Business Energy FAQs
Below we have listed some of our most commonly asked questions with regards to switching business energy providers. With our business energy FAQs, we hope to have answered all your questions.
- How many business energy suppliers do you have on your site?
We want to have all the Licenced business energy suppliers in the UK display their prices on our website, however, not all suppliers supply into the SME market, not all suppliers have fixed price plan deals, and not all suppliers want to allow customers to openly compare their prices with other suppliers.
The suppliers we have on our platform simply want to give business customers the information necessary to make an informed decision about what is right for their business and we simply want to show you these options in a fair and proper manner. The more suppliers we persuade to use the platform the better the options available to our customers. Our aim is, therefore, to have all the Licenced Suppliers in the UK use our platform.
- Why do you want the Business Description?
The United Kingdom Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities (SIC) is used to classify business establishments and other standard units by the type of economic activity in which they are engaged. By asking for your Business Description we can confirm what business activity you are engaged in, as certain suppliers will only make available price plans to certain activity groups this helps us remove Price Plans that do not suit your business. This is NOT MANDATORY and not all suppliers provide filters for their tariffs but by providing this information this may help reduce the likelihood of your supply application being rejected.
- What is a Change of Tenancy and why do you ask for this?
The definition of a Change of Tenancy is as follows: A Change of Tenancy is where ownership or occupation of a site is transferred from one legal entity to another and it is proposed that the energy supply will be transferred to another legal entity. A site will always be under the responsibility of a legal entity; if a site is vacant, responsibility lies with the landlord and/or owner of the site, therefore confirmation of the supply being a CoT will only be accepted on our platform when these circumstances apply.
Companies that move into a new premise do not have consumption history and it is, therefore, important to let suppliers know this. Certain suppliers offer Price Plans on a short-term basis (helping to avoid “deeming” or “out-of-contract” arrangements) that allow a new tenant to gather consumption history and then select a Price Plan to suit. By confirming that you have just had a change of tenancy then the supplier also knows that your consumption figure is an estimate and will be better prepared to manage any shortfall or overuse at the property.
If you are a new tenant then we suggest you check that there is no penalty in you moving your supply from the existing supplier during the contract period within the new tariff you select. Because you do not know how much energy you are likely to use you may inadvertently select a tariff that does not suit your business activities.
- What are MPAN and MPRN, and where can I get these?
The MPAN relates to your electricity supply and is the Meter Point Administration Number; it is unique to the property. It is found on the electricity bill issued by your current electricity supplier. If you cannot find it then contact your current electricity supplier quoting your customer reference number and ask them for a note of your MPAN number. The MPRN relates to your gas supply and is the Meter Point Reference Number; again it is unique to the property. It is found on the gas bill issued by your current gas supplier, it consists of a number of between 6 and10 digits. If you cannot find it then contact your current gas supplier quoting your customer reference number and ask them for a note of your MPRN.
If you do not have a previous bill, you can obtain your MPR number by telephoning XOSERVE (previously provided by Transco) on 0870 608 1524
- Why do you asterisk out the numbers in my MPAN and MPRN?
The reason we do this is to stop third parties using our postcode lookup simply as an MPAN/ MPRN checker, and more importantly, we aim to protect your personal information as much as possible. We do not want any third party using our site to get your MPAN/ MPRN and then passing this on without your permission.
- Where do I find my Contract End Date and why is this so important?
The first place to look is in your contract with your current business energy supplier. If you cannot find it there or cannot find your contract then contact your current supplier quoting your Customer Reference Number. They will be able to confirm the End Date of your contract and notice period required to you. It is very important that you know this date if you want to change your supply. If you quote the wrong date your supply application can and will likely be rejected. If you wait too long before giving notice of termination of your existing contract it may be possible that your supply arrangements will automatically renew and then you may have to pay a termination fee if you want to move your supply. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU KNOW YOUR CONTRACT END DATE.
- What is the Supply Type and how do I know what my Supply Type is?
The Supply Type is simply a generic name given by the suppliers to the type of supply arrangements at your property. There are a number of Supply Types and these relate to the level of consumption, the way the energy is used at the property and the manner in which the energy is metered. The most common Supply Types include Standard (a single meter), Evening Weekend (comprising of 2 meters), and Economy 7 (again comprising 2 meters) and Off-peak (can be a multiple of meters). The Supply Type should be indicated on your bill but if not it is possible to get this from the MPAN number (we do this automatically where possible). If you are unsure of your Supply Type then check your bill, if you are still unsure then you should contact your current supplier and ask them what type of supply you have on your property.
- When am I in a contract?
Our online approval process is legally binding and therefore once you click to “accept” the terms and conditions of the supplier for the Price Plan selected then you have entered into a contract with that supplier. Some suppliers require customers to sign and send back a Contract Pad and if you receive this in your confirmation email then you should do this asap (not doing this may result in your application being rejected, however, this does not mean you can go to another supplier for supply but merely means that the supplier who you have applied to has the right to reject your application as their process has not been completed). As soon as you click “accept” on our platform to confirm that you accept the supplier’s terms and conditions then we submit your details to that supplier for registration of your supply.
Please note that if you do go to another supplier after clicking to accept a supplier’s offer on our platform then that second application will be disputed and this may result in your supply application being delayed.
- Who will I be contracting with?
You will be entering into a contract with the supplier that provides the Plan you have selected. By using our platform you are making an application for supply to that supplier. The supplier will then confirm that they have accepted this application and that your supply has been transferred to them. If there is a problem transferring your supply then you will be informed of this.
- How do I know when my application has been approved?
The supplier will contact you and confirm that your application has been successful. If on the other hand your application has been queried or declined then Energylinx for business or your own Energy Broker will contact you and confirm that your applications have been rejected and for what reason.
- Who terminates my existing supply?
You have to terminate your existing supply yourself. You should contact your current supplier to confirm the address or the procedure for terminating your supply as early as possible. The arrangements for terminating your current supply should be detailed in your existing contract under “Termination”.
- How much does this service cost?
Most online switching sites say that their switching service is “FREE” but in reality, there is a payment somewhere. Suppliers pay commission to all Third Party Intermediaries (TPIs) and in many cases, those commissions are simply added on to your Price Plan. Commission levels are Supplier dependent and TPI dependent.
- How often are your business energy price plans updated?
Business energy prices on our site can be changed daily depending on the Supplier. On our “Quote” page we state when the prices were last updated. You should also note that in your “Account” area if prices have changed you will be able to “refresh” a quote (recover your quote with real-time pricing) rather than “resume” your quote with historic prices. This has been done to guarantee that you are getting the latest prices.
- How long does it take to switch business energy suppliers?
Switching business energy suppliers can take on average approximately 6 weeks. The length of time depends on the quality of the information you supply as part of your application. If you get the End Date wrong or if you have not served the prescribed notice as specified in your contract to your current Supplier, switching can take longer.
- If I do change supplier, will any of my supply equipment need changing?
This really depends on the supplier and plan you select. In most cases, the answer will be NO and you will simply be supplied using the same equipment. There are exceptions to this; one being where a supplier offers a Plan that requires a Smart Meter (AMR –Automatic Meter Reading). In such cases, the supplier may require you to change your meters. Another is where you choose to change from one Supply Type to another, such as deciding to move to or from a prepayment Price Plan – in this case, you will again have to have your meter changed. In most cases, however, there will be no change to your equipment.
- What is an AMR Meter?
An AMR Meter is an Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) meter that will allow suppliers to remotely read your meter(s). These are the same as Smart Meters. Both terms refer to meters that can be read remotely and provide the customer with more detailed profile information relating to their consumption.
- Who is responsible for safety and maintenance?
Maintaining the safety of your energy supplies remain with the Distribution Network Operator (DNO). If you have any problems concerning the physical aspects of your energy supply equipment then you should call your DNO straight away. The DNO and their contact details are stated on your bill or in your supply contract.
- Do I have a cooling off period?
This is supplier specific but in general businesses, unlike individuals, do not have a cooling off period. You need to make sure that you are committed to seeing through your contractual obligations before accepting and signing any contract. You should, therefore, read your Supply Agreement very carefully to see what your obligations are and what period of time your contract will run for. We recommend that you download and print off your Supply Agreement and read this before completing you supply application.
- Can I terminate my Supply Contract at any time during the agreed term?
There will be termination provisions within your contract. To find out how you can terminate and what the penalties will be you should look closely at the Supply Agreement you have signed.
- What is the Supply Start Date (SSD)?
This is the day your new supply will start. There may be a case when there is a gap between the Contract End Date and your SSD. In this event you may be charged on “out of contract” or “deemed” rate by your current Supplier until your supply is registered with your new supplier. Please note these rates will normally be higher than your contracted rates. To avoid this you should apply for a new supply arrangement as early as possible (within the 6 month period prior to your contract ending) and provide as much accurate information as possible.
- What are “out of contract” or “deemed” rates?
These rates are normally higher than what you would consider normal market rates. They usually apply to businesses that are either new to a property, have terminated their existing contract but failed to switch supplier. The upside, if there is one, is that it only takes a maximum of 28 days’ notice to switch from this arrangement on to something cheaper.
- What is an AMR?
An AMR is an Advanced Meter Reading system (also known as an Automatic Meter Readings). Is it basically as a smart meter that allows suppliers to monitor and read your electricity or gas consumption remotely.
If you have an AMR meter then you must ensure that the plan you select supports the AMR meter that you have installed. Some suppliers will charge more (higher standing charge) in order to read AMRs and other will simply shut down the smart functions of the AMR and use the meter as a standard meter (manually read).
It is important to note that as of the 1st April 2016 that any business with an AMR system on a 05 to 08 profile class will be treated as a Half Hourly Meters.
- What are FiT charges and why do I pay for them?
Owners of properties utilizing micro-generation renewable technologies receive a subsidy for the energy they generate, this subsidy is paid for by adding a levy on every unit of energy bought by everyone who uses electricity. Up until April 2012, all electricity suppliers had to charge FiT to their business and residential customers, but most suppliers billed the FiT levy as part of the unit rates, so it was in effect hidden in the bill. However, due to recent increases in the levy, some suppliers have decided to start passing the FiT charges on to customers direct.
In order to provide you with an accurate comparison, we take the suppliers position on FiT charges into account when providing Annual Estimated Cost. Some suppliers include FiT charge in their unit rates and some separate out the FIT charges, we calculate the Annual Estimated Cost with FiT charges included in order to keep all things equal. Please note that you may be billed separately for FiT charges but this has been included in our overall Annual Estimated Cost for ranking purposes.