Commercial Electricity and Gas Bill Validation

Up to 4% of all energy bills contain errors, have you been overcharged?

Ensuring you are paying the correct price on every utility bill takes time and resources. Estimated billing and overpayments caused by incorrect tariff charges mean that many organisations are overpaying their utility bills by between 3 and 5% every year.

Many energy invoices sent to customers are incorrect and remain unquestioned by administration or finance.

Energy Solutions can check energy invoices for the previous six years as well as validate future bills. We help you reclaim any overspend and ensure that your current and future rates are correct.

The benefits of bill validation

  • Check invoices against contract rates
  • Meter charge validation
  • Analysis of standing charges
  • Recovery of overspend
  • Accurate on-going bills
  • Ongoing validation each month before the invoice due date.

Errors are more common than you’d expect

The UK energy industry is notorious for billing errors, in both the residential and commercial markets.  There are many reasons for this, dating back more than 20 years.  During deregulation in 1997, the UK energy industry was divided up, some of these changes made sense; some did not.  Over time these energy companies have merged, been subject to a takeover, gone through bankruptcy and so on.

These changes have resulted in:

  • Suppliers have 3 or 4 billing departments, who do not talk to each other, all dealing with different contracts and sites for the same business,
  • Some sales departments have computer systems which are incompatible with billing so that all sales contracts are printed and manually entered in the billing system.
  • Another supplier had no system for the gas purchasing team to communicate prices to the sales team; this resulted in the loss of over £200 Million before anyone noticed.

So what does this mean for you? What kind of mistakes are they making on your utility bills?

Bills for nonexistent supplies.

We regularly come across clients with meters that have been removed or de-energised and yet are still being billed.  These bills are not just for standing charges, but consumption too.  A factory had an electricity meter removed, but was invoiced on “actual” reads for five years, resulting in an overcharge of more than £48,000.

Bills for someone else’s energy.

Another common error is where a client sells, closes or sublets a site, informs the supplier and assumes that’s the end of the matter.  However, the supplier may continue to bill for the site, sometimes while charging the new occupier as well.  For one client, a major sports organisation, nearly 30% of the electricity spend was for a site they had sold two years before.

Wrong Rates.

You sign a contract agreeing on rates, standing charges, etc., and expect the supplier to bill you those rates.  Unfortunately, this does not always happen; numbers get transposed, day rate becomes night, incorrect prices are applied to your account, or they ignore the contract and charge you out of contract rates. This problem covers the majority of errors.

Faulty Meters.

If the meter is faulty, then the supplier is never going to get things right, for example, the meter could record night as day and vice versa, sometimes to the clients benefit, sometimes not.  Many meters have a multiplier fitted, for every kWh the meter reads; you have used 10, 20, 50 or 100 units.  If the multiplier on the meter doesn’t match the bill, you will be paying for anything from 10 to 100 times the amount of energy you have used.  This issue can work both ways.

Other Issues.

Estimated reads that bear no relation so actual usage, for example, a client was charged for 90% of their annual gas usage on a June bill, just before a new cheaper contract started in July. In another case, the supplier lost the usage data, and so decided to bill based on the previous year – however, the client could show that usage had changed drastically, we queried this, the supplier agreed and cancelled the bills, the result 12 months free electricity, around £48,000 saving.

Why choose Energy Solutions?

Our clients across all sectors typically recover at least 5% of their utility bill value, irrespective of their total energy expenditure.

We can work on a No win No fee or fixed fee basis. We will review all of your gas and electricity bills at our own expense. Should we achieve any refunds/credits from the previous six years, we agree a percentage of the savings with the client. Alternatively, we can undertake the same process but for a fixed charge per MPAN/MPR, regardless of the level of savings achieved.

We use highly trained and experienced validation staff; this means that we understand all charges, utility contracts and meters to ensure an accurate bill each month. These checks include DUoS, Triads, DUoS & TUoS losses, BSUoS, AAHEDC, Renewable Obligation, Meter Operations, DC, DA and CCL.

Contact us now, and we will answer any questions you may have.