Energylinx for Business News

November 13, 2014

New Features Added to our Business Energy Comparison Platform

Today Energylinx for business have added two unique features to their online comparison and switching platform, which has been developed for SME businesses throughout the UK.

First of the new benefits allows any business comparing tariffs on our platform to be able to get an exact quote, including FIT charges. Typically, SME suppliers include the FIT levy within their contract charges, however some suppliers add this levy on top of the rate they charge customers. This means that a brokers or even suppliers, who adds the FITs charge, whilst being fully transparent in quoting both the unit rates and FITs charges will have no ability to create an exact quote which highlights to the customer the real cost of each supplier/price plan. However, now Energylinx for business will show this charge - every time. Creating the most accurate quote available.

Introduced on the 1st April 2010, The Feed-in Tariff or FiT scheme is a levy charge imposed by the Government, to fund the Feed-in Tariff. The Feed-in Tariff was introduced as an incentive paid to businesses and property owners who generate on site renewable energy through small scale renewable electricity generation. This additional levy is collected from all energy consumers who are supplied by eligible FiT suppliers. You can read more about five Farmer's who signed up to a new energy contract, only to discover afterwards of this added levy here.

FITs levies change on the 1st April each year and the rates are published a few years in advance, for example the rates for 1st April 2016 thru to 31st March 2017 are already published and are therefore known. Our platform takes into account the contract start and end dates of the price plans being presented and automatically calculates the exact FITs charges that are applied and includes them within the pricing calculation where they are added, ensuring price plans are presented on a like for like basis.

The second benefit, which is completely unique to Energylinx for business platform, is that if a company gets a renewal quote from their existing supplier and wishes to see how it compares with the offers on the market then they can now enter the details of that renewal into the initial search page and the result is presented to them together with all the other results.

The results includes all the correct calculations in terms of VAT, CCL and FITs (including the previously mentioned FIT charges) - so the customer can easily compare it with what they have. This is not available on any other SME business energy comparison and switching platform. Customers are now able to fully compare their renewal quote, with the rest of the market.

We welcome any UK SME to try our unique and ground-breaking service that will ensure that their business is on the right energy tariff for them. Visit our simple, convenient and impartial platform here.

Posted on November 13, 2014 at 03:05 PM

October 3, 2014

The Majority of SMEs Have No Idea What They Spend On Energy

A new study claims that more than half (52%) of SMEs have no idea what they spend on electricity and gas. Energy and water consultancy firm Utiliywise claim that small and medium sized businesses are 'missing out on energy savings' because the majority of business owners don't know what they spend on their utilities.

When it comes to energy purchase and consumption the data shows a lack of understanding and the engagement amongst small business owners and that they review their personal domestic utilities provision more regularly than they review the supply to their business (30% versus 20% respectively)

KEY POINTs FROM THE SURVEY

  • 14% of small business owners never actively review their utilities which means a staggering 684,469 businesses across the UK have NEVER considered how it might be possible to get a better deal for their energy
  • 66% of small business owners delegate utilities to other staff, including their office manager
  • 68% did not know the difference between a fixed and flexible energy contract
  • More than one in ten small business leaders admit they do not know who in their business is responsible for this important overhead - this is despite the rising prices of utilities remaining the main source of cost inflation for over half of all small businesses

Commenting on the findings Utilitywise's Michael Dent said: "The study shows there is a lot of confusion about utilities amongst small businesses. Misinformation and misunderstanding mean small businesses are suffering because they don't know how to navigate the utilities markets nor have the levels of consumption necessary to negotiate better prices. Poor buying and management of utilities stops growth and damages businesses' bottom lines".

Energylinx for Business would advise all SME business owners and managers in the UK to compare energy tariffs and make sure they are on the right one for them. A 20% decrease in energy costs can have the same benefit as a 5% increase in sales for most businesses. This could have a massive impact on YOUR bottom line! To compare and switch energy tariffs visit: www.energylinxforbusiness.co.uk

Posted on October 3, 2014 at 03:54 PM

September 8, 2014

Business Energy Switching Tips

Always check your contract end date

You'll find your contract end date on your initial correspondence from your business energy company.

Renewal Contract? Time to act!

This will provide you with an opening offer for your next business energy contract. It is important that you don't leave it too late so that your only option is to accept this offer, as inevitably it will not be a competitive one.

Presently if you don't act on your renewal letter then you'll automatically be tied into a new premium priced business energy contract for a period of twelve months, and we can almost guarantee that this will not be the best deal for you.

Get your termination notice in on time.

Don't run the risk of getting tied into a new business energy contract automatically - make sure you check the notice period and submit your termination notice on time.

We have written a template for both your business gas and business electric termination notices, after you switch download this and send it off to your current supplier, advising them of the switch. You can find the templates here.

You not only need to be careful not to be too late in sending your termination, but you also need to be careful not to send your termination notice too early!

Be careful who you choose.... Or who you stick with!

There is absolutely no cooling off period available after signing up to a business energy contract - the only way out of it is moving properly. We can't stress enough that you should do some homework before signing up to a business energy contract.

Small suppliers are safe

If you are offered a good business energy deal with a smaller supplier then please take it. Don't agonise about the size of the company or whether you've heard of them before. If they are offered on our platform then they can be trusted. The likes of Ovo Energy and Opus Energy and so on have become key players in the competitive market, shaking up the behaviours and offerings of the more traditional players.

It is very rare, but if your energy supplier was to go out of business - big or small - your supply will continue and you'll be looked after by the OFGEM under the Supplier of Last Resort scheme.

Don't miss out!

Over a third of small businesses don't make the move to find a cheaper supplier when their energy contract runs out. This is your opportunity, take it! Shopping around is easy, and you don't even have to leave this site. We compare business energy contracts here so make use of our free comparison tool here.

Worth keeping in mind after a switch....

Your current business energy supplier can object to you switching, but only under certain circumstances and these will be set out in your contract. Reasons include:

  • if you are in debt with your business energy supplier
  • if you are still bound by your contract, because you are on a fixed term contract where the term has not run out.

But your supplier cannot object if:

  • Your contract has expired and you are not bound by its terms.
  • You are not signed up to any contract because you are on a deemed contract

To compare and switch your business energy supply, visit our completely impartial service. It really could not be simpler, click here to visit our site.

Posted on September 8, 2014 at 01:59 PM

August 18, 2014

OFGEM Give Helping Hand to 1.6 Small UK Businesses

There are an estimated 1.6 million small business in the United Kingdom that could benefit from shopping around for their energy deals. At the end of July OFGEM - The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets - proposed new rules to give additional help to Britain's smallest businesses. These rules require that suppliers make price comparisons easier by including the price of the customer's current deal, as well as the new rates that their supplier will charge after the end of the businesses current deal.

OFGEM say that energy suppliers must all tell each business how much energy it is using annually, so that they have all the information that they will need to compare their current supplier with the rest of the market. This places the business in the best possible position to successfully obtain the best deal when their current contract ends.

In August last year, OFGEM put in place tougher standards of conduct to make sure small businesses get fair treatment from energy suppliers or the suppliers will be hit with fines. To find out more about these standards of conduct click here. According to OFGEM, since March 2014 around 160,000 small businesses have benefited from OFGEMs rules, ensuring that they get clearer information on their contracts. All bills for the smallest businesses also now have to show the contract end date, so customers are prompted to think about comparing business energy contracts and getting the best deal available to them.

In the last 120 days of your business energy contract? Compare tariffs in the simpliest and easiest way here: www.energylinxforbusiness.co.uk

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 04:29 PM

June 10, 2014

A Business Guide to Energy Saving

A 20% cut in energy costs represents the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales for many businesses. However, a recent study by OnePoll found that only 43% of people are concerned about their office's energy consumption and some 60% of employees actively charge electronic devices in the office in order to save money on their homes energy bills.

This is a short guide created to identify actions that YOU can make in YOUR business that will result in energy and cost savings that can be easily applied with little or no cost. Almost all businesses could use less energy, even low and no-cost actions can reduce energy costs by at least 10% and produce quick returns.

LOOK AROUND YOUR BUSINESS

If you want to identify the areas where it is possible to make energy savings, it is essential to start by looking at the area it is currently used. Going through a walk about will help you recognise what areas are wasting energy and what your opportunities for saving are.

The areas to look at are heating lighting, office equipment, and if applicable, factory and warehouse equipment. Every businesses pattern of energy use differs throughout the day, so it is useful to conduct a series of different walk rounds and to vary the times that they are carried out. By doing this, you will see a clearer picture of when and where energy might be wasted. Comparing the findings of the walk around with meter data will help to pinpoint areas of high energy use. It is very important to prioritise energy saving actions once they have been identified rather that attempting to tackle them all at once. We find that those with the biggest saving potential or least disruption to the business will help you decide this. In future, plan walk rounds when the clocks change and remember to adjust your heating controls at these times.

LIGHTING

Lighting in a typical office costs about £3 million annually, but in the most efficient office only costs about £1 million annually and leaving a typical office light on overnight wastes enough energy to heat 1,000 cups of tea.

When on your walk round, consider what type of fluorescent tubes you have in use. Research different lighting options, for example 26 mm diameter slimline florescent tubes and use 10% less electricity and are cheaper to buy than 38mm tubes. If you were to install new high frequency fluorescent lightening that eliminates flickers and hum, extends lamp life and can often reduce consumption by around 25%. Such a simple tip like checking whether lamp, fittings and roof lights are clean can help make significant energy savings as dirty shades can greatly reduce lighting levels.

HEATING

Heating costs rise by about 8% for every 1°C of overheating.

Overheating occurs because we heat areas that do not need to be warmed. For example, are you keeping your corridors warm? Overheating can also be the result of poor control of heating systems. Avoiding as much heat loss as possible through improving insulation and draught control can also significantly cut heating bills.

  • By maintaining your boiler, heating costs can reduce by about 30%. Ensure that your heaters and boilers are serviced at least annually and are adjusted for optimum efficiency.
  • One of the most expensive sources of energy are portable heaters. If you do have to run them, install a time switch so they turn themselves off after a set time period.
  • Avoid heaters and air conditioning units operating in the same space. Simultaneous heating and cooling of a space is commonplace and wastes money. Set a 'dead band' of 5°C between heating and cooling to avoid that happening.
  • Consider installing local instantaneous water heater where small quantities of hot water are required a long way from the main heating plant. This may also let the boiler to be switched off in the summer.
  • Insulate all hot water tanks, boilers, valves and pipework unless they provide useful heat to occupied spaces.
  • Consider whether all areas have the same heating requirements - consider heating your building in zones. Areas such as storerooms, corridors or areas where there is a high level of physical activity require less heat.
  • Think about your thermostats - they should generally be set at 19-20°C. Are they placed in the right location? Away from draughts and direct sunlight.
  • Time controls - are you using them correctly? Is the heating only coming on when you need?

OFFICES

On average, 20% of the total energy bill in commercial offices is accounted for by office equipment - about half of this use stems from PC's and monitors.

  • Make sure your computers have in-built energy saving features - the best known one is ENERGY STAR rating, whereby equipment automatically enters a low power mode after a pre-set amount of time
  • Keep in mind that screensavers do not save energy - they only save the screen image from burning when the image does not change for a long period.
  • Don't leave your computers running, switching computers off at nights and weekends can reduce their energy consumption by 75% - also, if you were to turn the monitor off when it's not being used (lunchtime, away to a meeting, etc.) and standby is activated energy consumption is then reduced to 90% per year.
  • A photocopier left on overnight uses enough energy to make over 5,000 A4 copies. Turn it off!
  • Place any photocopiers in areas that are naturally ventilated where possible. This will help avoid any air conditioning plant having to compensate for the associated heat gains.

FACTORY/WAREHOUSE

Enhanced Capital Allowances enable businesses to buy energy efficient equipment using a 100% rate of tax allowance in the year of purchase. Businesses can claim the allowance on the investment value of energy efficient equipment, if it is on the Energy Technology List.

  • Is your compressor running? Many factories will run their compressor for most of the day... even when this isn't needed and are blissfully unaware of how much this is costing them. Encourage staff to switch off the compressor when not in use.
  • Any electrical equipment that doesn't have to be on, switch it off.
  • Have a Higher Efficiency Motor fitted - these now cost no more than a normal motor and can save you 3-5% of your running cost.
  • Do you have Variable Speed Drives fitted to equipment? In many cases, using a VSD to reduce the speed of a pump or a fan by just 20% can halve its running cost.

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR BUSINESS COSTS. IMPLEMENT THESE TIPS IN TO YOUR BUSINESS, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY MAKE SURE YOUR BUSINESS IS ON THE BEST ENERGY TARIFF THAT IS AVALIABLE TO THEM. WE OFFER A FREE, COMPLETELY IMPARTIAL COMPARISON THAT ALLOWS YOU TO SEE WHAT OPTIONS SUIT YOUR BUSINESSES NEEDS. THE SERVICE IS STRAIGHT FORWARD AND WILL TAKE A FEW MINUTES BUT COULD MAKE A MASSIVE IMPACT ON YOUR BUSINESSES BOTTOM LINE. VISIT OUR WEBSITE HERE

Posted on June 10, 2014 at 08:23 AM

June 4, 2014

Landmark Day as The Queen Announces First Ever Bill for Small Businesses

Today's Queen's Speech has highlighted the momentous introduction of the "Small Business Enterprise and Employment Bill", the first time a legislation has been designed to address the needs of small businesses.

The proposed bill is a major triumph for the FSB who have been campaigning to remove the issue of late payments and to lessen the impact of costly and taxing regulation on small businesses.

Federation of Small Businesses

FSB National Chairman, John Allan, said:

"The Small Business Bill, announced today in the Queen's Speech, reflects the growing recognition of the role small businesses have to play in driving forward the economy and the need to do all we can to support them in that effort. This landmark Bill will therefore be welcomed by our members. It includes measures that we have pushed for in our discussions with Government and indeed all political parties over the last twelve months to help them support their growth ambitions - such as action on late payment terms for smaller suppliers and to beef up scrutiny of unnecessary regulation. We now look forward to seeing the detail when the Bill is introduced, and working with all parties in the Commons and Lords as the Bill progresses through Parliament before the Election. We recently launched the British Banking Insight website commissioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to increase the transparency of the lending market for small businesses. The Small Business Bill marks the next stage in improving the operating environment for all small firms across the country."

The bill is due to be published on June 16th 2014, it should be passed by March 2015. It includes a platform of measures designed to create a fairer marketplace and improve the general operating environment for small businesses. Tackling concerns around prompt payment, access to finance, employment law, zero hour contracts and national minimum wage abuses. Prime Minister, David Cameron, said today "Countries rise when their people rise. So this Queen's Speech is unashamedly pro-work, pro-business and pro-aspiration". Energylinx for Business welcome this bill and its pro-growth and pro-work policies. It is essential that this legislation, however, does not burden any employer or remove their ability to recruit and employ in a flexible way that suits their business.

Posted on June 4, 2014 at 01:07 PM

May 22, 2014

FSB Worldpay Awards

Yesterday seen Energylinx for Business attend The Final of The FSB Worldpay Awards, where we were competing for on-line business of the year. Our category was for e-commerce businesses that had demonstrated outstanding performance. These awards are designed to celebrate business Britain and to help organizations get recognition and inspire other business owners throughout the UK.

FSB Worldpay Awards Finalists

Unfortunately we didn't win, losing out to the winners of the Gloucestershire and West of England heat, Home Leisure Direct. They specialise in luxury games room products and showcase some pretty amazing stuff.

luxury game rooms

So we aren't too sore a loser...

We arrived before 12 at the beautiful Waldorf Hilton in London and were greeted with a drinks reception. There was lots of networking done... as you can see from this picture

Waldorf Hilton in London

It was then off to a delicious lunch before hearing from our inspirational Keynote Speaker, Richard Reed co-founder of Innocent Drinks. Richard is no stranger to the small business world, having grown innocent drinks into a £200m+ business and the UK's largest smoothie brand since it began in 1998. He's also testament to how businesses can be fast growing, profitable and responsible. Innocent's worthwhile causes include donating 10% of its profits each year to charity, funding an Indian NGO named Women for Sustainable Development, and running the office of innocent drinks - Fruit Towers - on green electricity.

FSB Worldpay Awards

Then came the awards; Micro Business of the Year and UK Small Business went to Lanwarne Landscapes Ltd, Young Entrepreneur of the Year to William Automobiles Ltd, Business Innovation of the Year to Calinnova Ltd t/as EquiFeast and as we already said, on-line business went to Home Leisure Direct.

Although we are gutted to have come away empty handed, we had a wonderful day and met some great people. We are still a new company and are delighted to have made it to the final. ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!

Scotland area finalists

Posted on May 22, 2014 at 11:26 AM

May 22, 2014

FSB Survey Confirms That it is an Unfair Energy Market for Small Businesses

Today FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) have released the results of an exclusive survey which over 1400 of its members took part in. The aim of the survey was to get a clearer picture of energy for small businesses, the first study of its kind since the Big Six energy suppliers pledged more support for small businesses by ending rollover contracts.

The survey has shown that there is still significant ground to make before energy suppliers will regain the trust of their small business customers. What is apparent from the study is that small businesses desperately need the energy market to be fairer and more transparent. The FSB have concluded that they want energy companies to take action and publish easily comparable prices for small business customer, commit to not reinstating rollover contracts and ensure customers who want to switch can do so easily.

Survey Results;

  • Four in Five (81%) of FSB Members who took part in the survey said energy suppliers do not care about their needs
  • Again 81% of firms agree that published tariffs would have a positive impact on their business, with the main benefits being more competitive pricing and easier switching of accounts
  • 65% of those surveyed believe it is difficult to change energy supplier. The businesses that had attempted to switch cited the following issues as difficulties when switching; unclear notice periods, the speed of the switching process and complicated contract terms.
  • 27% of small businesses believe that there is enough competition in the energy market

The FSB will be presenting these results in it response to the OFGEM consultation on Friday May 23rd on whether or not the energy market should be referred to the Competition and Market Authority. John Allan who is National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses says "This week we will tell OFGEM and the Competition on Markets Authority that small businesses won't get a fair deal until all energy companies publish easily comparable fixed prices, have much clearer terms and conditions and operate in a more competitive and fair market".

We welcome this action from FSB, and would like to invite any SME businesses to visit our website and see what energy deals are out there and the options that exist out with the big six. Click here to be taken to our website

Posted on May 22, 2014 at 10:08 AM

May 20, 2014

Calling all New British Gas Customers

British Gas are running a promotion that gives business customers the opportunity to save money on their energy bills, by offering that if a business switches to British Gas and then finds a cheaper price elsewhere (within 5 days of signing up) they will match the price. You can find out more about the promotion here.

We believe this is an excellent opportunity for businesses to see what offers are on the market, which in return could save the business money and optimise profit. We would like to welcome any businesses who are considering switching to British Gas (or have recently done so!) but aren't sure where to compare other suppliers to visit our website here. We offer a completely impartial service and in a couple of minutes you could discover what tariffs are available with a straight-forward, hassle free projection.

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 10:33 AM

May 20, 2014

British Public have Split Personality When it Comes to Energy

A study by OnePoll and Rexel showed that most of the British public have a 'split personality' when it come to their energy efficiency habits. While half of this surveyed described themselves as energy conscious at home, only 20% were prepared to say about their behaviour at work. Similarly, 70% said they were concerned about wasting energy at home with just 43% taking that concern in to their office and actually 60% of employees actively charge electronic devices in the office in order to save money on their homes energy bills.

Brian Smithers, strategic development director at Rexel Northern European Zone , "Our research shows that people are wasting energy and in some cases actively adapting their energy behaviour to avoid the rising costs of energy at home. What's worrying about this apparent trend is that the average office worker spends at least 40 hours a week at work, so a huge percentage of the country's energy consumption is taking place in the nations offices". The concern expressed by Smithers is that to reach the UK's carbon reduction target of 80% by 2050, long-term and mass behaviour change is required not just in the home but across all aspects of people's lives.

It is more important now than ever for business owners to take control of their energy costs in the same way they would in their own homes. To find the best energy deal available to your business you can use our completely impartial comparison service here.

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 10:31 AM