Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
Page 1
  • UK Power
    • #2
    • 25th Nov 09, 1:03 PM
    • #2
    • 25th Nov 09, 1:03 PM
    However while there are websites, for their business comparison services they tend to operate through callback systems (ie you request it calls and goes through the savings with you), not online.
    While I agree that a lot of these business comparison services tend to operate through callback systems, there are also real online business comparisons services available which will give you instant rates for your specific electricity meter or gas usage. Some of these online websites also allow you to switch online as well. Some of the online only deals "may" be cheaper than those available via the phone.

    I would also like to point out that business users are usually in fixed term contracts. You can only switch at the end of the term of the contract and only if you have provided notice to your current supplier. This is usually between 1-3 months before the end date of the contract. So make sure you do otherwise you will be automatically rolled over on a renewal contract which is "usually" not very competitive and you will be stuck on those rates for another term (usually a year).
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 2nd Dec 09, 12:02 AM
    • 38,618 Posts
    • 35,345 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 09, 12:02 AM
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 09, 12:02 AM
    We had a previous sticky on this which I have now closed and unstuck. You can see it here, but I am also quoting the most relevant posts.

    You can't use U-switch or any of the 'domestic' services Martin mentions in the section about reducing utility bills for business premises, but you can use these people: LSI Utility Brokers

    And if you are a member of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, you can get even better deals. Details of how to do so are here. They offer other deals as well (software, mobile phones, payroll etc), so worth looking into whether it's worth joining.
    Originally posted by Savvy_Sue
    It's worth noting that sales activity within the energy industry is unregulated.

    We've had a couple of bad experiences with sales agencies promising to make our energy bills cheaper. We were advised to switch to E4B last year (which went belly up) only to find later that E4B were paying these agencies commissions of around 20% of customer net annual energy spend!

    If you are thinking about using a business energy broker or business energy comparison website definitely check them out on the Utilities Intermediaries (UIA )website. This is a trade association and code of practice for energy brokers looking to restore customer confidence
    Originally posted by Psimms
    Most commercial gas contracts have two potential stings in the tail.

    The first one is widely known but still catches thousands of companies out - the contract roll-over. You get to the end of your contract and forget to terminate it within the suppliers 'renewal window' and they roll the contract over for another 12 or 24 months at 'deemed rates' i.e. much higher rates than if you had negotiated with them.

    The other one is less well known but in the current difficult trading conditions is becoming more common and that is the 'take or pay' clause. Commercial gas contracts usually stipulate a minimum and maximum quantity of gas that you will consume based on your gas meters' consumption during the previous 12 months, as held on the National Grid (formerly Transco) database. Not only can this number be wildly inaccurate but should your consumption reduce (either due to a slowdown in business or through energy saving measures) they can invoice you for any unused gas. No they can - really.

    I work as a commercial energy consultant and I know personally of instances where companies have been billed between 5k and 30k. I'm not touting for business, just making you aware that if you run a small business and you have an energy contract, make sure you know what you are signing.

    I personally feel that energy suppliers are getting away using dubious and underhand methods in many areas. Ofgem appear to be a bunch of self serving, toothless, jobsworths who like nothing more than putting together another 250 page report and talking about issues rather than actually doing something about them.

    Rant over, just be careful.
    Originally posted by Robboseven
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern arrived and going strong!
    • chalkie99
    • By chalkie99 2nd Dec 09, 7:47 AM
    • 1,541 Posts
    • 1,808 Thanks
    chalkie99
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 09, 7:47 AM
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 09, 7:47 AM
    I would just like to add that if you use an online business comparison site they do not, necessarily, give you the most competitive rates.

    We recently took over premises where the electricity that had been previously supplied by British Gas. The online comparison sites are annoying in that for business most of them insist on you submitting your contact details and then 'phoning you to discuss rates. They are quite pushy and persistent.

    In our case one firm quoted us 3 rates with British Gas being only third best.

    However, when we 'phoned British Gas direct we were given much cheaper rates and, alledgedly, the comparison sites always add their own hidden percentage to their quotes.

    Always call suppliers directly and see what they an offer you.
  • cara.smith
    • #5
    • 3rd Dec 09, 5:23 AM
    Hi
    • #5
    • 3rd Dec 09, 5:23 AM
    Thanks for sharing information
  • nans0n
    • #6
    • 20th Jan 10, 1:09 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Jan 10, 1:09 PM
    As a thought, I've managed to save on my electricity bills by installing an energy monitor.

    Knowing where employees were leaving lights, computers on etc. overnight (I have it connected to my PC) allowed me to make changes in the office so people became more conscience.

    I think it's about 20% I've saved on my bill at the moment just comparing it to last month... so I can recommend it as a way to save money on electricity bills.

    Mine's a Current Cost one. The only reason I bought it was because I could connect it to my computer and track usage i.e. unusual peak when out of office etc.
  • BASSETT
    • #7
    • 27th Jan 10, 9:24 AM
    Renewal of business electricity contract
    • #7
    • 27th Jan 10, 9:24 AM
    Have a small business and contract is up in 3 months. Currently with British Gas, they took over from Bizz Energy, whom we had numerous problems with. Current bills really expensive, approx 300 monthly for small shop open 12hrs a day, BG looking into whether meter running too fast.
    So am looking to shop around, I want honest, no nonsense advice that I can understand and not be harrassed into contract like I was Bizz Energy. Where should I go?
  • paulwf
    • #8
    • 27th Jan 10, 10:03 AM
    • #8
    • 27th Jan 10, 10:03 AM
    The key point with small business rates is that there isn't a set price, it is very much "think of a number" as far as suppliers are concerned.

    We used to fix the price with BG every year. At the end of that year they would send the contract for the next year with the price doubled. They try and catch you out by saying this is the price starting in 3 months time but you only have 1-2 weeks to reject the contract or you will be locked in.

    What you then have to do is phone half a dozen other suppliers and get the best quote. Then go back to BG with this quote. At first they will offer a slight reduction on their new contract but eventually they will agree to the lowest quoted price you have which is probably what you are currently paying. Repeat the process every year.

    Money saving and getting a fair price as a consumer is fairly straightforward. It is when you have a business that it turns into one big game and you have to be absolutely on the ball. Only start a business if you are confident to haggle with suppliers and have an eye for detail bordering on the obsessive...or you'll be taken for a ride.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 27th Jan 10, 5:48 PM
    • 38,618 Posts
    • 35,345 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    • #9
    • 27th Jan 10, 5:48 PM
    • #9
    • 27th Jan 10, 5:48 PM
    We have an article about this, and our sticky thread should be useful, so I shall merge you into that, link for article is in the first post.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern arrived and going strong!
  • DrLJN
    We combined approaches - contacted Youswitch for quotes, then phoned the companies direct to see if they'd beat the best price. It worked - we've cut our gas bill by 50%!
  • being hopeful
    HI,
    In the hope that someone can help us.
    My boyfriend rents a workshop and whilst the electricity meter for this is within the workshop, there are also sockets outside the workshop and equipment (a convection heater) permenantly switched on which are outside the workshop which are on the same meter, although he has no control over these.
    The electricity bill he recieved for January was particularly high, especially as he has not been in work, and because the heater which is out of his control was permenantly on (and on a high setting). The landlord has offered a discount on this but has said that they cannot show him the original bill as they receive a billl for the whole site and then they divide it up, and have said that as he rents space he must have used it.
    Surely they cannot charge for utilities that have not been used, or at least there should be a didicated meter for each unit that is rented out?
    Is anyone able to ive me any words of wisdom on this?
    Many Thanks
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 14th May 10, 10:45 AM
    • 38,618 Posts
    • 35,345 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    Sorry, only just seen this, welcome to the boards.

    What does his lease say about electric?

    And can he push for these items to be taken OFF his meter? ie installing a new meter, costs to be shared among all the units.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern arrived and going strong!
  • being hopeful
    Hi, sorry for delay in replying, have had bereavement.
    Unfortunately he doesn't have a lease, it seema that everything has been done on 'gentlemens agreements', and the key person in this has just left the Land lords employment. They have recently installed a new meter wich my bf didn't know about so was unable to take any final reading from and it's unclear exactly what area this new meter covers.
    Since I last posted they have issued him with a list of arrears some of which show a concession to the 'shared meter, with a range of discounts from 10 to 50% with no rational for why they are different, and some of them being different to the original figures he was given. In addition the bills simply say x number of units at x pence per KWh rather than actual readings. The landlord has said hthey can't provide the readings as this is how thay themselves are billed.
    He's struggling to get the landlords to sit around a table with him to discuss this, would he be within his rights to refuse to pay for the electricity until the matter can be resolved?
    Many Thanks
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 16th Jun 10, 9:08 PM
    • 38,618 Posts
    • 35,345 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    Sorry for your loss.

    I'm a bit confused: presumably he has a contract with the electricity company, so not paying that bill won't impact on his landlord.

    And I would suggest legal advice before withholding any payment to a landlord if he's not looking to be evicted.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern arrived and going strong!
    • over50
    • By over50 26th Apr 11, 10:01 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    over50
    vat on sm guest house
    my friend runs a small guest house that only opens from easter to end oct she has been informed by someone that her gas bill is actully wrong as it states the VAT is 20% and she should only be paying 5% plus she should be exempt from ccl charges she is with british gas fro both her gas and electric can any one help her on this is it right
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 26th Apr 11, 10:11 PM
    • 38,618 Posts
    • 35,345 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    I know that there is a charity exemption allowing us to pay a reduced rate of VAT on our utility bills. And I also know that all I had to do was make the company aware that we were a registered charity and it was backdated for us.

    I wasn't aware of an exemption for small businesses, so I suggest she phones British Gas and asks them. Failing that, if she asked whoever said it was wrong if they can show her anything in writing, she could take it forward then ...
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern arrived and going strong!
  • UDOnline
    The VAT exemption is availble for businesses that use a small amount of gas and electricity, regardless of the length of time the guest house was open i would assume it would still fall into the 20% rate. if you need any impartial help please just give us a call or visit the website.
    Last edited by UDOnline; 20-05-2011 at 2:16 PM.
    • nodiscount
    • By nodiscount 12th Jul 11, 2:11 PM
    • 566 Posts
    • 1,073 Thanks
    nodiscount
    Just saw this and thought it might help (in reply to the posts about auto contract roll-over):
    For micro-businesses

    The new Ofgem reforms mean that:
    • Within ten days of a new contract being agreed, or an existing contract renewed, the customer should receive a hard copy of the terms and conditions and renewal terms;
    • In the final four months of their contract, micro-business customers will receive a copy of their renewal terms, setting out the available options. They will then have at least 30 days to contact their supplier to negotiate a new contract or switch supplier.
    • For micro-business customers that do not switch or negotiate a new deal with their energy supplier, the maximum contract roll over is now 12 months;
    • Micro-businesses can give notice of their wish to prevent their contract being rolled over at any point from when the contract is agreed until the end of the notice period.

    I and the public know, What all schoolchildren learn,
    Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return.
    W.H.Auden
    • cottager
    • By cottager 15th Jul 11, 12:43 PM
    • 930 Posts
    • 334 Thanks
    cottager
    Energy Advice Line (EAL) - business electricity & gas
    Only just spotted this sticky (even though it's at the top of the board - duh!) and hope it's OK to cross-reference a post made recently on another thread.

    The Energy Advice Line (EAL) is an independent, impartial and free comparison/switching service for electricity and gas supplies for businesses only, large and small.

    OH is a sole trader and we found them almost by accident last year when looking to switch. They took the hassle out of the process, and part of the service is handling any glitches or difficulties with the old/new providers if they arise.

    The ongoing follow-up and reminder service has also been excellent. Now approaching the end of the 9-month contract set up then, we're in the process of switching again and they're handling that for us too. Overall we've been very impressed.

    Main site: http://www.energyadviceline.org.uk/
    Key Facts: http://www.energyadviceline.org.uk/key_facts.php
    FAQs: http://www.energyadviceline.org.uk/questions/faq.php

    More detail about our own experience in post #3 of this thread,
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3354262
    Last edited by cottager; 15-07-2011 at 12:57 PM.
    ~cottager
    • niftyone
    • By niftyone 15th Jul 11, 12:49 PM
    • 238 Posts
    • 161 Thanks
    niftyone
    The Energy Advice Line (EAL) is an independent, impartial and free comparison/switching service for electricity and gas supplies for businesses only, large and small.
    Originally posted by cottager
    Its just another Utility Broker there are many of them,that gave you good service.

    Small Biz switching etc is covered in MSE post here : http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/you-switch-gas-electricity#small
    Last edited by niftyone; 15-07-2011 at 12:52 PM.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

558Posts Today

5,564Users online

Martin's Twitter