Moving business premises: 2 costly mistakes

Moving premises is painful enough, without added aggravation from energy companies. I outline the do’s and don’ts of dealing with your energy company when you move out of, and into, business premises.

We are moving premises, when do I let our gas and electricity suppliers know?

For SMEs, usually you don’t actually have to do anything until the day you vacate the premises, but you might want to warn your supplier out of courtesy. Just take a meter reading and phone this through to your energy supplier, along with your new address so they can send you a final bill. They will probably require the following information too, so have it ready for them:

Incoming tenant/owner including their name and contact details.

Alternatively, the landlord or agents name and contact details.

Do we pay a penalty if we leave our business energy contract early?

If you are on a typical meter, i.e. not a half hourly meter, then there will not be a penalty, it is simply classed as a change of tenancy and the contract becomes void. You just need to pay for the energy you use up to the day you leave. If you are on a half hourly meter, then you should contact your energy company or broker.

That was the easy bit!

I’ve moved into business premises, how do I find out who the suppliers are?

If you are renting, then the agents or landlord should be able to tell you this. If you own the premises, then this should be in the legal documentation that you have. You can either call that supplier, or phone round a few (or call an independent broker with access to the whole market). Ensure you give them an opening reading on the day you move in, then there can be no arguments about it later on. Next, you need to arrange a fixed price contract…

Costly mistake #1 – I will sort out the energy contracts later

No! This should be one of your priorities on the first day. From the day you move in, the incumbent supplier will be charging your business deemed rates. These are very expensive, and often twice as much as you could be paying on a fixed contract. We have come across situations where a business has moved premises and never signed up to a fixed contract, so they have been on deemed rates for years, which has cost them thousands of pounds more than they should be paying. The energy company is not going to call you and offer a contract, they will happily take your money every month until you query it.

Bear in mind that if you want to take a contract with another supplier, this will take 3-4 weeks, and you will be paying deemed prices during this period.

Costly mistake #2 – I gave some details to a company who kept calling us

This is so important, and could cost your business thousands of pounds over the next year or two. In the UK energy industry there is something called a verbal contract. If you give enough information over the phone to these unscrupulous people, they can have enough details to say they have a verbal contract with you, and you will be tied into it. Needless to say, the contract is unlikely to be in your best interests.

The information they will need includes your company name, address, meter serial number. Keep this to yourself and take a number that you can call them back on, after you have had time to think about the prices they are offering, and decided on your own, with our any pressure, whether to accept them or not.

 

Perfect Clarity can help businesses save money on their energy and water contracts. Call 020 3372 6517 for more information.