Problem Solving – Easier Than You Think

In my professional life, I’ve learned the hard way that if you fail to prepare – you’re preparing to fail.

It’s an age-old idiom but again and again is proven true.

But, to add a little business specificity – it is crucial to prepare in the right ways. Hours and hours can be spent poring over documents, learning all that is needed to be learned so you can make your next move with complete confidence, but if you prioritise the wrong areas then you could be left floundering…

Say, for example, you are planning on moving your business premises. Initial priority areas would be things like costing rent, hauling equipment to the new location, health and safety paperwork, bringing on new staff – all things that are very important in their own rights.

But what happens to your old business premises – will you be haemorrhaging money paying an uncancelled energy contract? Have you sorted a new energy contract for your new location, or will you be left on deemed rates? All common questions with not so commonly known answers.

Continue reading for a plethora of simple fixes and inside tips.

What happens when you move out of your previous business location?

When moving, your current energy contract will cease from the date that you move. This is because business energy contracts are linked to the supply point, when you leave your contract won’t be coming with you. It is not possible to say whether your energy contract will cost more or less at your new premises as it is dependent on a few variables like the suppliers available to you, your meter size, and annual consumption.

If you have chosen to cancel your contract then it may be a good idea to leave any existing direct debits as it’s not uncommon to receive a whacking great final bill. In a blue-sky world, you may even be due a refund if you have overpaid on any of your previous bills – It’s rare, but it happens.

Whatever scenario you find yourself in it is always important to give your energy provider at least a month’s notice of the planned move (as well as the date) to help the transition go as smoothly as possible. It is common for energy suppliers to process your ‘Change of Tenancy’ notice after your moving date, this is simply so they have all the information to bill you accurately.

This is all pretty much common sense and tying up loose ends should be the general stance to changing premises. It just streamlines the entire process, meaning you don’t have to deal with boring paperwork when you should be picking the coffee machine for the new break-room. On the day you move out as a rule of thumb, you should really try to take a meter reading from your old premises as well as one from your new one. These should be passed on to your old and new suppliers respectively for accurate final and first bills.

What happens when you move in to a new business premises?

The day has finally come, you grab your coffee and a bite to eat before hopping in the car. Out of habit (and probably a bit of tiredness) you begin your morning commute to your old business location. A swift U-turn and a new address into Google Maps will set you right.

There, you see your new business premises in all of its glory – a sight to behold.

But what now?

Well, energy is likely not first on your first-day agenda but it should definitely be high. If you are continuing with your old supplier at your new premises then you should make sure to let them know of your change in address, as well as the date your lease/ownership begins. This ensures your supplier has the ability to determine whether they already manage the energy supply at your new location.

If this happens to be the case, then you will then be asked if you would like them to supply both gas and electricity. Another rule of thumb is to not fall into the temptation to leave a supply up and running if you are already connected – the chances are that you will end up overpaying for your energy.

In rare circumstances, the current energy supplier may need some form of supporting documentation to clarify that you are the new tenant and are who is responsible for the energy contract. This will usually involve contacting either the previous or incoming tenant for proof of the move, usually in the form of a Premises Licenses or information on current Business Rates.

New premises, new problems

The energy supply has been disconnected at my new premises – what does this mean?

This is nothing to panic about, and is certainly not a result of your failing to prepare.

It’s more likely the result of the previous tenant’s failings, who has probably not been paying their bills or cancelling their contract. This would be the point where you can feel smug that you would never make such an oversight.

Either way, as frustrating as it is, it is now your problem to fix. To do this – you may need to pay a reconnection fee or potentially even an additional deposit.

If you aren’t sure whether the meter is disconnected at your new premises, you can contact a trusted energy supplier such as the Niccolo Gas and Power metering team. In some cases, the meter may be capped but not fully disconnected – this leaves the current tenant (you) liable to cover the standing charge. Checking on this as early as possible will solve some hassle down the line, as well as a bit of money.

This is now the point where Energy begins making its way up on your first-day agenda, isn’t it..?

The connection at my new premises was never set up – what does this mean?

This will only really happen at new builds with new supplies. In this scenario, you’ll likely be levied with a connection charge. It is also not inconceivable that you will go a long time without being connected – which can be crippling for your business operations. If you fit the bill for this scenario then it is definitely prudent to compare market prices and energy supplier well in advance.

I keep getting cold calls at my new premises – should I find out what they have to say?

By and large, if someone is calling you up out of the blue and trying to make a sale it is unwise to take them up on whatever it is they are offering. Some energy suppliers and brokers will recognise that your new premises is or was out of contract and see you as a tasty new customer or source of commission.

Don’t fall for it. These calls may or not be legitimate, and they may or may not actually be offering very good deals – but the risks outweigh the rewards. Be wary of giving out too much information and remember that you can probably find the same deal or better online in your own time, and on your own terms.

However, if you’re too polite to hang the phone up and simply have to hear them out – we recommend only engaging with reputable brokers and providers that you have already found yourself or through word-of-mouth recommendation. It’s not unheard of for dodgy cold-callers to try lure you in with fraudulent tactics like demanding you sign a contract soon or you run the risk of losing your supply. Although this is rare, it is something to be aware of in your preparations.

Terms of tenancy and how it affects your energy supply

No matter what arrangements you have made, you should always give your tenancy agreement a thorough read through. The specifics of the agreement can make a massive different to the amount you pay for energy in your new premises.

I pay all my energy bills directly to my landlord

If you have decided it’s better if you outsource energy billing to your landlord, it is important to remember that energy rates will be decided by them and included in your monthly rent. As you are not technically in charge of your energy bills this can leave your hands tied when it comes to switching suppliers as it is at your landlords’ discretion. You can request for them to do so, however.

Although energy bills are included in your rent, the current tenant is still ultimately liable for utilities being paid on time. It is wise to be vigilant of ‘bills included’ deals and always read the small print carefully on the tenancy agreement. If in doubt, talk to your landlord for the specifics on exactly how energy bills are paid and managed.

I am wholly responsible for my energy bills

For the independents out there that prefer doing things themselves, there are benefits to be had. You will be able to switch suppliers and get the best deal (as long as you aren’t breaching the terms of your contract). This is helpful to avoid paying deemed rates.

Niccolo Gas and Power

At Niccolo Gas and Power, we know how important it is to have an energy supplier that is reachable, friendly, and clear.

For many businesses, uncertainty can be paralysing. This is why we spend so long creating free guides, resources, and manning our many contact channels.

So, if you are moving business premises and want an energy supplier that offers competitive rates, insightful online resources, and a friendly, helping hand – look no further.

Contact us today at:

Phone Number: 0131 610 8868


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