Gavin Roper has been nominated as president of the BNI Chapter Beacon. This chapter meets every Thursday at the Calf’s Head in Clitheroe.
We have the pleasure of being featured in the Burnley Express
The P272 scheme is a UK initiative for energy suppliers to switch all larger non-domestic consumers from Max Demand to Half Hourly billing. It is a new piece of legislation created by OFGEM placed on energy suppliers to buy energy to meet their customers’ demand. As part of the process, it’s necessary to determine how much energy each customers uses in each half hour of the day.
This will only affect businesses using electricity meters in industry profile classes 05 – 08. The profile class 05 – 08 will then be reclassified to 00 (00 being the profile class for HH supply). Good news though in most cases, meters can be reprogrammed remotely and no site visit will be required. However, a small proportion of meters will need to be exchanged – this will be confirmed after a visit or analysis by a Meter Operator.
Your price may change slightly, the charges vary by geographical location, metering agent and meter type and is not yet known what the financial impact for these changes for customers will be as of yet. However you will receive more accurate invoices based on the amount of energy used and not estimated.
For more information you can visit the Ofgem’s website frequently asked questions page: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/bsc-modifications-p272-and-p322-frequently-asked-questions
There is a lot of jargon in discussing P272, so here is a little jargon dictionary to help:
If you are unsure whether you are affected and want to find out more, speak to us directly on: 0330 400 5452
Numerous businesses are unaware of the practice of automatic contract renewal better known as being rolled over – most companies don’t realise the consequences that this can have on their energy expenditure.
If your business is approaching the end of its existing energy contract get in contract with us FAST!
If you don’t know your termination date again contact us and we will ensure we will deliver the information you required.
If a commercial business does not contact the existing energy supplier to terminate the current contract or renegotiate a new one deal, your business energy contract will be automatically renewed at a less favourable rate which will favour the supplier and not you as the existing customer.
Should your business not be on time and your company are one of the many businesses that are rolled over then your business will be paying a premium rate which won’t be good value for money and worst of all you’ll be stuck with it for at least a year.
By law business energy suppliers must send you written confirmation of the contract, within 10 days of the new contract or renewal contract being agreed. Suppliers have varying termination notice periods, ranging between 30 days and 120 days prior to your anniversary date.
There are typically two important questions that your business should know the answers to:
- When is your contract up for renewal?
- How many days termination notice do you have to give to your current supplier?
Press Group can manage this part on your companies behalf and will communicate when the time is right to search for the best commercial deal.
We are usually able to offer prices and terms with your existing supplier.
With so many different tasks to keep up with by running a business Gas and Electricity can be another job that’s usually overlooked but Is within the top 3 most expensive business overhead.
Burnley FC in the Community; the award-winning, official charity of Burnley Football Club.
BFC in the Community work is channelled into five key areas; sports, education, health, social inclusion and community facilities. The highly-skilled, dynamic and passionate team now deliver over 30 community projects that touch the lives of a huge spectrum of people in and around Burnley; from children and young people, right through to senior citizens.
There rely on fundraising activities, donations, sponsorships and grants to do carry out the good work that is delivered. Every penny that’s raised goes to developing new opportunities for those who need it most.
Press Group are very proud to be supporting this fantastic local charity.
The process of an energy consultant is to carry out the necessary sediments to ensure the best deal is presented correctly first time around.
Our company aim is to try our best to ensure that the process is painless and is not a time consuming exercise.
In order to present the correct proposal we require certain information such as billing data and your authority to speak with your existing supplier. Usually once we have just these 2 parts then your job is complete and it’s up to us to do the rest.
We are a reputable energy consultancy company and here’s why:
1. Your company will have a range of suppliers to choose from giving you a full independent report
2. We have testimonials from a variety of customers as well from different industries.
3. We don’t tie you to any contracts – if you use us then that’s our agreement
4. We deliver many other services and therefore we need to be delivering a top class service so we don’t miss out on other opportunities that we could offer
5. We have been around for over 5 years showing that we really do mean business
6. We don’t charge a fee, we are rewarded with a referral commission from the supplier should you choose our recommendation. The only way we win any business is to be the cheapest and that’s our ultimate aim
Beware – signs your broker may not be reputable.
1. Instant price offer, without checking your usage history and not taking the time to negotiate the best deal.
2. Not seeking your authority by way of a Letter of Authority.
3. Refusal to send any information or quotations in writing.
4. Sending quotations without the suppliers information
5. Contracting your business to their brokerage in a way of a LOA
6. Offering less than 3 supplier offers
7. Having no case studies which is mirrored from your industry
Lots of benefits of using an energy consultant.
a) Because they use a range of suppliers, there advice should be 100% impartial.
b) Their relationship is already strong with the suppliers, means they get the best deals and would usually have the buying power to retrieve the best rates on the market
c) They can take the time and stress of searching for prices away from you allowing you to continue with your business
Virtual phone numbers will give a small business the perception to the outside world that a company is much bigger.
With all STD codes available this can also appear that a company has many business premises.
Despite the benefits that shows to the outside world that a company appears to be a much “bigger player” in their own market sector ,by having a virtual telephone number it delivers a business the protection such as disaster recovery.
Should a company suffer with technical difficulties then calls can be diverted to a different location such as another office or a mobile phone which can be a big benefit as your existing or potential new customers can continue to make contact.
Most virtual numbers do have other benefits such as a welcome message or a voice mail.
By having a virtual number should any business move site/office then the number follows the business cutting down the worry that your main business number will never be lost.
The energy powering your business during the day is the same power that is powering you home, yet energy suppliers treat commercial and residential contracts differently.
Here are the differences;
Usually, domestic Gas and Electricity contracts are on a rolling monthly term and would usually have no definitive tariff end date. As the domestic agreement is not fixed in term this would generally mean that residential customers can switch their supplier at any point. This can be a negative due to the facts that the unit rate can fluctuate month on month. There are rare instances when fixed term contracts are offered in domestic settings, but these contracts are generally easy to get out of for a nominal cancellation fee.
Business contracts are almost always on a fixed term, usually fixed on a 1 – 5 year contract. The unit rate will stay constant at the agreed price, even if the market price increases or decreases, you can be sure the unit offered and agreed by the supplier would not change within the time period.
Business customers don’t have the option to cancel their contract early, unless the business vacates the premises, sells or closes down which then voids their current contract. Some business could be on a rolling month to month contract but these are usually much higher rates and are rare.
Here at Press Group we can compare offers from over 20 business energy suppliers and therefore will produce a report and present to your business and you can select which supplier and fixed term best suits your company.
Residential contract rates are often higher than business contract rates and tend not to reflect market movements as much as commercial energy. Prices in the commercial market can fluctuate drastically, therefore, it is important for an organisation to ensure they are locked into a fixed price business contract to avoid these fluctuations. Using an energy consultant to negotiate a contract can be a great help as it will save you time and money. Energy consultants, such as Press Group, not only know how to negotiate the best deal with numerous suppliers, they also know when the best time would be to negotiate a deal based on market trends.
Business and domestic energy bills differ further with regards to other charges and levies such as VAT and Climate Change Levy (CCL). Although business energy comes at a cheaper price, business customers pay 20% VAT compared to the 5% that domestic customers pay. CCL is a green tax, applicable to businesses only, as commercial usage is much higher than residential. Organisations may be eligible for reduced VAT and CCL based on reduced usage and low CO2 emissions.
Electricity meters have a unique meter profile corresponding to the first two digits of their meter reference number, this will effect how the meter is read by the supplier. Business meter profiles will always be 03, 04 or 00, while domestic profiles will be 01 or 02. The meter type will determine what contract types are available to you. This may sound confusing and overwhelming but speaking to an energy consultant makes it easy to ensure you have the correct meter type and contract for your business needs.
Why Should You Have a Business Contract?
Making sure you have a fixed rate gives your business price security.
No better time to consider Solar for your business, forever increasing electricity costs Solar will help secure a lower overall rate for your electricity consumption.
Not just the savings Solar will produce but other benefits are:
It Reduces Your Business’s Carbon Footprint
The most obvious advantage of switching to solar is that it makes your business greener. Authoritative reports point to switching to renewable power as the quickest and most cost-effective way of cutting your carbon footprint. It also gives you a helpful leg up in meeting investors’ sustainability criteria, or standards set by government schemes like the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme.
It’s Not As Expensive As You Might Think
In the early days of solar energy, cost of installation could be a prohibitive factor for a lot of businesses. As costs have reduced and of course grants available Solar is affordable and more appealing than before due to the electricity KW rates.
All sizes of businesses will benefit from Solar including big names such as IKEA, Unilever and LEGO are all multinational companies who’ve put significant time and resources into ‘going green’, and they’ve lot literally millions in savings to show for it. IKEA says its saved €133 (£115m) through energy efficiency measures since 2010, while Unilever says it’s saved £280m since 2008. Definitely numbers not to be sniffed at!
You Can Actively Profit From Green Initiatives
As you’ve no doubt concluded from those staggering amounts above, after a certain point energy savings turn into active profits. With every passing year advances in solar technology is becoming a more and more financially viable alternative to traditional energy sources, further shortening the period before your business can start profiting from selling your energy back to the grid via the Feed-In Tariff.
Telephone – IVR?
IVR is short for Interactive Voice Response, an automated system that uses a touch response telephone to direct your call.
Any business can chose to have a section of options. Some businesses use this approach to appear that your business is a bigger organisation than it really is?
60% of callers place “On Hold” on silent will hang up within 40 seconds and callers put on-hold with a message and music will stay connected around 3 minutes longer.
Many companies spend time and money on their visual branding (logo, website and social media ) but neglect their telephone audio.
Don’t miss it !
The purpose of having a telephone IVR options is to get the potential customer through to the most relevant department as quickly as possible.
Failing that, you need to get them to remain on hold until you are able to deal with their call.
For example “Thank you for calling ABC, for sales please press 1 – for service press 2 – for all other enquiries then please press 3…
Make it simple and friendly and always use a professional voice over, ensure your caller is well aware that you are professional. Your company will sound established and efficient and will instantly inspire confidence. You can always tell when a member of the office records the IVR options, you know, the one with the best telephone voice.
Think about the type of voice-over you want to use… What image do you want your company to portray in the mind of the listener?
Using a voice-over style that will connect with your caller is important. You don’t want a mature corporate voice if your company is aimed at 18-30 year olds, and likewise, you don’t want a young radio type voice if your are a firm of solicitors.
Hold the Call!
Being on hold can be annoying, however, you can entertain and use this time to inform and educate your caller about your company, services and products. A silent on-hold is extremely cold and the hold time seems much longer than it actually is, which often results in callers hanging up. Give them something to keep their attention.
Also, do select on hold music carefully. Not everybody has your taste in music… for example, a banging hip-hop track may alienate some of your callers. It is usually best to go for music that is easy on the ear or chilled and relaxing. Royalty free music is a good choice for on hold use as the caller has no preconceptions about the piece –
they just accept it as background music.
Music On Hold
Music can alleviate boredom, however, make sure your music is properly licensed for use on a telephone on hold system, otherwise you could face a copyright infringement charge.
As with the voice, it is also advisable to pick music that is relevant to the company image you want to portray. It is acceptable for a nightclub to use a pumping dance track, but clearly this would be wrong for an accountants office.
It is good practice to thank the caller for holding, but not every 5 seconds! Many on hold systems work on a continuous loop. We suggest having your ‘thank you for holding…’ message at the beginning and in the middle of the loop. Intervals of 20-30 seconds don’t disrupt the music too much but remind your caller that you care.