The good, the bad and the ugly.
If you have received a renewal letter from your energy supplier before the end of your gas and/or electric contract, take some time and see what all the options are for you and your business. The renewal might be the easy option, but it may not be the right choice for your business energy needs.
Some points to note are:
Since April 2015, OFGEM made some changes to contract renewals for micro businesses.
Is my business a micro business? Good question. Your business is classified as a micro business if it:
Uses less than 100,000 kWh units of electricity per year;
Uses less than 293,000 kWh units of gas per year: or
Employs less than 10 employees (full-time equivalent) and has an annual turnover or balance sheet less than €2 million (euro not pound).
Customers should receive this letter around 60 days before the contract end date. The top three points are:
1. Micro businesses can terminate a contract with an energy supplier no more than 30 days before contract end date (it was 90 days before this);
2. The renewal letter must include current unit rates and annual consumption details for fixed-term contracts (makes it easier to compare other market rates); and
3. The supplier must acknowledge a termination notice from a customer within five (5) working days.
There is a potential that customers risk being put on deemed or out-of-contract rates if there are any delays in the switching process. While this risk is there, it is low as the switching times has been greatly reduced in the last few years. Also, a competent energy broker, such as Energy PEAK, if we may say so 😊, will action this on your behalf and ensure this does not happen.
Another element to be aware of is if you are moving into a new premise, a Change of Tenancy must be completed. To complete this process, contact the existing energy provider. The existing provider will require certain details to complete the process such as:
Your business details; and
Details of your landlord.
Unfortunately, it can take two to three weeks for this to be completed. If you are unsure of certain aspects, your energy broker can guide you through this process ensuring no errors are made.
Granted, "ugly" is too strong of a word here, but we could not change the film title of the old school epic Western film classic. One point to note is that the rates included in the renewal letters are often not the most competitive rates for you and your business. It is always worth shopping around to double-check.
Accepting the energy renewal letter may be the easy option. You may be worried about the time investment to shop around; you are not alone. We understand you are busy. This is part of the service offered by an energy broker, to take this hassle off your hands and come back to you with a tailored well explained quote.