Rebilling – what is it?
Rebilling is something that you have likely encountered if you have ever rented a property, flat, or business space from a private landlord. Or alternatively, if you are a landlord and ever rented out to multiple tenants. This would automatically include most of us. So why do so few people know what it is?
Landlords who rent out to multiple tenants in a single property are often responsible for paying the energy/utilities supplier for tenant’s consumption. This is not to say that it is free for the tenants…
Often landlords will then calculate how much is owed per flat/floor/tenant or however they choose to calculate billing. Bills are then passed on to tenants, who are then expected to pay their share. The advent of sub-metering has allowed landlords to calculate bills much more accurately – each tenant now paying for their fair share of consumption.
How does this affect you?
Tenants: For tenants, it really all boils down to trust. Do you trust your landlord to pass on the correct charges to you? If no, you should keep reading. If yes, you should also keep reading (all will become clear, soon).
Ofgem is the regulatory body for the energy industry, and are also responsible for enforcing energy re-selling regulations. Ofgem have published a document containing all of the information you should be aware of, especially if you are currently purchasing re-sold energy from a landlord. It can be found here – www.ofgem.com
Landlords: It is no small ask to calculate what each tenant should contribute towards covering utilities costs. It is just another annoying task to add to a very long list…
There are an incredible number of regulations to adhere to – some of which are quite subjective (see above source). Failure to adhere will result in legal action.
The energy industry is well known to make regular mistakes on their energy invoices – which has led to millions of pounds in fines to be dished out to suppliers. Often these mistakes aren’t malicious – but when you are acting as a middleman between energy suppliers, and disgruntled customers… Things can get tricky, to say the least.
So why not get an expert in to do it for you?
Energy Billing – Common mistakes
Uswitch has found that energy suppliers are the worst offenders when it comes to providing accurate billing for their customers – for eight years in a row! Ofgem has even dished out fines to the big six totalling well over £50,000,000 for miss-billing.
It is difficult to say with absolute certainty what the most common mistakes made are. Energy suppliers range from huge multinational companies, to smaller local operators – each operating in their own slightly unique way.
Power Direct checked over 14,000 customer bills and found that just over 8% were incorrect. Unsurprisingly, this was overwhelmingly in the favour of the supplier. Other common mistakes found are:
- Direct Debit amounts miscalculated – 8% of all bills
- Application of incorrect fees – 7% of all bills
- Wrong tariff and/or product details – 5% of all bills
- Sending the bill to the wrong customer(s) – 5% of all bills
The benefits of using a 3rd party for tenant rebilling
Luckily – there are now dozens of businesses out there who can undertake this task for landlords. Partnering with a rebilling provider offers distinct benefits for both landlords and tenants. A win-win situation. So, what are some of the benefits?
- Reduce administrative costs and management time
- Improved credit control
- Utilisation of clear and concise invoicing and billing
- Data collectors for evidence that can be used during disputes
- Improved cash flow efficiency
- Fair recovery of energy consumption costs calculated for individual tenants
Sub-metering and its uses
Sub-meters are installed in properties or locations that consumption is desired to measured separately. With traditional consumption meters for domestic properties the total consumption for the property is measured – which is perfectly acceptable. But there are situations that arise where total consumption for the property is not enough.
If you are a landlord who rents out a building to multiple tenants, then installation of sub-metering is recommended to provide accurate information on who is using how much of the total consumption for the building. There isn’t as much need for this in single-tenant situations, more-so in multi-occupancy buildings and multi-let offices.
This added detail helps landlords accurately calculate how much is owed, and by who for:
- Independent sites
- Retail units
- Entire floor of a building
- Part of a floor within a commercial building
Sub-metering can be considered to be as ground-breaking as the advent of smart meters. It is a much more equal and fair way of conducting business as everyone pays for their respective share of the costs.
Who could benefit from sub-metering?
Sub-metering is in no way, shape, or form restricted to just large businesses! It has its benefits for the following:
- Landlords looking to monitor individual energy use of tenants.
- Businesses looking to monitor individual energy use of different departments.
- Measuring the energy consumption for specific pieces of equipment, or areas of interest.
The benefits from sub-metering
It may be difficult to immediately see the benefits of sub-metering, or why it should be implemented.
For organisations or businesses with high energy consumption or large facilities, sub-metering offers a chance to locate potential areas where efficiency could be improved. Data can be a powerful tool when used correctly, and is a great foundation to create and build behavioural changes on.
- Assistance for landlords in providing accurate billing for their energy usage.
- Help to meet regulatory obligations.
- Gain a deeper understanding of how your property is using energy.
- Help identify and find the reason behind spikes or drops in consumption.
- Clearly see the impact of operational changes, energy-saving measures, and other policies.
Landlord sub-metering checklist
It can be a daunting task to arrange sub-metering, especially if it is not something that you have ever done before. This is why Energy Solutions have put together this short checklist to help you keep on top of things!
|Use of Ofgem or MID approved meters?||Y / N|
|Have you read and inspected your meter(s) at least every two years to take a reading?||Y / N|
|Have you inspected all of your meters at least once every two years to check they are working, and in good order?||Y / N|
|Have you adhered to the RICS code of practice when charging tenants for their energy?||Y / N|
|Have you hired qualified electricians to install your sub-metering?||Y / N|
This checklist is obviously not exhaustive – but it is a good place to start! We believe that provision of information will help our customers gain more clarity surrounding the energy industry. The good news is, you don’t have to be one of our customers to access this information!
Why use Energy Solutions?
We recognise how difficult it can be at times to work with energy and the associated billing – especially if you don’t have any experience in the industry. The business has been saturated with jargon from suppliers and brokers alike, without offering much in the way of helping to understand any of it…
But we believe in doing things slightly differently.
Energy Solutions have been in the energy procurement business for over 20 years – so know utilities invoicing like the back of our hands. Being in the business for so long has led to the development of outstanding relations with all of our partners – which includes big names like EDF, SSE, E. ON, and Gazprom.
Energy Solutions do not overpromise, and we typically recover 5% of utility bill value for our customers. Our highly trained staff can operate either on a fixed-fee or on a no-win, no-fee basis. This means that if no savings are to be found, then you don’t have to pay for the service!
By letting us do all the hard work with energy rebilling, allows you to spend your time doing the things that you love. We work hard to collect and comprehensively analyse consumption data. We do this because we know that ultimately, this will result in a fairer way of doing business.
Get in contact today to find out more about our services.
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What is rebilling?
Rebilling is the process of reselling energy that has already been bought from a recognised energy supplier. Most often, this comes in the form of landlords rebilling their tenants for utilities bills.
What is submetering?
Sub-metering is the process of installing further meters at a residence that already has total consumption measured by another meter. Sub-metering allows for consumption to be measured in much greater detail. It has its uses for businesses looking to make efficiency improvements, as well as landlords looking to calculate individual utilities contributions.
What are the benefits of sub-metering?
Sub-metering allows for a greater level of consumption data to be collected. This then can be used to calculate individual billing for tenants within a rented property, or suggest efficiency improvements for businesses.