TEAM’s Bureau Manager Scott Tomsett explains how a unique training course could help many businesses reduce their energy bills and manage their suppliers.
Thousands of UK businesses are battling against their energy suppliers, with common complaints ranging from providers issuing incorrect bills to confusion over complex tariffs.
Understanding an energy bill can often be confusing – it’s hard to decipher exactly how much you’re paying because of overly complicated calculations and terminology. Running a business also means having a lot of different tasks competing for priority, so scrutinising energy bills probably never makes it to the top of the list.
Nevertheless, energy is often the second largest cost after salaries, so it’s important to know how to challenge inaccurate utility bills.
Unit rate, tariffs, kilowatt hour, hidden charges, switching your supplier and standing charges all sound complicated but their meaning can be simple, if you know what to look for.
Business energy bills normally include a standing charge, unit rate, a contract end date, Climate Change Levy (CCL), VAT charges, but what generally isn’t included is the breakdown of hidden costs, which can make up around 50% of an energy bill.
Many don’t realise that wholesale energy costs; transmission and distribution charges; energy losses, supplier margins, Government initiatives, metering and industry charges all play a major part in an energy bill’s charges. So it’s little wonder that confidence in the nation’s energy suppliers to bill correctly is at an all-time low.
Ofgem’s ‘clearer information’ rules came into force in March 2014. They are a key element in the energy regulator’s Standards of Conduct for suppliers, which are designed to create a simpler, clearer and fairer energy market.
But have these ‘simplified standards’ really helped businesses gain a better understanding of their energy bills and improve relationships with energy suppliers?
Research suggests that thousands of customers still struggle to get to grips with the billing information they are sent because of;
- Overly complicated calculations
- Not understanding the terminology used
- Too much information
- Language used is confusing
- They include too many abbreviations
Businesses feel there is little or no help out there when it comes to managing or challenging their supplier. Many want to gain a better understanding of the utilities industry, meter reads and tariffs, as well as how to change their supplier, validate bills and claim back cost recoveries.
About TEAM’s How to Manage Your Utility Supplier training course
To help consumers make sense of their energy bills, TEAM has introduced the UK’s first – How to Manage Your Utility Supplier – training course.
The one-day event will take place on Wednesday 9th March 2016 in Milton Keynes and will provide businesses with the knowledge and confidence they need to manage their energy supplier.
Topics, which will be presented by a team of industry experts, will include bill validation, how to change a supplier effectively, common billing queries, preparing for changes to the UK water market, moving to electronic billing and much more.
About TEAM (Energy Auditing Agency Ltd.)
TEAM is the UK’s leading supplier of carbon and energy management solutions. With over 500 customers in the UK and worldwide TEAM specialise in energy management software, outsourced energy management services and energy consultancy. TEAM consistently produces energy savings that exceed the cost of our services and products.
Founded in 1985 by Managing Director Paul Martin, TEAM has customers from all sectors including Commerce, Industry and Government.