Inspired Energy have provided us with a guest article discussing what to look out for when choosing your energy contracts.
Selecting the next electricity, gas or water contract for your business is an increasingly complex exercise, with a seemingly bewildering range of products available and swarms of energy advisers looking to relieve you of this burden.
With energy prices rising – particularly electricity – as non-commodity charges pile up, the cost of getting the wrong advice is significant. Many businesses are signing up to deals brokered by advisers who don’t declare that they receive a fee or commission, or they recommend misleading energy rates which you, the client, end up paying.
Therefore, the case for getting independent, transparent and fair advice when it comes to managing utility costs is paramount. Over 15,600 corporate and SME energy consumers choose to work with Inspired Energy plc, recently voted the number one Third Party Intermediary in the UK by independent research group Cornwall Insight.
CEO of Inspired Energy plc Mark Dickinson says: “Our mission as an independent Third Party Intermediary is to maximise the value of every pound spent on utilities, recover revenue where we identify overpayments, and resolve carbon compliance issues. If not managed correctly, any or all of these issues can impact significantly on a business’s profitability, productivity and reputation.
“We understand that energy doesn’t grow revenues or improve operational leverage. Yet in a short space of time, rising energy costs can undo all a business’s good work. So we support businesses to keep on top of these issues.”
For businesses seeking assurance over how to buy and manage their utilities, we recommend checking for the following:
- Inspired will conduct a full search for the most appropriate supply contract for your business, ensuring your needs for price and quality are taken into account. If you are recommended a supplier who fails to carry out a full consultation of your needs and the available contracts, it is likely you are being sold a deal contrary to your best interests.
- Inspired track all the wholesale energy prices to ensure that a complete picture of the market is available so we can provide informed advice as to when clients should enter the market. If your advisor fails to offer a full picture of the market, then you are missing out on potential savings.
- Inspired offer clients a choice of how we are paid, either via a direct fee or a p/kWh uplift through the chosen supplier, but always agreed upfront by both parties. If you are informed that an adviser’s services are free, or they are unclear about what or how you are to pay for a service, then you should walk away and find a different adviser. In some cases, businesses have been known to be charged in excess of 20%-30% of their annual energy spend by signing up to unclear agreements.
- Inspired perform a robust analysis of all supplier offers and report these back to clients in a simple, comparable and understandable way, including a full breakdown of the supplier costs so clients are aware of what they are signing up to.
- Inspired work with their clients through the entire lifecycle of utility management to ensure they are paying bills correctly; complying with energy legislation; reducing usage and harnessing the benefits of self-generation and renewables. Using a partner who can support you across a wide range of energy needs is crucial so that you can focus on running your business as opposed to worrying about managing energy.
- For example, as of April 2019, over 11,900 organisations across the UK will need to comply with the new energy and carbon reporting regulations, called Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR), which replaces the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme.
- The bad news for businesses is that when SECR is introduced, Climate Change Levy (CCL) charges will increase to cover revenue reductions resulting from the ending of CRC. Inspired is already helping affected clients with their CRC requirements and advising about the likely impact of SECR, which is due to be legislated in January 2019.
Whatever your requirement, Inspired’s team of 300 consultants, based in six offices across the UK including Boldon, use their collective expertise and industry-leading software to provide the best advice for managing your electricity, gas and water supplies.
For more information about Inspired Energy, please visit inspiredenergy.co.uk or speak to one of our 300 experts about your energy challenges by calling us on 01772 689250.