Business Utilities - What do I need to sign and why?
Over the past month, our sister company Need to Sort has been able to connect with an organisation that will help businesses get a better deal on their business utilities. The company is a major UK commercial player and are approved by the major energy suppliers for the provision of Gas and Electric services to SME’s right up to large organisations.
The process of being able to find a company who we can work with has been difficult as a lot of other businesses are very willing but don’t have the systems set up to be able to provide a quality service. Our ethics are to provide quality service and where we can be in control of the process and have confidence in our partners.
You may be wondering why the title of this is ‘what do I need to sign and why’? Well, let us explain.
There is a lot of providers in the market, such as; - British Gas, Eon, N Power, Southern Electric, EDF and Scottish Power being the biggest providers. They all have one thing in common a “contract” which is normally for a period of 12 months but can be longer the contract has a period of termination where a business customer can terminate the agreement; the very big issue for businesses is that the notice can often be overlooked by a very busy business person.
An example of missing the termination can prove very costly; we have a food outlet who unfortunately due to being abroad and ill health didn’t cancel the agreement in time. The Energy Company have now put them on a very high rate and it's causing a lot of problems.
BE WARNED it is near on impossible to get out of the contract once you’ve missed the open window to cancel which is usually anything up to 90days prior to the contract end date, and because it is Gas and Electric the power is with the supplier (excuse the pun)
So this is why at Need to Sort we always advise a customer to sign a letter of authority’ (LOA) and a ‘termination notice’, if you are the type of business which is not very organised or perhaps lack of staff means that you have not got a lot of time then our recommendation is to do this as soon as possible. This does not mean that you automatically swap you onto a different contract, it simply that you have recorded your wish to terminate at the appropriate time the current contact, it also means that a utility partner such as Need to Sort can find your usage and be accurate with your contract end dates, as well as prior you with a competitive quotation.
Being able to get the best energy deal relies on time for Need to Sort to search and talk to energy companies, the shorter the time span the less competitive the deal may be as well as possible only having a reduced selection of suppliers wishing to take a new contract on.
Once in our system, we contact businesses five months before their contract end date to be able to provide the best service, as well as to help them remember and realise that their energy contract is coming up for renewal. Once new prices have been established its worth noting that decisions, whether to accept, may have to be made quickly as wholesale fuel prices can change daily and with the way the markets are currently a quick decision will be the only way able to benefit from a business energy price increase.
There is a short time span in which to accept the energy offer - if an energy price increase happens whilst a business is thinking and pondering whether to accept or not, could well mean that the proposed offer will be nil and void. We’ve had so many companies fall foul of this – as some think that it’s a sales ploy to force them to sign, the prices goes up and then they’re on the phone asking for help.
As mentioned earlier we look to provide a quality service so we pride ourselves on keeping our customers informed, we will always let you know of any issues regarding your business energy.
You can, of course, do this all yourself, but have you got the time to talk to all the business energy suppliers? You may think that’s its best to stay where I am ‘better the devil you know' or you could get a company to do the leg work for you then what is the problem?
Remember that your business overheads regularly need sorting, especially if you wish to avoid paying higher rates than you really should on things such as your business energy.