Utility Management in “the new normal”: Your Questions Answered

 

Q – MY COMPANY ISN’T USING AS MUCH ENERGY AS NORMAL, HOW WILL THAT BE REFLECTED IN MY BILLS?

A – It all depends on whether your consumption is being accurately billed. Meter readings need to be taken regularly to avoid providers making cost estimations which could lead to your business paying for more than you are using. You could consider using AMR/SMART meters to help keep on top of this.

– Some charges are based on consumption, for example unit rate or CCL, and others on things like available capacity and standing charge. So the capacity level of your half-hour electricity supplies could be reviewed and possibly reduced based on usage verse costs.

– There are also potential hazards with some suppliers or supply contracts, which could have ‘Take or Pay’ clauses. These will require you to pay for a minimum amount of energy regardless of how much you are actually using. This is why it is so important to work with vetted suppliers like CTP and carefully check your terms and conditions of contracts.

Q – I PAY ON COMMISSION, WILL THE AMOUNT CHANGE?

A – The amount of commission you are paying should be fixed for the duration of a supply contract. But if consumption is lower than expected the third party may try to recoup costs by charging you additional fees or increasing the commission rates on your future contracts. The best thing you can do is double check the terms of your agreement. At CTP we are always transparent with our fees and will never hit with you unexpected extra charges.

Q – SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE GLOBAL ISSUES WITH OIL?

A – There is no need for you to be worried. Electricity and gas prices have some correlation with the oil market, so a falling oil market is good news for the consumer as prices will go down. However, there are other determining factors. Gas prices are more likely to be affected as a larger proportion of the overall cost to consumers is attributed to the commodity. This is less so for electricity as it’s more affected by renewable levies and infrastructure costs.

Q – MANY UK ENERGY COMPANIES ARE HAVING TO MAKE JOB CUTS, IS CTP ALSO AFFECTED?

A – Fortunately CTP has not been affected, and we’ve been able to adapt quickly to a new way of working. All our staff have been given the help and support they need to work from home to keep everything running smoothly.

– Over the last few years we’ve seen considerable growth because of our strong reputation and regular word of mouth referrals. Our 36 years of experience working in the UK energy market has given us the tools to be able to ride out and sometimes even prosper from tough economic climates. We often see an increase in the size of our portfolios during a recession as we look after utilities across vacant retail and office spaces for many of our clients as part of our Utility Bureau Services.

Q – IS NOW A GOOD TIME TO PUT MY ENERGY CONTRACTS OUT TO TENDER?

A – At the beginning of the year we saw a sharp fall in energy prices, partly because of a drop in the global and national demand for oil and energy due to Covid-19. However, the wholesale energy markets have become quite volatile recently. At CTP we track the markets carefully to make sure all our contracts are sourced during competitive periods. We will always contact our clients to let them know when it’s a good time to close tenders.

Q – I MISSED MY ENERGY RENEWAL DATE, WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?

A – You need to act fast! Business energy prices for deemed or out of contract rates are notoriously expensive, and could even be double the price of contracted rates.

CTP may be able to negotiate a backdated contract to avoid any period spent out of contract, but it will depend on the incumbent supplier. We could also carry out an urgent tender to source the most competitive contract and switch you over as soon as possible.

If you have any more questions for us relating to your utility management please get in touch on 01630 685 144 or [email protected]

Owner of Utility Management Consultants , | Website

Steve Clifford is Owner of Clifford Talbot Partnership which was formed in 1984 to provide solutions to energy and utility management issues in commerce, industry, government and the public sectors throughout the UK.