20 Reasons to use Energy Solutions

Energy Solutions offer price comparison and advice that allows customers to compare energy prices and packages to choose the one that matches their needs and save money. Brokers have great knowledge of the energy industry so they help businesses get the best energy rates available. There are a number of reasons why using an energy broker is a good idea.

1. Saving money – if you are considering switching from your current energy provider to a different one, saving money is probably the main reason to do it. Using the services of an energy broker allows you to make sure that you get the cheapest deal there is.

2. Good market knowledge – energy brokers have many tools to compare energy deals that might not be available to you. Moreover, they know what energy prices are like, so they can tell whether a deal is worth switching to.

3. Saving time – comparing energy prices, getting in touch with energy providers and negotiating the terms of a new deal can be time-consuming. If you use a broker you don’t have to do the extensive research and fill out all the paperwork yourself. Instead, you can focus on other commitments.

4. Expertise – not all the customers have good knowledge of the functioning of the energy market. Energy brokers specialise in gas and electricity so they can answer all your questions and explain the tariffs.

5. Good market knowledge – energy brokers have many tools to compare energy deals that might not be available to you. Moreover, they know what energy prices are like, so they can tell whether a deal is worth switching to.

6. Wide selection –  if you are comparing energy tariffs yourself you might only be focusing on a few providers or offers. Brokers know the industry so they will compare numerous suppliers and you can be sure you’re not missing any great deals.

7. Lower energy consumption – in addition to helping you find the cheapest deal brokers can help you get the greenest one, thus lowering your household’s emission. If you want to be getting all your energy from renewable sources, brokers will help you find the company that offers such an option.

8. Easier choice – reading about numerous different energy providers and tariffs can be overwhelming as there are many options available. Brokers put all that information together to let you focus on a few best deals, hence facilitating making the decision.

9. Future assistance – even after you sign a new contract your energy broker will be able to assist you. You can contact them if you have any further queries about the tariff or if you’re thinking you didn’t make the best decision and want to find out what your options are.

10. The right contract – there are many types of contracts available. An energy broker can tell you which one is the right one for your business, and it can help you avoid being automatically placed on one of the contracts you can read about in the table below.

ContractWhen is it appliedDisadvantages
Deemed RateYour current tariff ended and you did not contact the energy supplier about extending it or getting a new dealRolling tariffs
Out-of-contract rates
The most expensive prices
RolloverYour contract ended and you did not cancel it nor switched to a different providervery expensive rates
lasts at least a year

11. Easier future expansion – if you think you might expand your business in the future and open new offices, you will need to install meters and get energy contracts for all of them. Arranging that can be complicated but if you tell the broker about your plans and they will help you choose a provider that will make setting all that up easy.

12. Knowing your options – most people have heard of the big six that refers to the largest energy providers in the UK. If you haven’t you can find them in the picture below. There are, however, many other energy suppliers available and sometimes their offer might be most suitable for your needs. Using a broker will ensure that you’re looking not only at the energy providers you have heard of but also at those less popular that might be offering more competitive prices.

The Big Six Suppliers

13. Wide range of services – in addition to assisting you with getting the cheapest energy bill, the broker can help you, for example, monitor your energy usage and carbon footprinting. You can also talk to analysts and consultants who can advise you on energy management.

14. Inside contacts – brokers have partnerships with many energy suppliers. Thanks to those connections they have the power to negotiate energy prices and they can propose you deals that you wouldn’t find otherwise.

15. Bundle all supplies – brokers can put your electricity, gas and water needs together to find a provider that matches your requirements for all supplies not only one. If you compare prices on your own, most comparison pages available online handle them separately, which means you would have to sign several separate contracts.

16. End-to-end process – brokers not only give you the overview of the best deals available but they also complete all the necessary forms and paperwork for you. They also read all terms and conditions of the offer and explain it to you so you don’t have to go through long documents yourself.

17. Looking at all the charges – if you’re looking for an energy contract yourself, you will most likely be looking at the unit price. Nevertheless, there are many other charges that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a supplier. Brokers will look at all of them and prepare a cost breakdown to show you what exactly you’ll be paying for in each of the deals.

18. Analysing all elements of the deal – in addition to looking at the price, there are other aspects that are important when choosing an energy supplier. That includes the duration of the contract or possible ways to terminate the contract early. The broker will analyse all these elements to ensure your deal is not only the cheapest but also the most convenient.

19. Managing multiple contracts – if your business has several sites you might have different energy contracts for all of them. If each of the deals has different conditions and prices, managing them can be difficult. Brokers can help you move all the sites to one supplier, making it easy for you to settle the payments.

20. Good relationship with the supplier – brokers interact with energy suppliers all the time. Suppliers care about forming long-lasting partnerships with them so if you use the broker’s services you might enjoy not only better prices but also better customer service.

There you have it, 20 reasons to choose Energy Solutions as your energy broker for your next contract renewal.

What are water audits and what do they do?

A water audit has the potential to give you greater knowledge and control over your water accounts through identifying savings and efficiencies.

The first thing EnergySolutions will do when we work with you is to carry out a desktop water audit; this compares your water use (including how much) to how much you are being charged, and bring up any inconsistencies or irregularities with you, as these have the potential to result in you being billed incorrectly. An audit also allows for us to give specific advice and recommendations on how you could reduce your water usage and in turn, lower the charges that come with that.

Our water audit experts take around 7 to 10 days to consider the information given to us and give a response. We are also able to quickly determine whether the information we are working with is widely accurate, and inform you if it is not. The water audit report will also include costed recommendations for improvement to water efficiency and suggest how to reduce future costs. This response will cover all professional fees and provide an estimated return on your investment, with the goal of seeing improvements between 9 and 12 months. Once approved, the next step would be to undertake a full site survey and confirm the detailed changes laid out for you.

Many people see a 30% reduction in their bills for waste and water supplies after going through an audit with EnergySolutions, and we even work to consider your historical bills to see if you deserve a refund on previous water or waste charges, ranging from £500 to £500,000.

EnergySolutions offers in house experts and advice by combining software development expertise with knowledge of the water retail industry and water efficiency services and consultancy.

We will supply you with a desktop water audit for free, helping you understand your bill and whether it is accurate – But, this is not the only service we are offering.

We have an exceptional track record of saving organisations of all sizes a percentage on their water bills and have a strong reputation for the quality of our services.

EnergySolutions does not receive any payments or commission for savings and refunds, instead, we discuss all payments upfront and your savings go straight into your pocket, in full.

Based on a number of clients like yourself, we are sure that you will be interested in a handful of our other money-saving opportunities for all sizes of businesses, for example:

A Water Bill AnalysisThough it can be difficult to bring together 12 months of water bills for your free audit, the intention to foster full visibility of your own expenditure will help you gain control over a significant business overhead. You can find a large variety of different additional charges and hidden obscurities in your tariff that may not always show in one simple water audit. Analysing your bills helps you remove uncertainty around your billing and allows you to be confident that what you are paying for is sure to be correct.
A Water Use SurveyWith the bills we explained above, Energy Solutions can also provide you with a water use survey with no extra faff. We will ask for details on how your water is used at each site a client operates to give us an idea of how the premises operate and how much water would ideally be used. This information, compared to your bills, is where we can build an opinion based on our extensive industry expertise.
Manufacturing, Process and Plant OperationsWe may ask for more in-depth details for manufacturing, process and plant operation businesses due to the high volume of water often used in industrial facilities. We ask manufacturing and industrial clients to give us an idea of how water is used across the whole production process, including washing down and in-product use and disposal, as well as copies of trade waste bills and any waste flow sampling and monitoring data.
Landlord and Third Party Water ChargesLandlord and third party water charges are often forgotten when we ask for billing and usage information, but they are always worth considering and examining. Even though they are not under the same authority as a water company, including them in an audit is a wonderful way to save, by acknowledging them as part of the overall process and looking at their specific costs.

Additional information we may request (dependent on your individual business) includes:

  • New and used car dealerships:
    Staff levels, number of public toilets and details about car valeting bays, etc.
  • Pool and leisure clubs:
    The number of members, swimming pool capacities, spas, plunge pool details, etc.
  • Schools and colleges:
    Number of pupils, staff levels, details of any leisure facilities (e.g, on-site pool) laboratories and catering, etc.

Energy Solutions works to help provide you with all of the information you need, alongside a team of experts in the field of commercial water consultancy, so if you would like to find out more about how we can help you, get in touch.

How to switch water suppliers

Business in Scotland and England no longer need to settle for a water supplier that they do not think suits them. Before April 2017, businesses were expected to suffer in silence and take what they were given to keep themselves running. Now, since we have deregulated the water market, businesses all over England have the opportunity to choose their own supplier and their own services, and as a result, we are opened up to all sorts of new positive experiences with water.

It can still be quite confusing to begin the process, and most people that have not had the opportunity to consider switching business water suppliers in the past may feel overwhelmed.

The first step to take is to calculate your water usage; you can do this by looking at your bills, how much water you use, and how much you pay for it. Keep a note of your SPID, the supply point identification number; your yearly usage, current payment method, and any other bills and charging information.

In order to be eligible to switch, you need to have at least one site operating in either Scotland or England, but there are still so many options for retailers that it can be hard to find what you are looking for.

Although it’s always good to switch your water supply and waste removal, make sure to reach out to your current supplier first. Often, knowing you are looking to switch leads them to make better options for you and generate further discounts.

From here, you can look at the options and compare deals based on your needs. Today, businesses are predominantly driven to switching is the opportunity to save money through another supplier offering lower costs for the same service. You may also find that you experience better service levels and improved customer service if this is something that has been a problem with your current supplier in the past. This is also a good way to encourage more accurate billing and a faster response to your enquiries. Checking out the likes of Trustpilot for the most up to date reviews of the supplier you are currently working with or considering.

By switching, businesses also have the potential to make running their operations a lot more efficiently by consolidating some of your water supply across multiple sites and regions.

In England, the average water bill reduced by 5% to 10% after switching to a deregulated water market, and up to 18% in Scotland. EnergySolutions works to help provide you with all of the information you need, alongside a team of experts in the field of commercial water consultancy, so if you would like to find out more about how we can help you, get in touch

Understanding Your Water Bill – An Overview

Understanding the Different Types of Charges on your Water Bill

Water bills are made up of more than just charges for water use – they also include charges for sewerage. In some cases, there will also be charges included for use and installation of infrastructure. There are many licensed water providers in the UK to choose from, and you are not always stuck with your current supplier! Prices will differ slightly from supplier to supplier so it is worthwhile to do your research.

Water and sewerage charges do change every year, prices rising and falling in-line with inflation and market forces. Prices also vary dependant on the region of supply as well as supplier, as it may be more expensive to provide supply in a rural area as opposed to an area with built-up supply infrastructure. If you have organised your sewerage service and water services to be supplied by two different companies – these will be shown on two separate bills.

Metered Water Charges:

You may be familiar with the use of ‘meters’ in the home to provide a running calculation of usage for things like gas or electricity. They work in an identical fashion for water. Meters are installed so that an accurate measurement of exactly how much water has been used over a certain time period can be recorded and communicated onwards to your supplier. This helps provide much more accurate billing, and saves consumers money.

There will likely be two charges on your bill classified as metered charges:

  • Fixed Standing Charge: This is calculated based off of the size of your water meter and covers readings and maintenance fees for your meter.
  • Variable Volumetric Charge: This charge is directly based on the volume of water you have used.

Unmetered Water Charges:

Most non-domestic properties are metered due to the potential to save money through more accurate billing. There are still some who do not have a meter installed – for any number of reasons. As there is no way to calculate exactly how much water has been used within these properties, water suppliers will not take consumption into consideration when calculating billing.

There will likely be two charges on your bill for both domestic and business customers:

  • Fixed Charge: This will be based upon the rateable value of the property that is supplied.
  • Fixed Standing Charge: This covers the customer-related costs of supply. Examples of this would be billing and customer service charges.

If your property has a high rateable value, or you know that you have low water consumption – it may be prudent to enquire about installing a water meter. This will likely dramatically lower your monthly billing, as unmetered water charges are usually much higher than metered.

Sewerage Charges:

If you have combined sewerage and water services (which is common), then you will likely see the billing combined into one invoice. There are a few more charges that are associated with sewerage, and they are important to be aware of:

  • Surface Water Drainage: Charges related to drainage of rain-water/snow-melt from your property into public sewer.
  • Highway Drainage: Charges for any water or run-off from roads or pavements into public sewer.
  • Trade Effluent: This is aimed at businesses in particular. Charges for any waste water or waste liquids that are discharged.
  • Foul Sewage: Charges for any domestic water waste that are discharged.

There is scope to negotiate on all of these charges. If you are able to prove with relevant paperwork or other proof that you do not use any of these services – then you may be able to access lower charges.

Who Regulates the Water Industry?

Water suppliers are regulated by Ofwat in the UK – The Water Services Regulation Authority. This is a non-ministerial government department, if you think you are being treated in an illegal fashion by your water supplier, or would like to explore legal options – they should be your first port of call. You are able to find their contact information online on their website here:

www.ofwat.gov.uk/contact-us/

This is an organisation set up to protect you, the consumer. Whether you are a small business customer, domestic customer, or own multiple commercial properties around the UK – they are well placed to be able to help you!

Advantages of a Metered Water Supply

AdvantageDescription
Ecologically sustainableBy metering your supply – you gain a better insight to your consumption habits, and are able to lower them accordingly.
More accurate billingYou are billed for the water you use – rather than fixed charges.
FlexibleIf you would like to lower your costs for the month, simply use less water!
CheaperGenerally speaking, metered charges are cheaper than unmetered charges.
TroubleshootingIf you have a leak or problem somewhere in your supply – you will be able to find it much more quickly! Billing will be higher than relative consumption – indicating a problem.

Understanding your Water Bill – Supplier Specific

So far – a general overview has been provided of the water supply industry in the UK. We have covered the basic charges associated with most water and sewerage bills, but will now move on to supplier specific billing explanations.

WaterPlus Customers:

Water Plus Bill, page 1
Water Plus bill, page 2

This is a very comprehensive billing invoice for non-metered supply customers. For metered customers, the invoice is very similar but with different associated charges. We have highlighted the location of the SPID number within this document, as it is incredibly hard to spot!

Clear Business Customers:

Clear Business Bill

Castle Water Customers:

Castle Water Bill

Business Stream Customers:

Business Stream Bill

Wave Utilities Customers:

Wave Water Bill page 1
Wave Water Bill Page 2

Not Happy? A Comprehensive Guide for Complaining to Your Supplier

It’s a shame that you’ve found yourself in a position where you aren’t happy with your energy or water supplier, but it is important you find a way to make it better. Suppliers will have a specific procedure in place on their website to facilitate your complaint, it will generally be one of these:

Telephone

Check to see if there is a service-specific phone line which you should be using

Email

It is a good idea to include COMPLAINT in your email title to help direct it to the relevant people, especially if it is a customer service email as that may be the contact point for all customer enquiries

Online

Some suppliers have forms you can fill out to specifically detail the nature of your complaint; they’ll often respond via email. Sometimes these are only available on a customer’s log in portal so check there if there isn’t one on the generic supplier website

Post

Check to see if there is a service-specific address you should be using; this method will tend to have the longest wait times for a response

Face-to-face

Some suppliers welcome in person conversations but be sure to check beforehand. Often you will be able to ring up the supplier to ask where your nearest contact address would be.

Your supplier should outline a specific complaints window to you including when you should first here back, where you can escalate or raise the complaint again if you disagree with the resolution and how they will remain in contact with you.

It is important to ask for any over-the-phone conversations to be reiterated in writing via email or post so you have a copy of it.

Throughout the process, be sure to keep a note of your complaint number, customer ID and any other information associated with the process (this may include the date and time you get in touch, person you speak to, and the problem you talked about) and keep this easily accessible. This will help the process run more efficiently for both parties and keep you safe from being sent around in circles or promised fake solutions.

NOT SATISFIED WITH THE RESPONSE?

The supplier may have processes in place for escalating your complaint, this usually means contacting the head of customer service or the company director. If you have done this already, or if you were dissatisfied with the initial complaint procedure/outcome then don’t worry; there’s other help available!

Energy Ombudsman

Address:

Ombudsman Services: Energy, P.O. Box 966, Warrington, WA4 9DF

Phone:

0330 440 1624

Email:

enquiry@ombudsman-services.org

Website:

Here

Citizen’s Advice

Address:

Phone:

08082231133

Email:

Website:

Here

WATRS – Water

Address:

Phone:

0800 0086909

Email:

applications@watrs.org  

Website:

Here

CCW – Water

Address:

Phone:

England – 0300 034 2222

Wales – 0300 0343333

Email:

Website:

Here  

Online Complaint

These entities will work with you at any point in the complaint process – whether you’re checking if there are grounds for your complaint in the first place, or whether you’ve not been able to get any support for months.

Anything issued by these companies will be directed to your supplier to then act on.

Letters of Authority – Why should I sign one?

A Letter of Authority (or LOA) is primarily for brokers to manage your energy supply by giving them the rights to take action on your behalf. This could be done through contacting your current supplier as well as the new company you may be looking to switch to, and allows them to act on your behalf where necessary.

An LOA comes in two options,

A ‘Level 1’ or ‘Soft LOA’ – authorizes a broker to obtain information relevant to providing a quote.

A ‘Level 2’ or ‘Full LOA’ – authorizes a broker to obtain the same information as a Level 1, but also allows them to enter into contracts on your behalf.

Although you may find a Letter of Authority outside of the energy sector, such as alongside finance and medical sectors, it is most commonly found here. With one, brokers (often called your “agent” in this context) can be given legal authority to make decisions for your business (often known as the “principle”).

What a third party can do on behalf of your business should be specified in your letter, but usually, with your consent, an agent may…

  • Confirm your existing tariff deals
  • Check consumption levels
  • Serve a contract termination notices on your behalf
  • Gather data on your business location and meter portfolio
  • Liaise with current suppliers and handle any issues with billing or repayment
  • Handle administrative issues related to your energy supply and management of your account with your supplier
  • Request and receive all billing information, including copies of energy bills, debt information and payment terms
  • Request and receive current and historical account information including consumption history, supply numbers, pricing deals, and contract end dates
  • Raise complaints with your supplier on your behalf and handle them
  • Obtain information from third party industry databases, for example, metering details
  • Submit VAT and Climate Change Levy exception forms
  • Request meter exchanges and new instillations, including smart meters
  • Handle a change of tenancy
  • Arrange site visit appointments for you
  • Renew your energy contract (level 2 only) or terminate it or opt-out of future automatic renewals
  • Request prices from and negotiate with energy suppliers
  • Find the cheapest gas and electricity

A standard LOA is valid for 12 months, meaning that signing one should be a rare and carefully considered practice. If you do not have an LOA, energy suppliers will not allow brokers to manage the switching process for you.

It also allows for brokers to approach issues that may come up while you switch, for example, you may be rejected during the switching process, but with a Letter of Authority, the broker can deal with this on your behalf and resolve the problem. Without one, this is something you would be expected to figure out on your own. This is necessary because without a business energy broker, the process of switching could be a lot longer and a lot more complicated.

What an LOA doesn’t do…

AN LOA does not enable brokers to agree to any contracts on your behalf; although they may do a large variety of work on your behalf, they are not given the right to do anything without your consent, and you should be kept up to date with any changes happening within your account. This means that you pick the tariffs for you.

What is in it?

Firstly, your letter should specify what specific aspects your agent has control over.

Secondly, you will need to insert a letterhead with your company name printed on it. It is likely this is already accessible to you, but it is important because without it, a background check may need to be carried out to confirm that you are a legitimate business, and this can slow down your application.

Third, a registered office is required alongside your company name and postcode.

Lastly, ensure that your LOA is signed and authorised by the right person, for example, a company CEO, so that the correct permissions are granted to proceed.

What to look out for

You should diagnose the specific phrasing is important, and often, we should consider before signing an LOA whether a document explains what the agent does not have authority over, as well as what it does. An example is to look for language like this;

“For the avoidance of doubt, this letter does not authorise [the broker] to, for example….

  • Terminate a contract with early exit fees without prior consent
  • Share our previous tariff deals with other suppliers

Is it safe to sign an LOA?

Because each company has its own specific Letter of Authority, it is important to read each one individually so you know that not only are you making the decision that is right for you, but also that you are not handing over too much power to the third party on behalf of your business.

The short answer is yes, but only if you are reading every part of your agreement. Like any other contract, whether or not this is what is best for you deeply depends on the specifics outlined by the agent.

Still, it is important to consider what type of LOA you are being granted. For example, you should never have to sign a Letter of Authority in order to get a quote. By doing this, you may be giving them the freedom to enter into a contact they wish to on your behalf, despite your personal financial limits.

Another thing to be mindful of is any agreement that grants a broker “exclusive” rights to negotiate your contract; this takes away your own control by giving them the opportunity to make the decision on your behalf, at any rates they like. If a broker is confident in their own work, they should be confident that they can work alongside you to achieve your goals. Anything pertaining the word “exclusivity” is something to consider when you want to hold on to your own portion of the decision making.  

What information should be on an LOA?

You need to include information such as…

  • The name of the agent you have chosen to give this authority to, their company number and address
  • Their permissions; what they may do on your behalf
  • Their limits; what they may not do

You may be asked to provide additional details, such as;

Business Name 
Address line 1 
Address line 2 
Postcode 
Telephone Number 
Email Address 
*MPAN(s) – Electricity 
***Account number 
**MPRN(s) – Gas 
**** Account number 
  • Signatures from both yourself giving authority, and the company

These documents may be signed by hand, esignatures or recorded as verbal agreements.

What happens after I submit, and how long will it take?

Once you have submitted your Letter of Authority to the agent, this should take several days to process. You will then be contacted to confirm the partnership and should then be assigned a personal accounts manager following your contract going live. The account manager should always be transparent and accessible to you for any concerns or questions you have.

Here at Energy Solutions, we want to give you as much freedom over your LOA as possible, so we created a basic agreement for you. It is available to view below, but free to download here.

To Whom it may concern     

Authority

Ref:

I/we hereby authorise Energy Solutions to review our electricity / gas / water contracts.  I/we authorise them to:

  1. Carry out an audit of our electricity, gas and water supplies to identify any changes in tariffs or metering that would be beneficial to us.
  2. Obtain from our current suppliers any data that theydeem necessary, including all billing history and half-hourly consumption data where applicable.
  3. Invite tenders from licensed suppliers, including our current suppliers, on our behalf for our new contracts along with, where applicable, any “enabling” contracts necessary to comply with the relevant industry regulations.
  4. Analyse all contract supply offers and determine the most cost-effective solutions to meet our requirements.  Arrange acceptance and registration of contract offers on our behalf.
  5. Issue termination notice with regard to existing supply contracts on our behalf.
  6. To contact our current supplier to resolve any objections or rejections regarding the transfer
  7. Obtain information from third party industry databases, for example, metering details.
  8. Energy Solutions undertakes to carry out its obligations under this agreement with due diligence and following the regulations governing the gas and electricity industries.
  9. Energy Solutions shall use the customer data solely for the purposes of delivering the services specified in this document and may share that data with relevant third parties to do so. Information is managed under our GDPR Policy, available online.
  10. To raise and deal with complaints on our behalf to a satisfactory resolution.
  11. I/we agree to provide a copy bill for each electricity, gas and water supply for verification purposes.

I understand that this agreement shall continue annually, subject to 1 months written notice of termination.

Signed:

Name:

Position:                                                 

An Authorised signatory for and on behalf of:

Date: