FAQ – Switching Online
Where can I switch online?
Switch to a cheaper business electricity or gas tariff to start saving:
The service is provided with Energylinx for Business – who also helped with this FAQ.
What is the SIC Code and why do you want this?
The United Kingdom Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities (SIC) is used to classify business establishments and other standard units by the type of economic activity in which they are engaged. We ask you to confirm what activity you are engaged in as certain suppliers will only make available price plans to certain activity groups.
Why do you ask if I am a Micro Business?
Ofgem (the electricity and gas regulator) introduced rules in 2010 to protect Micro businesses with regard to the provisions of contract terms and conditions, and on contract roll-over. Before entering into a contract the supplier must explain the key terms and conditions to the Microbusiness and must make it clear that the contract is binding, regardless of how the contract may be agreed i.e. online, over the phone or in person. Within 10 days of a contract being agreed, or an existing contract being extended the Microbusiness should receive a written copy in plain language of the full terms and conditions and a statement of renewal terms. Approximately 60 calendar days (but no longer than 120 calendar days) before the end of the fixed term period, suppliers must send Micro businesses a statement of renewal terms and details of the key terms and conditions which apply.
(As of April 2013 Ofgem is considering extending these requirements to Small Businesses as part of their Retail Market Review).
Why do you ask about a Change of Tenancy?
Companies that move into a new premise do not have consumption history and it is, therefore, important to let suppliers know this. Certain suppliers offer Price Plans on a short term basis (helping to avoid “deeming” or “out-of-contract” arrangements) that allow a new tenant to gather consumption history and then select a Price Plan to suit. By confirming that you have just had a change of tenancy then the supplier also knows that your consumption figure is an estimate and will be better prepared to manage any shortfall or over use at the property.
What are MPAN and MPRN, and where can I get these?
The MPAN relates to your electricity supply and is the Meter Point Administration Number, it is unique to the property. It is found on the electricity bill issued by your current electricity supplier. If you cannot find it then contact your current electricity supplier quoting your customer reference number and ask them for a note of your MPAN number.
The MPRN relates to your gas supply and is the Meter Point Reference Number, again it is unique to the property. It is found on the gas bill issued by your current gas supplier. If you cannot find it the contact your current gas supplier quoting your customer reference number and ask them for a note of your MPRN.
Where do I find my Contract End Date and why is this so important?
The first place to look is in your contract with your current supplier. If you cannot find it there or cannot find your contract then contact your current supplier quoting your customer reference number, they should be able to confirm the Contract End Date to you. It is very important that you know this date if you want to change your supply. If you quote the wrong date your supply application can and will likely be rejected. If you wait too long it may be possible that your supply arrangements will automatically renew and then you may have to pay a termination fee if you want to move your supply. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU KNOW YOUR CONTRACT END DATE.
What is the Supply Type and how do I know what my Supply Type is?
The Supply Type is simply a generic name given by the suppliers to the type of supply arrangements at your property. There are a number of Supply Types and these relate to the level of consumption, the way the energy is used at the property and the manner in which the energy is metered. The most common Supply Types include Standard ( a single meter), Evening Weekend (comprising of 2 meters), Economy 7 (again comprising 2 meters) and Off-peak ( can be a multiple of meters). The Supply Type should be indicated on your bill but if not it is possible to get this from the MPAN number. If you are unsure of your Supply Type you should again contact your current supplier and ask them what type of supply you have at your property.
Why do you ask for verification?
The reason we ask customers to receive a verification code is that we do not want a random party using your name to get a supply quotation. If you receive a supply application or communication to that effect and you have not genuinely made that application yourself then we can trace the mobile number used and confirm who actually requested the supply quote. So the reason we ask for verification is to protect you against fraudulent activity.
Who will I be contracting with?
You will be entering into a contract with the supplier that provides the Price Plan you have selected. By using our platform you are making an application for supply and the supplier will then confirm that they have accepted this application and that your supply has been transferred to them. If there is a problem transferring your supply then they should let you know this before your existing Contract End Date.
Who terminates my existing supply?
You have to terminate your existing supply yourself. We provide you with a Standard Termination Letter as part of the application process but you are required to send this to your current supplier. You should contact your current supplier to confirm the address or the procedure for terminating your supply.
How soon can I apply to have a new supply deal?
The earliest you can apply for a new supply arrangement is 120 days prior to the Contract End Date of your existing supply. You should not leave applying for supply too long as it can take up to 30 days for a new supplier to take over your supply arrangements.
How much does this service cost?
Most online switching parties say that their switching service is “FREE” but in reality, it’s not. Suppliers pay commissions to all Third Party Intermediaries (TPIs) and those commissions are simply added on to your Price Plan. Commission levels are Supplier dependent and TPI dependent. All that we can say is that our service is simply the cheapest on the market – guaranteed.
We uniquely show the TPI Commissions on the Quote page where authorised to do so by the Supplier. If a Supplier does not want these shown then we will be happy to let you know the TPI Commission specific to your application. Simply e-mail your Application ID to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title to your e-mail as “Want to know TPI Commission”. Please note we can only send this to you once you have made an Application ID.
How often are your Price Plans updated?
Prices on our site can be changed daily depending on the Supplier. On our “Quote” page we state when prices we last updated.
How long does it take to switch suppliers?
Switching supplier can take on average 6 to 8 weeks. The length of time depends on the quality of the information you supply as part of your application. If you get the Contract End Date wrong or if you have not served notice on your current Supplier switching can take longer.
If I do change supplier, will any of my supply equipment need changed?
No. Your gas and electricity will still be supplied to you through your existing equipment. The only difference will be who sends you the bill.
Who is responsible for safety and maintenance?
Maintaining the safety of your energy supplies remain with your regional supplier. If you have any problem concerning the physical aspects of your energy supply then you should call your regional supplier direct.
If I change gas supplier, will my central heating service contract be affected?
No. whoever you have your contract with, will still honour it, regardless of who supplies the gas.
Who currently supplies my energy?
Look at your most recent bill or speak to the previous occupier. If you are still unable to find the name of your Supplier than you should contact Transco on 0870 608 1524 (for Gas) and your Regional Electricity Company (for Electricity):
|Region||Distribution Company||MPAS Number|
|Eastern||EDF Energy||0870 196 3082|
|East Midlands||Central Networks East||0845 603 0618|
|London||EDF Energy||0845 600 0102|
|North Wales, Merseyside|
and parts of Shropshire
|SP Manweb||0845 270 9101|
|West Midlands||Central Networks||0845 603 0618|
|North East||Northern Electric Distribution||0845 601 3268|
|North West||United Utilities Electricity||0870 751 0093|
|North Scotland||Scottish Hydro-Electric Power Distribution||0870 900 9690|
|South Scotland||SP Distribution||0845 270 9101|
|South East||Seeboard Power Networks||0845 601 5467|
|Southern||Southern Electric Power Distribution||0870 905 0806|
|South Wales||Western Power Distribution||0845 601 5972|
|South West||Western Power Distribution||0845 601 5972|
|Yorkshire||Yorkshire Electricity Distribution||0845 330 0889|
Do I have a cooling off period?
No. As a business you do not have a cooling off period so you need to make sure that you are committed to see through your contract obligations before signing. You should therefore read your Supply Agreement very carefully to see what your obligations are and what period of time your contract will run for.
Can I terminate my Supply Contract at any time during the agreed term?
There will be termination provisions within your contract. To find out how you can terminate and what the penalties will be you should look closely at the Supply Agreement you have signed.
What is the Supply Start Date (SSD)?
This is the day your new supply will start. There may be a case when there is a gap between the Contract End Date and your SSD. In this event you may be charged on “out of contract” or “deemed” rate by your current Supplier until your new supply contract is signed. Please note these rates will normally be higher than your contracted rates. To avoid this you should apply for a new supply arrangement as early as possible and provide as much accurate information as possible.
What are “out of contract” or “deemed” rates?
These rates are higher than what you would consider normal market rates. They usually apply to businesses that are either new to a property or have terminated their existing contract but failed to switch supplier. The upside, if there is one, is that it only takes a maximum of 28 days notice to switch from this arrangement on to something cheaper.
What is Half Hourly Metering (HH) and Non Half Hourly Metering?
HH is a common term used for properties that use more than 100kW of electricity demand. The meters installed usually measure on a half hourly basis the property consumption of electricity. If you have a Half Hourly meter installed your MPAN number will normally start with 00. You should ensure that the Price Plan you select is an HH Price Plan (this will normally be stated somewhere on the description).
NHH is a common term used for properties that use less than 100kW of electricity demand. The meters are usually manually read or more can be AMRs (Automatic Meter Readings). The MPAN codes will likely start with 03 to 08. Again you should check that any Price Plan you select does not have HH in the name or description.
Am I exempt from paying CCL?
You should contact HMRC to find out if you have an exemption. Call them on 0845 010 9000
If I am not happy with my Supplier who should I complain too?
In the first instance, you should complain to the Supplier. They should have a complaints procedure. If you are still not happy then you can direct your complaint to Ombudsman Services at www.ombudsman-services.org
What rate of VAT should I be charged for my gas or electricity?
VAT on electricity and gas for business is charged at the normal VAT rate applicable i.e. as of the 2nd April 2013 this rate is 20%. There are exceptions where businesses are charged VAT at a lesser rate (5%):
- Businesses which meet the ‘De minimis’ requirements:
- Use on average no more than 33kWh/day of electricity and/or less than 5 therms (145kWh/day) of gas;
- Charitable Organisations
What are FiT charges and why do I pay for them?
Owners of properties utilising micro-generation renewable technologies receive a subsidy for the energy they generate, this subsidy is paid for by adding a levy on every unit of energy bought by everyone who uses electricity. Up until April 2012, all electricity suppliers had to charge FiTs to their business and residential customers, but most suppliers billed the FiT levy as part of the unit rates, so it was in effect hidden in the bill. However, due to recent increases to the levy, some suppliers have decided to start passing the FiTs charges on to customers direct.
In order to provide you with an accurate comparison, we take the suppliers position on FiT charges into account when providing Annual Estimated Cost. Some suppliers include FiT charges in their unit rates and some separate out the FIT charges, we calculate the Annual Estimated Cost with FiT charges included in order to keep all things equal. Please note that you may be billed separately for FiT charges but this has been included in our Annual Estimated Cost