Accurate electric and gas billing is an important factor for all business. Without regular meter readings energy companies will estimate usage. If more energy has been used than estimated, businesses can find themselves with large, unexpected bills. This can be a real problem for businesses, especially when businesses are looking to switch gas and electricity suppliers.
Switching business energy supplier is an easy way for businesses to reduce costs, especially with rising energy prices. There are some great deals to be had, but if businesses are in debt to their current electricity and gas suppliers, they will not be able to switch until the debt has been settled.
Ensuring that you take regular meter readings and give these to your energy supplier is an easy way of reducing the chance of getting unexpected bills and finding yourself unexpectedly in debt.
Unlike domestic users, most businesses are tied into fixed business energy contracts. This means that businesses can usually only change supplier at the end of their contract. If the business is in debt with the energy supplier and they miss the opportunity to be able to switch, they could find themselves on out of contract rates or rolled over into a new contract. This could cost the business far more than if they had switched supplier.
Most energy suppliers offer online services where business gas and business electricity clients are able to enter their own meter readings at any time of day, cutting out the need for estimated bills and helping customers keep a track of their weekly, monthly or annual consumption. All this information is important for budgeting in some companies, where previously estimated meter readings usually meant an educated guess at the budget to be set for gas and electricity.
Many businesses now have “smart meters” to help with reading data from businesses automatically via a data link. Do ensure your new supplier is receiving readings and record them yourselves – this will help if you ever have any queries.
Many of you may be thinking surely the Supplier should read our meters. Suppliers are required to read and inspect your meter(s) at least every two years – although some suppliers may visit more frequently. Bills, between supplier meter readings, are issued using estimates based mainly on past consumption.
Businesses should make sure that any debts are paid off before their contracts come to an end in order to ensure that they can reduce energy bills.
Utilinet offers free contract reminders, call 0114 2295951 for further information.