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FAQ | Outsourced Utilities | Trusted Energy Broker Partnerships
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FAQ’s

Let’s help shed some light on the smoke and mirrors of the energy industry

The so called ‘Big 6’ suppliers consist of British Gas, EDF, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE. Other suppliers such as Total Gas & Power, Haven Power, Opus Energy and Gazprom are starting to enter the fold with small companies offering improved services levels and fresh ideas are emerging all the time.

Whilst no supplier is perfect, the smaller energy suppliers can offer improved service levels and often they are more willing to deal with queries and bespoke requests in a shorter time frame. All suppliers go through a stringent vetting process before their services and products are offered to Outsourced Utilities customers we advise to speak with one of our expert account managers if you have any questions about a particular supplier.

Energy brokers usually get paid in commission by the energy supplier once the contract has gone live with the new supplier. The energy broker is in control of how much commission they earn on each deal which is why you have to be very careful which energy broker you use – some energy brokers are known for putting on obscene amounts of commission which ultimately increases the customers charges. Outsourced Utilities operate with a strict capped commission model to make sure our earnings are fair and justified. The model also ensures that our consultants are focused on maximising customer savings rather than the commission – it is a really refreshing model that ultimately puts the customer and the long-term relationship first.

Your energy contract end date is normally found on your energy invoice. If you are struggling to find this please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist.

Most energy brokers ask for a copy of a bill from a prospective customer, the reason being is that the energy bill includes all/most of the important information that is required in order for the energy broker to set up a quotation or to review current charges. In some instances, the energy broker may require additional information such as half hourly data or annual consumption.

To stop your contract automatically rolling over or to prevent delay in your supply moving to a new supplier it is essential that you provide termination notice to your existing supplier before the termination notice date. Often the termination notice date is 30 days before your contract end date but in some instances the termination notice date can be different so please check on your energy bill or if you do not know when it is, give us a call and we can find out for you. To terminate your contract, you just need to email your existing supplier using the contact details on your energy bill quoting your account number and company details. Please contact us if you would like Outsourced Utilities to do this for you, free of charge.

Half Hourly (HH) electricity meters are used for larger electricity demands to enable the supplier, DNO and customer to remotely read the electricity consumption every half an hour. It is compulsory for any business that has an electricity load of more than 100 kW to have a half hourly meter but those with a peak load of 70 kW or more can opt for one to be installed. Whilst HH meters do complicate billing and supply contracts, they do have the advantage of giving a much greater insight into how the electricity is being used which helps businesses work towards more efficient energy usage and therefore cost reduction. Our team are experts in the procurement of Half Hourly supply contracts so do not hesitate to call if you would like some advice.

In many cases, yes. A group energy deal can have many benefits including improved prices. It does depend on volume but we recommend speaking with one of our experts who can talk through the pros and cons of entering into a group energy contract.

Depending on who you select, there are many benefits to using an energy broker to help you procure and manage your energy supply contracts. Benefits include expert advice, negotiation with many energy suppliers, bespoke contract terms and dedicated account management, all of which help reduce the price you pay for your energy and the time you must spend in doing it yourself – meaning more time for you to concentrate on running your business. With Outsourced Utilities all customers also benefit from access to our customer portal to help manage contract end dates, documents and charges.

Price comparison websites are great if you want a quick price and if you spend very little on your energy with a very simple meter. If, however, you have a more complicated supply, want the best rates and need some expert advice, an energy broker is your best bet. Price comparison sites are limited, and we recommend speaking with an energy broker before proceeding with any price you have received on a price comparison website. We suggest sticking to price comparison websites for domestic supplies only. For business energy advice from an expert call Outsourced Utilities, our team will be happy to assist with your query.

The honest answer is that it is very difficult indeed – even we get them! You could register to the corporate Telephone Preference Service (TPS) which takes 28 days to take effect to help reduce the number of cold calls you receive, but it is likely many cold callers will not even bother looking to check if you are a TPS registered business. One idea is to work with a company that do not believe in cold calling – a company like Outsourced Utilities, perhaps? As soon as anyone mentions the word energy you can put the phone down knowing that your energy portfolio is being managed and looked after by a company that obtains work and new customers in a slightly more ethical way, through referrals and introductions. Speak with our team today to find out how we can help your business ignore those annoying and relentless energy sales calls!

Pass-through charges tend to only appear on half-hourly electricity contracts or large gas supplies, but sometimes can creep their way in to smaller supply contracts if you are not careful. Pass-through charges can sometimes help reduce your overall costs if there is a method and rational as to why the charges have not been included in the energy unit rate but in many cases the extra charges will come as a nasty shock and increase your energy spend considerably. Pass-through charges are charges that are not included in the unit rates or standing charge as they are a non-commodity cost and instead are passed-through as an additional cost on your bill. The best way to avoid these charges is to negotiate a fully-fixed and inclusive contract to ensure all charges are included in the unit rates and the unit rates are fixed for the duration of the contract. If they are not fixed, or if they are passed-through, the charges can increase throughout your contract. Speak with our team today to discuss how best to fix your charges and forecast your energy costs.

MOP contracts are a requirement of all Half Hourly electricity meters. The MOP contract covers the supply, maintenance and communications link for the meter. MOP contracts can often be significantly overpriced or even be passed-through as a recurring monthly charge by the energy supplier. For help with MOP contracts, call Outsourced Utilities today.

Gas transportation charges are the charges energy users have to pay for the distribution and transmission of gas around the network – essentially moving gas from ‘A’ to ‘B’ (your business premises). These charges tend to make up around 34% of an overall business gas bill and often they can be excluded from the unit rates and charges in a gas quotation. When quoting we make sure that all these charges are included in the quotation. If you would like to check if your current gas contract price or renewal quotation includes such charges, please feel free to contact our expert team.

IGT stands for Independent Gas Transporter. IGT meters are not part of the traditional gas network and typically require a bespoke contract and quote. Sometimes additional charges can apply so we recommend speaking with our team before proceeding with any contract offer if you have an IGT. To find out if your meter is an IGT contact our team who will be happy to assist.

Most businesses will pay 20% VAT and be charged Climate Levy (CCL), however some businesses can be entitled for a reduction to 5% and an exemption from CCL. Call us today to find out of if you could be entitled to a reduction in VAT charges on your energy supply contracts.

It depends entirely on the specific details of the meter and the contract required – in many cases renewable energy can be more expensive. Having said this, Outsourced Utilities can negotiate excellent prices for renewable electricity – if you would like to help the planet and go green call us to speak with our expert team who can talk you through the options for renewable electricity contracts.

Yes, Outsourced Utilities can obtain green gas supply contracts for your business – help save the planet and go green by calling our expert team today.

Out of contract rates are extremely expensive so no wonder you have searched for help on this. The good news is we can help you get off them very quickly. Contact Outsourced Utilities with a copy of a recent bill and Outsourced Utilities will source and arrange a new competitive contract in super quick time that will be sure to save you money.

Remembering you contract end dates and notice dates can be difficult and is not always top priority. The good news is that we have a solution! Our super handy and interactive customer portal – we enter in your information and you have it to hand 247 at the click of a button. From one site and contract, to one hundred – never forget a contract end date or miss a notice date ever again! Call Outsourced Utilities for more information!

The dusty office cabinet? A rigid excel document? Or how about an all singing, all dancing easy to use customer portal? Every contract document, unit rate and date stored securely in an easy to access online portal for every business and site you have, whether that be one or one hundred.

A letter of authority (LOA) provides your energy broker with the authority to price and manage your energy accounts with your energy supplier on your behalf. Our letter of authorities DO NOT allow us to sign contracts on your behalf – we don’t think that is a transparent way to do business. However, some broker LOA’s do enable them to sign contracts with you agreeing to them directly so be careful. Please feel free to contact Outsourced Utilities should you have any questions about signing a letter of authority.

Verbal contracts are essentially contracts that are agreed to over a telephone call. The telephone calls are recorded which stand up as a legal document. The trouble with these types of contracts is that the way something is said can change the way it is perceived. For this reason, we do not use verbal contract recordings. Instead all of our contracts are in old fashioned black and white in either paper or electronic format using DocuSign.

DocuSign is a secure and legally accepted electronic contract acceptance system. Contracts are signed online and are set against your IP address meaning it is a very secure way of signing an energy contract, on top of the fact it is so much easier and environmentally friendly! Speak to our team Outsourced Utilities if you have any further questions regarding DocuSign contracts.

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