer. 

    For a business a VPP is in most cases more expensive than a fixed tariff, and not just a few percent.

    You need to look for a new fixed tariff now to decrease your cost, but as said above there are no such things as a fixed monthly cost, only fixed unit rates.



  • chris1973
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    If you roll over your contract end date with your existing supplier without either agreeing to a new contract with them, or moving to a new contract with another supplier who takes over on the date that your current contract ends then you get put on an "out of contract" tariff, and yes the prices on this will be eyewatering. This isn't a new thing, its a process which has been in place for Businesses as far back as I can remember and I imagine it would have been stated as a fact on your current contract or at least in the suppliers' T's & C's.

    But be thankful, as i've seen the daily SC as high as £8.02 per day on some out of contracts.

    The bad news is that even if you negotiate a new contract with another supplier, then you will probably have at least a 30 day notice period to serve out with BG at the current rate.

    The best bet would be to negotiate a new contract with BG, then at least the price change to any new tariff will be immediate and you won't have to suffer the current prices during a notice period if  you leave.

    If you can't rely on yourself to handle renewing your energy contracts on time, then engage a broker under an LOA to do it for you. Even if you don't engage them fully to actually make the decision to change contracts for you, At the very minimum, it will guarantee at least 50 calls a week from them throughout the final three months of your existing contract, to remind you that your contract is due for renewal.............
    "Dont expect anybody else to support you, maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse, but you never know when each one, might run out" - Mary Schmich
  • JayOne2014
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    Just a quick update, I spoke with BGL today (webchat), the main uplift in our tariff was from 16th December 2022. I have explained that this is the period I am disputing, from 16th December 2022 onwards. They have checked their records and acknowledged that no confirmation was provided to me that my tariff was changing. No letter or email (preferred method of contact). They are looking into the matter and will respond in due course. In the meantime, the bill has been placed on hold. I have explained to them that I am happy to continue with them and agree a new tariff but this matter needs resolving first. Fingers crossed this gets sorted quickly.
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