What will the Targeted Charging Review mean for my business energy costs

What will the Targeted Charging Review mean for my business energy costs

Every business faces overheads. Whether you’re a one man band or a multi-national corporation, there are always costs to consider in running your enterprise. But often the larger the organisation becomes the more challenging it is to keep an eye on the detail that can make a significant difference.

The truth is that business energy costs are often a source of significant money wastage. At The Energy Check we spend our working week helping businesses to get a handle on their utility bills and find ways to save money. Often this can be through the procurement of more suitable contracts, at other times it might be installing technologies that can save energy usage across an entire estate. And sometimes it can mean getting to grips with new legislation and ensuring that companies don’t fall foul of hidden costs. Among the key changes to the energy sector coming in 2021 is Ofgem’s Targeted Charging Review (TCR). Here’s what you need to know.

An introduction to the TCR

Under the Targeted Charging Review (TCR), the energy regulator has assessed how residual network charges should be set and recovered in Great Britain. Sweeping changes to transmission (TNUoS) and distribution (DUoS) residual (or sunk) network charging structures are expected from April 2021 onwards, as the current Triad demand system is replaced with a fixed charge based on a site’s available capacity. Under the new system, the focus will shift from measuring capacity based on time-of-use towards a fixed charge based on overall capacity. Four bands will be brought in to decide on the level of charges, based on site capacity and voltage of connection. This structure will help to ensure that large industrial and commercial firms are no longer able to avoid residual costs through Triad avoidance.

What are Triad periods?

Triad periods are the three highest winter peak periods upon which large companies’ transmission network charges are based. Although the dates and times of Triad periods are revealed retrospectively, many firms currently reduce consumption or switch to onsite generation during suspected Triad periods to reduce energy bills.

Historically, this form of energy management has been able to save large businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds each year. However, with the arrival of the new system, this approach will no longer be effective in reducing annual bills. While the pricing structure for the new system is yet to be released, it appears that Winter 2020/21 will be the last opportunity for Triad avoidance savings to be made. A second review is also now underway considering “forward looking” charges designed to provide consumers with pricing signals that will encourage specific consumption behaviour. The details of this review are still unknown, however.

Procurement challenges

Another knock-on effect of the new reforms may be that it becomes harder to deliver procurement prices for the period post April 2021. In fact, it is likely that suppliers will look to recoup losses from the new TCR charging system on contracts that are currently being negotiated.

What can businesses do to manage energy costs effectively?

For businesses that have worked hard to avoid winter Triads and timed charging periods in the past, the focus of energy management efforts must now focus on Agreed Supply Capacity (ASC) with the Distribution Network Operator – otherwise known as kVA charges. From April 2021, available supply capacity will be used to determine the pricing band a business falls into – and therefore the fixed price in the annual bill. This means that it will be more important than ever for organisations to monitor kVA effectively and manage capacity consistently to ensure that they do not find themselves in a more expensive band. Initially, a business’s available capacity will be measured from the last 24 months to establish which pricing band it should be entered into. This will become a fixed price on an organisation’s monthly energy bill until it can be proved that kVA should actually be lower. The TCR changes will also affect Non Half Hourly businesses – although it is possible that many may benefit from the new measures by seeing a reduction in their overall energy bill. Ultimately, the new regulations will bring about a shift in mindset for businesses. Where previously organisations had looked to reduce consumption during particular times of the day and certain times of year, they should now focus wholly on reducing total consumption. This may take the form of energy efficiency measures and controls to identify waste, which makes it possible to lower the fixed price on each bill.

While April 2021 may feel like it is some time away, realistically it does not provide businesses with much time to prepare for these significant changes to the way their utility bills are calculated. By working with our team of energy saving experts you can help to reduce the impact of these changes and ensure that future savings can be maximised and costs kept low.

Call us today: 0191 691 1802

UK achieves two months without burning coal: Has coronavirus been the final nail in the coffin for the industry?

UK achieves two months without burning coal: Has coronavirus been the final nail in the coffin for the industry?

At midnight on Wednesday 10th June 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the UK quietly but significantly passed a huge landmark. It went two full months without burning coal to generate power.

There was a time when this would have seemed completely unfeasible. More than a century ago, in 1913, coal production in the UK peaked at 292 million tonnes. Flash forward sixty years to the 1970s and coal still accounted for over half of the UK’s energy. Even more recently, in 2010, about 40% of the country’s electricity still came from coal.

The dramatic shift away from coal in recent years is thanks, in large part, to a growing national and international awareness of climate change and the environmental impact of burning coal for energy. But other factors, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, also have a part to play.

So, is the UK looking at an energy sector without coal?

Coronavirus and coal

While two months without coal is significant, it shouldn’t be seen as a huge surprise. The summer of 2019 was also largely coal-free, with only the odd isolated day of coal use reported. Over the last eight years, coal’s energy share has fallen rapidly, with the final push to 0% being the most time-consuming part of the transition.

But there is no doubt that Coronavirus has helped to speed along this decline. While its hard to take any silver lining from the chaos inflicted by COVID-19, it has caused a huge drop in coal demand (not to mention petrol consumption). This has also been the case for other European countries. In France, coal use now rarely passes 1% of its total energy output.

Because of COVID-19, electricity demand in the UK was around 20% lower than average in recent weeks, which in turn means that the already waning demand for coal has also dropped drastically.

The move to renewables

Coal now supplies less than 5% of electricity generated in the UK, down from 40% as recently in 2012. This signals the likely success of the Government’s promise to ban all coal production in the UK in 2025.

Coal plants across the country have either been closed, or have converted to suit the greener times. One of the most significant instances occurred recently when Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire successfully converted four of its six generators to burn biomass instead. According to the Drax Group, this is Europe’s biggest decarbonisation scheme to date.

Moving to renewable energy reflects the growing awareness of the environmental impact of our energy which has occurred over the last few decades, but particularly in the last five years or so. Fuel sources like wind, wave, marine, hydro, biomass and solar are becoming more and more prominent in the UK as coal prepares to be phased out completely.

What does this mean for your energy?

Many energy providers, including the Big Six, now offer greener energy deals, and use greener sources for their energy. Some even offer perks for customers choosing greener deals as an incentive to reduce your carbon footprint.

Diversifying energy supply creates a more varied energy market, giving you the opportunity to shop around for the best deal and most suitable package.

Looking to find the cheapest traditional or green energy deal for your business? Get in touch with one of our experts today and let’s start the conversation. Give us a call on 0191 691 18 02 or click here to start comparing deals.

The Energy Check gains ISO 14001 Certification

The Energy Check gains ISO 14001 Certification

In April 2020 we demonstrated our commitment to the environment by undertaking ISO 14001 assessments to prove we have effective environmental management systems in place.

What are ISO Standards?

Over the last few years, ISO standards have become increasingly important in the business world as organisations look to prove that they are maintaining good working practices that benefit both employees, suppliers and customers.

As ISO standards go, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 are among the most highly valued across the business community as they showcase a dedication to quality and environmental management. And we are delighted to announce that as of April 2020 The Energy Check was successfully reaccredited for ISO 9001 and added ISO 14001 accreditation to our list of accolades.

In spite of the unprecedented situation that we find ourselves in as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe it is important to retain our commitment to raising standards and striving to be better across our business, which is why a three and a half day assessment was carried out external assessors from 20th April 2020.

During the course of the assessment no non-compliances were identified with only four areas identified for improvement which is testament to the company’s commitment to drive up standards and the support from our partners at Pentagon Assurance.

Barry Cooper, Managing Director of Pentagon Assurance said:

“UKAS accreditation of ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems is the gold standard of certification for a system which supports enhanced business performance, through improving the efficient use of resources and the reduction of waste. The investment made by The Energy Check also provides assurance to their wide range of stakeholders in the highly regulated energy sector.

“On time delivery of this project is testament to the strength of teamwork and partnership developed with The Energy Check, who hold sustainability and compliance at the core of their values. Engagement at all levels has enabled successful integration of UKAS ISO 14001:2015 to the established UKAS ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management framework. Our congratulations and thanks to everyone involved.”

Achieving certification is never an easy task and it requires huge amounts of hard work, dedication and skill from our close-knit teams. We would like to thank all of our employees for their help in keeping the business running smoothly during this challenging period and we are proud that the events of recent months has not diminished the high standards we have set for ourselves.

David Winton, CEO of The Energy Check, said: “I am delighted with this outcome, particularly at such a difficult time nationally. However once again our customers can take comfort that not only do we hold ourselves to the highest standards for systems management but also have effective environmental management systems in place too.”

Looking to improve the management of your utilities? Speak to the team at The Energy Check today. Get in touch

Oil prices are in a negative. How can your business take advantage of this?

Oil prices are in a negative. How can your business take advantage of this?

For the first time on record, US oil prices are in a negative due to the impact of nationwide lockdowns. But what does this really mean for the average business? Demand for oil has all but dried up on a global scale, as lockdowns force us all to stay inside. This has caused an unprecedented drop in oil prices. In fact, the price of US oil has fallen into negative territory.

This means that oil producers are actually paying buyers to take the commodity off their hands due to fears their storage capacities could run out in May. At present, oil firms are renting tankers to store their surplus supply.

The benchmark for US oil, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), recently fell as low as -$37.63 a barrel. Meanwhile Brent Crude – the benchmark for oil prices used by Europe and the rest of the world – has also seen significant drops. Based on their June contracts, the benchmark is operating at $26 a barrel, a drop of 8.9%.

How are exporters tackling the drop in demand?

Earlier in April, exporters agreed to a record 10% slash in global oil output. This was the largest cut in oil production ever agreed, but analysts say it’s still not big enough to make a significant difference. The world still has more crude oil than it can use, and capacity is filling fast on both land and sea.

It’s this simple fact which has caused the current oil climate. Due to the societal impact of the coronavirus, exporters are actually being forced to pay importers, businesses and consumers to take oil off their hands.

This is a dramatic shift brought about by these uncertain times, but there are ways for businesses to take advantage of it. Low oil prices may put a smile on your face at the petrol pump, but they can also impact energy prices more broadly. Now might be the best time for businesses to buy for the long term.

How can businesses take advantage of the oil price crash?

Such a significant drop in the price of crude oil will have a knock-on effect on the price of both business and domestic energy over the coming weeks and months. In February, a drop in wholesale prices had already resulted in a lowering of the price cap and it is now likely that suppliers will move to offer even more competitive rates in line with plummeting wholesale rates.

This means that for businesses looking to renew their energy contracts, now could be an opportunity to make a substantial saving and negotiate a new contract – particularly those that would otherwise be rolling on to a standard variable tariff over the coming months.

With the gap between the price cap and the cheapest fixed price tariff widening all the time, now is a crucial time for businesses of all sizes to pay attention to their energy contracts. By reducing monthly overheads, businesses can afford themselves some much-needed relief at a time when cashflow across many industries is proving to be a challenge.

Need advice on how your business should act on energy during these uncertain times? Speak to the team at The Energy Check today. Simply click here to get in touch.

How the coronavirus is impacting the climate crisis

How the coronavirus is impacting the climate crisis

Every cloud has a silver lining, and it seems the disruption and devastation caused by COVID-19 has one, too.

For the past few weeks, the spread of the coronavirus has dominated every major news story and conversation. What began as a threat to the residents of Wuhan, China has now become a global pandemic, with governments around the world urging citizens to stay inside, wash their hands and isolate themselves as much as possible.

But how has this impacted the other major crisis of our time: climate change? According to satellite images from the European Space Agency (ESA), the coronavirus impact has slashed air pollution levels across the globe in what is being called the “largest scale experiment ever”.

The environmental impact of COVID-19

You might think that, because we’re spending more time at home, energy levels would be on the up. After all, surely we’re all using more gas and electricity than we normally would be thanks to social isolation.

However, domestic gas and electric are just a drop in the ocean when pitted against heavy climate hitters like air travel, vehicle emissions and heavy industry.

And as a result of the coronavirus, these factors have essentially been put on hold. Readings from ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite show that over the past six weeks, levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over industrial areas in Asia and Europe have dropped dramatically, and are markedly lower than this time last year.

Usually produced by car engines, power plants and planes, the drop in NO2 is directly associated with the actions taking by governments to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Air pollution has already dropped in the UK

The UK might be more than a week behind other countries like Italy in terms of COVID-19 spread, but roadside monitors are already showing significantly reduced levels of pollution, especially in areas like London.

Road traffic makes up around 80% of NO2 emissions in the UK. Every kilometre not driven by the average diesel car stops 52 milligrams of NO2 entering in the air. Times this by the usual number of cars on the road and kilometres driven, and you’re looking at huge numbers.

This could have long-term positive effects

There’s no doubt that the coronavirus crisis has been nothing short of devastating on a global scale, but the environmental impact of its spread could thankfully bring some positive news for us all in the long run, according to Professor of Air Pollution at the University of Leicester, Paul Monks:

“It seems entirely probable that a reduction in air pollution will be beneficial to people in susceptible categories, for example some asthma sufferers. It could reduce the spread of disease. A high level of air pollution exacerbates viral uptake because it inflames and lowers immunity.”

At The Energy Check we have set our own ambitious targets for reducing both our own energy consumption and those of our clients over the coming months and years. Our goal for 2020 is to have made energy savings totalling £9.5 million, equating to 15GWh of consumption. This correlates to an incredible 90,000t of CO2 emissions. And if we were to predict one positive out of the current upheaval it would be that organisations will look more closely at the benefits of remote working, lean manufacturing and less resource-intensive processes in the future. This can only serve to help the fight against global warming.

Want to know how you can step up your efforts against carbon emissions and save on energy costs in the process? Simply click here to get in touch.

What’s going on with the price of oil and what does it mean for you?

What’s going on with the price of oil and what does it mean for you?

What’s behind the biggest fall in oil prices for almost 20 years?

At the start of what analysts are already calling a “price war”, oil prices crashed in Asia by around 30% last week. This marks the biggest fall in cost per barrel since the day in 1991 when US forces launched air strikes on Iraqi troops after the invasion of Kuwait.

Saudi Arabia – the world’s top oil exporter – slashed its oil prices after failing to convince Russia to support sharp cuts to production. Oil cartel OPEC has previously worked with Russia on production curbs, having formed the OPEC+ alliance in 2016 when prices last suffered a significant drop.

Why are prices crashing?

The 14 members of the OPEC cartel – led by Saudi Arabia – originally met with Russian allies and other non-OPEC members in order to discuss how best to respond to failing demand caused by the growing spread of the coronavirus.

But the two sides could not agree on measures to cut oil production by up to 1.5 million barrels a day. In response, Saudi Arabia launched the oil price war, and prices have been dropping since.

Initial impacts saw Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, drop below $50 a barrel. At present, prices have fallen to a low of $31.02 per barrel after Saudi Arabis sharply cut the prices it charges customers. The region is home to major importers such as Japan, China, India and South Korea.

Global oil production is now significantly outpacing demand. As such, OPEC members are no expected to pump more oil to capture the market.

In a research note, oil analyst Martjin Rats of Morgan Stanley comments: “Given OPEC countries now have very little incentive to restrain production, oil markets look sharply oversupplied.”

Speaking to the BBC, energy analyst Vandana Hari of Vanda Insights research firm expressed shock on behalf of the markets following the disagreement on production costs between OPEC and Russia. Just last year, the alliance surpassed the US as the world’s top producer.

Hari comments: “The collapse of the OPEC/non-OPEC alliance is a major shock to the oil market, and it comes with the added challenge that we don’t have the full picture of what lies ahead.”

Which countries will be hurt the most?

It’s hard to see any winners in this price war. The biggest oil producing countries are set to lose money regardless of how much market share they can rescue. Meanwhile, Gulf countries like Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates need a price around $70 a barrel or higher to balance their budgets, due to high government spending and generous subsidies for citizens.

Oil dependent countries like Libya, Venezuela, Iraq and Iran have all suffered from years of conflict and sanctions, meaning they will likely pay the heaviest price in this war. The US and the UK will feel the impact too, as low prices will hurt oil companies.

What is the impact on consumers?

One potential positive takeaway from this situation that importing nations may experience some much-needed relief through falling prices, and consumers benefit in general from lower energy bills – not to mention declining petrol costs.

But any reduction in oil and gas prices will most likely be outweighed by the disruption to the economy caused by the coronavirus. Global stock markets have crashed around the world due to the impact of the virus’ spread and the oil price war. The full consequences of the coronavirus spread remain unclear.

If it’s time to compare energy suppliers and see if you could be getting a better deal, click here to speak to a member of our team today.

Carbon neutral 2050: Reaching net zero in 30 years

Carbon neutral 2050: Reaching net zero in 30 years

In 2019 the UK government became the first major economy to commit to bringing greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050. While this target represents huge challenge for the country it is also essential if Britain is to play its part in helping to ensure that future generations to do not face a survival-threatening climate catastrophe.

All sectors, industries and parts of society will be required to play a role in bringing down carbon emissions. This will include investment in reducing energy consumption and adopting green technological solutions.

In business, organisations will also be expected to ‘offset’ carbon emissions where it is not currently possible to avoid the consumption of fossil fuels – in some industrial processes, for example.

Why does 2020 need to be the turning point

According to leading scientists, 2020 must be the peak year for global emissions. Or, to put it differently, emissions must reduce significantly every year from 2021 in order for the world to stand a chance of limiting the rise in global temperatures. It is widely accepted that if global temperatures increase by more than 2º Celsius, the impact of melting icecaps, rising sea levels and broader climate change will be irreversible.

What will it take to become carbon neutral by 2050

There are three main ways we can achieve carbon neutrality by 2050:

1. Moving towards 100% renewable energy An expansion of solar, wind and hydro electricity initiatives will remove our reliance on fossil fuels.

2. Increased energy efficiency Utilising low energy technologies and improving insulation will also be required between now and 2050 to reduce energy demand.

3. Negative emission initiatives Initiatives based around bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) can be utilised to achieve negative carbon dioxide emissions by combining biomass use with geologic carbon capture and storage (CCS).

What about the rest of the world?

While there are several other nations that have been slow to respond to the climate crisis, and others (namely, the USA) that currently follow a policy of denial, there are many international examples of carbon neutral initiatives.

Norway – aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 Sweden – targeting carbon neutrality by 2045, with a 15% offset limit. This target excludes aviation and shipping industries. Denmark – planning to achieve a “low carbon society” by 2050

All countries within the European Union are currently preparing their own commitments to carbon neutrality by 2050, while the Paris Agreement broadly seeks to drive all countries in the United Nations to take a strong stance on climate change.

How can UK businesses help the country to reach carbon neutrality

The time to take steps towards a lower carbon footprint is now. British businesses have a responsibility to help drive change and take the necessary steps to become a greener organisation.

Why bother?

  1. Implementing low energy measures within your business can actually help to increase profitability
  2. It is likely that funding will be available in the form of grants to support the green revolution over the coming years, helping to make carbon neutrality more cost effective
  3. Being proactive now will help to avoid fines when legislation is tightened and carbon emissions are penalised more heavily in the future
  4. Your reputation with employees and customers will be enhanced as you demonstrate a willingness to act on your moral duty

If you understand that energy efficiency and the pursuit of becoming carbon neutral needs to be a consideration within your organisation but you don’t know where to start, give us a call. A chat with one of our energy consultants can be the first step towards making meaningful changes that both save your business money and contribute towards sustainability.

Call today on 0191 691 1802

Calling all accommodation and hospitality businesses. You may be paying unnecessary taxes within your utility bills

Calling all accommodation and hospitality businesses. You may be paying unnecessary taxes within your utility bills

There are only three things certain in life: death, taxes and … stealth taxes. But if you run a hotel, B&B or holiday park you could be due a rebate

We can all agree that tax can be a challenging part of running a business effectively. But what if we told you that there’s a stealth tax hidden within your utility bills that you could be claiming relief from?

The Climate Change Levy is a government-imposed tax that most organisations simply pay without question. But what exactly is it and why should you be looking into an exemption?

Getting to grips with Climate Change Levy (CCL)

As part of the UK government’s efforts to cut carbon emissions and boost energy saving, the CCL was introduced back on 1st April 2001.

The energy tax (not carbon tax) is part of the wider Climate Change Programme — a scheme launched by the government at the turn of the millennium. This aims to deliver on targets set at the 1992 Earth Summit, where the United Nations gathered to discuss the threat that rapid warming posed to humanity and the Earth itself.

The CCL was designed to target businesses that were deemed to profit from their energy use. It is imposed on all energy delivered to non-domestic users in the UK.

CCL exemption was available on renewables until 2015

Until 1st August 2015, renewable energy could be deemed exempt from the Climate Change Levy. Energy was defined as electricity, gas, solid fuel and liquid petroleum gas. As such, energy generated from certain renewable sources and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) could be exempt from tax.

As of 2015, this is no longer the case and all sources of energy are liable for tax regardless of their renewability – a step that many felt to be at odds with the original intentions of the levy. But although renewable exemption is no longer available, there are still a number of businesses and industries that are still eligible for total CCL exemption.

Who’s still exempt?

Businesses that use less than 4,397kWh per month of gas and less than 1000kWh per month of electricity do not have to pay the CCL under current rules.

Importantly, businesses that are permanently or temporarily using energy for the supply of domestic or mixed-use purposes are also eligible for the CCL exemption. This includes:

  • Hospices
  • Homes for children, the elderly or the disabled
  • Caravans
  • Houseboats
  • Armed forces accommodation
  • School and university accommodation
  • Self-catered holiday accommodation
  • Houses, flats and other dwellings
  • Supplies to community heating systems
  • Religious communities like nunneries and monasteries

And there are even more criteria for exemption too, such as:

  • Your gas and electricity supplies are charged at 5% VAT
  • Your supplies are not used as fuel
  • Your supplies are used in certain forms of transport
  • You supply to Combined Heat and Power schemes
  • Your supplies are used to produce other forms of energy
  • Your organisation is part of a Climate Change Agreement through a trade body

How much will I save if I’m exempt?

The short answer to this question is: it depends on how much energy you use each month. You can use the table below to calculate how much you are currently paying and how these rates may change over the next 18 months.

BUT it’s important to note that you can not only claim exemption in the future; if your business has incorrectly been paying tax in the past you can claim a rebate from the government for up to the last 4 years.

Find the Climate Change Levy rates here.

How to apply for a CCL exemption

If you are entitled to a CCL exemption, you can complete a PP10 and a PP11 form, available from HMRC. However, for many organisations the process of claiming exemption and chasing rebates can be time consuming and confusing. At The Energy Check we offer expert help and advice to ensure that you receive the rebate you deserve without any wasted effort or hassle.

Want to know if you could be benefitting from a CCL exemption? Get in touch with us today on 0191 691 18 02 or email welcome@theenergycheck.co.uk. Remember, we don’t charge any upfront costs for this service. We work on a no win, no fee basis and simply charge a percentage of any money we claim on your behalf.

London’s Design Museum shapes up for increased energy efficiency through partnership with The Energy Check

London’s Design Museum shapes up for increased energy efficiency through partnership with The Energy Check

London’s Design Museum has announced a new partnership with energy consultancy, The Energy Check, as part of the museum’s drive to conserve energy and reduce its carbon footprint.

The Design Museum moved to the former Commonwealth Institute building on Kensington High Street in 2016, undertaking a refurbishment project costing £83million. Through this new partnership, the energy saving experts at The Energy Check will help the museum take steps to reduce energy consumption at the 10,000m2 Grade II listed building. As a not-for-profit organisation that has received more than £7million in grant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England in recent years, The Energy Check’s role in helping to negotiate the best prices on energy contracts and identify cost-saving opportunities is a crucial one. Having procured the Museum a £15,000 saving on energy in 2019, the partnership is already proving to be a fruitful one.

Alice Black, Co-Director of the Design Museum, said: _ “We are delighted to announce this new partnership with The Energy Check.”

“By working closely with The Energy Check’s specialist team we hope to implement meaningful changes that will both enhance the museum’s energy efficiency and lower costs, allowing us to invest more into the exhibitions, learning programmes and events that make the Design Museum the leading museum of design and architecture in the world.”

Chief Executive Officer at The Energy Check, David Winton, said: “The Design Museum is one of the UK’s most iconic and important institutions and we are thrilled to be partnering with the team here. Attention to detail and commitment to excellence are traits that visitors have come to expect from the exhibitions and collections on display at the museum, and we intend to demonstrate the same qualities through our own energy conservation work over the coming months.”

Given that the Design Museum has undergone significant renovation work in recent years, the venue’s BREEAM sustainability credentials are already classed as “Very Good”. These include LED lighting in all public areas, variable speed drives on all motors, a Building Management System and heating from a CHP based District Heating Scheme. Nevertheless, The Energy Check has been able to recommend improvements designed to optimise energy efficiency whilst protecting the Museum’s more delicate exhibits.

David Winton says, “Energy conservation techniques are moving on all the time and so it is important that venues like the Design Museum are constantly reviewing and refining their systems and infrastructure. Through new innovations and behavioural changes among staff – as well as effective procurement – there are almost always opportunities to lower overheads and reduce emissions.”

When can I switch my business energy? When can I switch my business energy?

When can I switch my business energy?

Energy costs are a necessary part of business, but every entrepreneur wants the freedom to choose the best tariff

Ask any entrepreneur whether they’d like to spend less money, and chances are the answer will be yes.

Energy costs of one of the biggest costs facing new and small businesses, but shopping for a better tariff can help you lower these costs significantly.

However, an independent study found that less than half of businesses review their energy prices annually, and one in five only review them every 2-5 years. What’s more, one in 10 businesses never shop for a better energy deal.

So why is switching so important for businesses, and when can you do it?

When can you change your supplier?

You can switch your business energy supplier when your contract’s switching window opens. This is the time period – determined by your supplier – in which you are allowed to renew your contract or switch to a different supplier.

The length of your switching window will depend on your current provider, as it can range from 30 days before your contract ends to four months.

Make sure you check with your supplier so you know when your switching window opens. That way, you’ll avoid fees for switching delays.

Why does Ofgem want you to switch contracts?

Four words: Out of Contract rates. These are imposed once you’ve come to the end of your agreed contract with a supplier, if no further tariff has been agreed upon. In other words, if you just do nothing and let your contract roll over, you’ll end up paying these rates.

These imposed rates are much higher than contracted energy rates, and Ofgem warns businesses that contractors do very little to get you moved onto agreed terms. Should you still switch if you’re happy with your current supplier?

You might have no qualms with your current energy provider, but it’s still worth shopping around during your switching window, even if it’s just to have a look at what else is out there.

By comparing tariffs, you’ll get a better idea of how your current deal stands up against the competition. And if you still decide that you like your current supplier, you can see if there is a better deal available under that provider.

It’s also possible to negotiate on business contracts as you shop around – and that’s where our team of energy brokers come in. Find out more on 0191 691 18 02.

Can you change before the switching window?

Yes, but it might cost you. If you want to switch you supplier before your switching window has opened, chances are you’ll have to pay a cancellation fee which might be quite significant. So make sure the savings you’d make by cancelling are greater than the price you’d have to pay your current supplier.

For microbusinesses, you can provide a termination notice at any point in your contract, even though the switch won’t actually take place until the contract is up.

What if you’re moving locations?

If you’re moving offices, you’ll already have plenty to think about, but you should try to organise a new energy contract ahead of your moving date. However, you will need to provide a specific date, otherwise you risk being placed on Deemed rates, which are similar to Out of Contract rates but slightly less expensive.

In any situation, it’s best to seek out the advice of energy experts who can provide insight into the best course of action for your specific situation. That way, you’ll give yourself the best chance of a great new deal.

Start comparing business energy tariffs today with The Energy Check. Simply click here to find the best deal for you, or get in touch by calling 0191 691 18 02.