Energy regulator, Ofgem, has produced a series of key questions that small businesses should routinely ask their supplier about their contract. Just reading the questions (listed below) gives you an idea of how complex these contracts can be and why so many people become unwittingly stuck on extortionate rates. For those in any doubt, call us free on 0845 337 38 38 and one of our independent business energy experts will be happy to guide you through the process of saving money.
1. What is the charge per unit?
Are there any fixed or standing charges?
For electricity, are there any capacity charges per KVA?
2. Can the price I pay for energy change during the life of the contract?
If so, how will you tell me about this or any other changes to the contract? Are charges fixed or variable?
If they are fixed, how long for? If they are variable, which parts may vary?
3. What happens at the end of my contract or the fixed-term period if I stay with you as my supplier?
What can happen at the end of my contract or the fixed-term period if I do not renew my contract?
What do I need to do if I do not wish to renew my contract?
4. What is the duration of this contract?
Will you remind me of the contract end date?
What do I have to do if I want to end the contract early?
5. How and when do I contact my supplier if I want to switch energy supplier?
In what circumstances can you stop me switching to another energy supplier?
6. Who can I contact to find out more information about my contract, and what information will they need from me to look up these details?
Contact us as per the contact us page. We may require you to complete a letter of authority in order to gain the information from supplier.
7. Under what circumstances can my energy supply be cut off?
What notification would I receive and what procedures must be followed?
8. What options are available regarding payment terms?
Generally speaking suppliers would prefer direct debt. Payment terms are either monthly or quartly though the suppliers may offer you variance on a case by case basis.
9. Am I committed to a minimum or maximum volume?
If so what charges can be incurred in relation to this?
10. What are the termination windows for energy contracts?
Suppliers have different termination windows the list below is an indication of current supplier termination windows:
- EDF – Anytime up to 28 days before the end of the contract
- CNG – Anytime up to 90 days before the end of the contract
- E.ON – Between 120 and 90 days before the end of contract
- BRITISH GAS – Between 120 and 90 days before the end of contract
- SWALEC – Anytime up to one calendar month before end of contract
- GDF – Anytime up to two calendar month before end of contract
- HAVEN – Anytime up to 90 days before end of contract
- SSE – Anytime up to one calendar month before end of contract
- TOTAL – Anytime up to 30 days before end of contract – ELECTRIC
- SHELL – Anytime up to one calendar month before end of contract
- OPUS – Anytime prior to 90 days before end of contract
- TOTAL – Anytime up to 90 days before end of contract – GAS
- SCOTTISH POWER – Between 90 and 45 days before end of contract
- NPOWER – Anytime before 90 days before end of contract