Frequently Asked Questions

Water is de-regulating in England in 2017. This means Eneco Consulting can help your company find competitive pricing for your water supplies. More information will be provided when de-regulation has taken place but do contact us to see how we can help you.

What information do we need?

In addition to a water-specific letter of authority, we will need copy bills for each water meter for the last year. The bills must clearly display your SPID (Supply Point Identification Number) – this is your unique number to your water meter. This number will be on the National Database for water and all water suppliers will be able to gain this information.

Why is the water market de-regulating?

The Government wants businesses to be able to switch water provider. Consequently, water suppliers will need to be more cost effective and provide better service for their customers. This should push down water costs.

 

This is a Government mandated programme which aims to upgrade all maximum demand (profile 05-08) electricity meters to Half-Hourly (HH profile 00) by 31/03/2017.

Why is this happening?

The aim is to give the customer a better understanding of their electricity consumption as meter readings will be sent via a remote link to your energy supplier every 30 minutes. You will no longer have to submit meter readings and can access consumption data on request through supplier portals.

How does this happen?

Suppliers are trying to upgrade your meter within 30-45 days from the start date of your contract. Initially suppliers will try to dial into your meter remotely to upgrade the meter. If this fails, the supplier will organise a site visit to check the communication link and meter compatibility.

Eneco have specialised in commercial energy brokerage since 1999. Using our combined industry experience  and extensive market contacts, our dedicated consultants ensure you get the best possible deal from your gas and electricity suppliers. We are totally independent and not tied to any provider. Our loyalty rests with you, the customer.

Eneco have an extremely high level of customer retention. Our team look after you throughout the term of your supply contract, and constantly monitor the market to help you avoid price surges on your renewal. Crucially, we do not lock you into a contract direct with us. We believe our Letter of Authority is a sufficient commitment. You will be aware that this simply allows suppliers to provide data and prices, and keeps all parties compliant with the Data Protection Act. In short, if you stay with us, it’s because you want to.

We are totally independent and not tied to any provider. Our loyalty rests with you, the customer. We do, however, have longstanding relationships with all the UK’s energy suppliers, many of whom are specialist to the commercial sector. This ensures our clients get the most competitive price available.

We are paid direct by the supplier based on a pre-agreed commission. Alternative payment structures are available on request. We have no hidden charges.

No, not when you use Eneco to aid you in switching suppliers. We will handle the process from start to finish ensuring a smooth transition. We can even, with your consent, arrange to register termination with your current supplier on your behalf. When you switch supplier you will continue to use exactly the same cables and meter as you currently use and crucially there is no interruption in supply. The only change you will notice is the name of the supplier at the top of the bill.

Contact Eneco and we will be able to assist you in resolving any problems should they arise. We are happy to help.

We are constantly monitoring the gas and electricity markets to secure the best price available for you and to avoid market price surges. Contracts are bespoke to your requirements, multiple meters can be timed to a single end date. We can source contracts of varying durations on a fixed and flexible basis dependent on your companies approach to risk. Tailored baskets can also be designed for groups of clients with multiple meters and extensive usage. Regardless of the type of contract selected, our approach ensures the client retains control over the final decision.

Yes. Eneco can manage this process for you, by timing contracts for multiple meters with one supplier to a single end date. Ultimately this will save you time and increase your buying power in future tenders.

Fixed price contracts: These are energy contracts that are inclusive of pass through charges and these are fixed during the term of contract. This helps to provide you with greater budgeting certainty for the duration of your contract. (NB Rises in pass through costs can increase contracted rates during the term of contract. These are costs passed through to the customer by your energy supplier from third parties such as transportation costs from the gas network provider or from your regional Public Electricity Supplier or from Government through additional levies.)

Flexible priced contracts: A flexible contract enables you to buy energy periodically across the life of your contract at a time when market conditions are right for you, minimising your exposure to wholesale price fluctuations. Pass through charges (costs passed through to the customer by your energy supplier from third parties) are split from the actual commodity costs and agreed up front. Eneco will administer these contracts in line with an agreed risk and purchasing strategy tailored to your company’s requirements.

Basketed contracts: These are group purchasing arrangements put together to buy bulk energy with the objective of individual members securing a lower contract price than they would on their own. Eneco can tailor fixed or flexible priced baskets for specific groups of clients based on their unique requirements. We do not offer generic baskets as we do not believe they are in our clients’ best interests.

Contact us to discuss which approach would best suit your company.

Pass through costs can increase contracted rates during the term of contract. These are costs passed through to the customer by your energy supplier from third parties such as your gas transporter, regional public electricity supplier or government. Suppliers are now increasingly offering fully fixed and inclusive contracts which, although more expensive than regular fixed price contracts, will provide budget certainty throughout the term of contract. Eneco can talk you through the pros and cons of this approach.

This is where an energy meter (gas or electricity) is not locked into a contract with its current supplier. Most commonly it can occur because you are new to the property and you have yet to arrange a formal contract with a supplier. You would then be on a deemed contract with the current supplier and potentially be on out-of-contract rates. These rates are notoriously expensive, sometimes over 3 times contracted rates. It is very important that a formal contract is arranged as quickly as possible to avoid these elevated costs. Eneco can provide invaluable assistance if you find yourself in that situation, and can in certain circumstances get contract rates backdated to cover the out-of-contract period.

These are electricity and (less commonly) gas meters fitted with an automatic meter reading facility which will send meter readings directly through to your energy supplier via a meter operator. They are already in place on half-hourly meters and will be rolled out to all electricity meters in the next few years.

Approximately 70% of your energy spend is accounted for by wholesale commodity costs. Energy suppliers source the energy required by their customers from producers on the wholesale market at the time contracts are agreed. The wholesale markets are in constant flux due to a combination of factors:
The influences on supply and demand on the market in recent years have come from a wide variety of sources. Seasonal patterns of demand (summer use of air conditioning, cold weather during winter); extended maintenance periods of gas infrastructure, ageing nuclear and coal-fired power stations; patchy investment in renewable sources of energy; limited gas storage facilities; reliance on an unreliable gas import infrastructure; international events such as the Arab Spring, worldwide recession and the Japanese Tsunami etc etc.
25% (and rising) of your energy spend is accounted for by the cost of energy production and/or delivery. Compliance with environmental regulations such as the Large Combustion Plant Directive, and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to reduce carbon emissions continues to require increasing investment at all levels – from production plants, storage and distribution networks to the installation of smart gas and electricity meters on site.
Government levies account for an increasing percentage of your energy spend – ostensibly to pay for investment in renewable sources of energy (Renewables Obligation, Feed In Tariffs and Electricity Market Reform), but also to offset carbon emissions themselves (Climate Change Levy and Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme allowances).
What you may not be aware of is that any pass through charges, whether due to increases in costs of production and / or delivery or increases in government levies, can be passed through to the end consumer during the term of an agreed contract even if it is a fixed price contract.

Climate Change Levy (CCL) is a government imposed tax applicable to both gas and electricity, revised annually at the beginning of every tax year and chargeable to every meter using 12,000 kWh or more. All funds from this tax contribute to the government’s energy efficiency programme. Consumers that pay VAT at 20% will pay CCL. Exemptions do apply, please check HMRC and Environment Agency for details.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rates-and-allowances-climate-change-levy/rates-and-allowances-climate-change-levy

If you wish to claim relief or exemption, dependent on the grounds for this, you need to provide a completed CCL exemption or VAT declaration certificate to your supplier.
NB levy exempt electricity prices are also available, where electricity is generated from renewable sources. These prices may be higher than brown electricity prices, but costs may be lower when CCL charges are factored into brown prices in an overall cost comparison.
Eneco can provide guidance on both CCL relief and exemptions and levy exempt / brown energy cost comparisons.

If your electricity or gas supply is used solely for business or non-domestic purposes, VAT will usually be charged at the standard rate and CCL (plus VAT on CCL) will also be added to the bill.

Low usage business or non-domestic use:
Under a government concession, ‘low usage’ of electricity and gas for business or non-domestic purposes is chargeable at the reduced rate of VAT. These supplies are automatically excluded from CCL. The low usage thresholds are:

• electricity – at or below 33 kWh per day during the bill period
• gas – at or below 145 kWh per day during the bill period

There is no requirement for the customer to claim the reduced rate of VAT or exclusion from CCL on low usage as these concessions are applied automatically at the time of each billing. If consumption on a meter is close to the above thresholds, VAT charges may vary during different bill periods.

Domestic or charitable non-business use:
If your electricity or gas supply is used wholly or partly for domestic or charitable non-business purposes, that part of the supply qualifies for the reduced rate of VAT and for exclusion from CCL. To claim this exemption, you would have to complete a VAT declaration form and submit it to your energy supplier.

Overview

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme is a UK government scheme. It’s designed to improve energy efficiency and cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in private and public sector organisations that are high energy users.

The Environment Agency administers the scheme for the UK and regulates the scheme in England. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales regulate the scheme in their own countries.

Energy already covered under climate change agreements and the EU Emissions Trading System is not included in CRC.

CRC operates in phases. Phase 1 ran from April 2010 until the end of March 2014. We are now in phase 2 that runs from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2019.

For each phase, there is a qualification year. Organisations that meet certain criteria during the qualification year will need to register for the next phase of CRC. The qualification year for phase 2 was between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013.

Organisations affected by CRC have to register with the Environment Agency at the start of a phase, for the whole phase.

In each compliance year, an organisation that has registered for CRC needs to do the following:

  • collate information about its energy supplies
  • submit a report about its energy supplies
  • buy and surrender allowances equal to the CO2 emissions it generated
  • tell the Environment Agency about changes to its organisation that could affect its registration (designated changes)
  • keep records about its energy supplies and organisation in an evidence pack

CRC: who needs to register

Qualification for CRC is assessed at the group level, not at the individual company or organisation level. You need to identify your entire UK organisational structure, and whether you are part of a group of companies, to work out if you qualify for CRC phase 2.

Your organisation or group qualifies for CRC phase 2 if, between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013, it met both of the following criteria:

  1. Having at least one settled half hourly electricity meter (sHHM).
  2. Using 6,000 megawatt hours (MWh) or more of qualifying electricity supplied through settled half hourly meters.

Please see the Carbon Trust and Government websites for a more detailed explanation:
http://www.carbontrust.com/resources/guides/carbon-footprinting-and-reporting/crc-carbon-reduction-commitment
https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/reducing-demand-for-energy-from-industry-businesses-and-the-public-sector–2/supporting-pages/crc-energy-efficiency-scheme 

Your electricity supply reference number is the 21 digit unique identifying number (MPAN) for the electricity meter at your business premises. Your supply number will normally be shown on your bill using a large ‘S’ and a grid of numbers. It differs from the meter serial number printed on the meter itself. If you cannot find it contact us we will be able to source it on your behalf.

The first 2 digits (profile class) of the MPAN indicate the type of supply and size of electricity meter.

01: Domestic Unrestricted
02: Domestic Economy 7
03: Non-domestic Unrestricted
04: Non-domestic Economy 7
05 to 08: Non-domestic, with maximum recording capability
00: Half-hourly supply with automatic meter reading

Electricity suppliers are the public face of the electricity industry. A major part of their role is to pull together the costs of other parties in the electricity supply chain. These third parties play a crucial role in producing and delivering your power and the majority of their charges are regulated by Ofgem. Suppliers build these infrastructure costs into your prices depending on the type of meter you have, its location and the type of contract you have with them. So these costs can be included in the unit price of your electricity, charged separately as a standing charge, or itemised separately. They comprise the following:
1. Energy cost
This is the cost of the electricity purchased on the wholesale market to cover your predicted future usage. It is the single biggest component of the unit price and accounts for between 60 and 80% of a business’ total bill.
2. Infrastructure costs
These charges relate to the costs of providing the infrastructure required to deliver your power. They include the cost of energy lost (as heat) as it travels from the power station, through the transmission (TLoss) and distribution (DLoss) wires to you. You are also charge for using the transmission and distribution networks; referred to as Transmission Use of System (TUoS) and Distribution Use of System (DUoS). National Grid charges electricity companies to recover the costs incurred through balancing the system through Balancing System Use of system (BSUoS) charges.
3. Cost to serve
Costs incurred by your supplier to service your account. These include the costs of maintaining IT systems; paying the staff that manage your energy accounts; and the risks involved with your predicted consumption versus your actual consumption known as imbalance risk. This typically accounts for only a small part of your total bill, usually around 2%. This charge again might be built into the unit rate or charged separately as a standing charge.

Increasingly you will see additional pass through charges from the Government. These include the more familiar climate change levy, renewable obligations, feed in tariffs and as from 1st April 2015, electricity market reform/contracts for difference. Please see more detailed information regarding these charges on our FAQ page.

Primarily for half-hourly meters, this charge covers investment and maintenance of the electricity network to prevent localised power outages. Customers are charged a fee (per unit) according to the agreed capacity for that site.

Reactive power refers to the difference between the electricity supplied and the electricity converted into useful power (i.e. that which you are able to use). If a site has high Reactive Power i.e. if there is a large amount of power being wasted, more current needs to flow to provide the same output. This puts an additional strain on the distribution network, potentially increasing costs for the Distribution Network Operator. This charge is a contribution towards those costs. Where reactive power charges are building up it may be useful to ask an engineer to inspect equipment on site to remedy the problem.

If you have a half-hourly meter, this charge reflects the costs associated with collecting and handling your metering data.

Behind the scenes distribution companies, suppliers, metering companies and others need to reimburse, and recover their costs from one another. This relates to the cost they charge for doing so.

The Renewables Obligation (RO) is the main support scheme for renewable electricity projects in the UK. It places an obligation on UK suppliers of electricity to source an increasing proportion of their electricity from renewable sources. The RO accounts for approximately 10% of the total bill and is increasing annually. These are charged per unit and can be built into the unit rates themselves, but increasingly are being passed through as a separate item on bills.

These are export tariffs paid to generators of renewable electricity (solar, wind, wave etc). They are paid for by all end users of electricity. Suppliers assess the amount needed to be recovered from customers and typically build a cost per unit into the unit rates, although again they can be itemised separately. Suppliers will claw-back any shortfall from the end user in quarterly reconciliations if they have underestimated the amount needed to be recovered.

This is the unique identifying number for your meter. It should be printed on your gas bill – usually on the first page or the reverse of the first page. The gas MPRN will consist of six to ten numbers and no letters. It differs from the meter serial number printed on the meter itself. If you cannot find it, contact us and we will be able to source it on your behalf.

Gas suppliers are the public face of the gas industry. A major part of their role is to pull together the costs of other parties in the gas supply chain. These third parties play a crucial role in producing and delivering your gas and the majority of their charges are regulated by the energy regulatory body, Ofgem. Suppliers build these infrastructure costs into your prices depending on the type of meter you have, its location and the type of contract you have with them. So these costs can be included in the unit price of your gas, charged separately as a standing charge or being itemised individually. They comprise the following:
1. Energy cost
This is the cost of the gas purchased on the wholesale market to cover your predicted future usage. It is the single biggest component of the unit price and accounts for upwards of 80% of a business’ total bill.
2. Infrastructure costs
These charges are paid by your gas supplier to the various participants in the gas market involved in importing, storing and delivering gas to your premises. They include a capacity charge for reserving capacity in the pipeline, gas store or other piece of infrastructure; fixed charges paid to National Grid or your independent gas transporter (IGT) for use of the network and gas meter; asset charges paid for the upkeep of the gas meter and network; unidentified gas charges to cover costs gas ‘theft’ or leakages from the network; read charges to cover the cost of reading the meter or an AMR charge if a smart meter has been fitted; and finally gas transportation charges. Costs vary by region and meter size and consumption.
3. Cost to serve
Costs incurred by your supplier to service your account. These include the costs of maintaining IT systems; paying the staff that manage your energy accounts; and the risks involved with your predicted consumption versus your actual consumption known as imbalance risk. This typically accounts for only a small part of your total bill, usually around 2%.

TOP is a common provision in larger gas contracts (and some larger electricity contracts) under which, if the end user’s annual purchased volume is less than the annual quantity of usage range specified in the contract, the end user pays for such a shortfall as if the gas had been received.

This is commonly referred to as a shipperless meter and may be due to incorrect or no asset information being recorded with National Grid or your independent gas transporter. This will result in gas being supplied to the premises without the customer being billed for it. Although this may sound attractive, it causes problems because your gas meter will not be maintained and gas transporters view this as theft. Eneco can help in remedying this problem. Send us two photographs of the meter, dated a couple of weeks apart, clearly showing the meter serial number printed on the meter. If the meter reading has moved on it will help us to confirm approximately how much gas is being used on site. We will also need a photo of the yellow Meter Asset Manager (MAM) sticker on the meter.
Contact Eneco to discuss this further and we will arrange supply contracts for your business.

EMR is a new energy policy within the UK that aims to maintain security of supply while keeping energy bills affordable and increasing low-carbon generation. In essence, this means replacing older power stations with new forms of low carbon generation and ensuring that there is enough generation capacity to meet national demand. There are two elements of EMR that will impact on your energy bills
Contracts for difference (CfD) – payments for low-carbon generators to encourage development of new projects, operated by the Low Carbon Contracts Company. CfD is expected to increase as more projects start generating.
Capacity market – payments for generators to ensure capacity on the grid during times of peak demand, operated by the Electricity Settlements Company.

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a mandatory energy assessment and energy saving identification scheme for large undertakings (and their corporate groups). The scheme applies throughout the UK.
You are likely to be in scope of ESOS if you are:
1) An undertaking which has 250 or more employees
2) An undertaking which has fewer than 250 employees but has an annual turnover exceeding €50m  and a balance sheet exceeding €43m.
3) Part of a corporate group which includes an undertaking which meets the criteria from point 1 or 2.

If your company is in scope of ESOS, then you will be required to complete the following steps before the compliance date which is 5th December 2015.
1) Measure your total energy consumption for buildings, industrial processes and transport. This includes all fuels such as gas, electricity, petrol, diesel, LPG, LNG etc.
2) Conduct energy audits to identify cost-effective energy efficiency recommendations.
3) Report compliance to the Environment Agency (as the scheme administrator).

Please see the government ESOS guide for a more detailed explanation:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/351158/ESOS_Guide_FINAL.pdf

Contact Eneco to see how our accredited ESOS lead assessors can assist you.

An organization responsible for installing and maintaining electricity meters. Organisations with half-hourly meters and any other meters with an AMR facility (smart meters) are typically required to have a separate agreement with a meter operator (MOP) to cover meter maintenance and data communications. Data is sent from the meter automatically to a data collector and aggregator (typically appointed by the supplier) who will check and collate the information and send it onto the supplier for billing. If you are notified that your MOP agreement is coming up for review, contact Eneco and we can often negotiate a better price on your behalf.