Choosing the right energy supplier is all well and good, but you need to make sure you have the right connections in the first place. Can your energy supplier take care of site works?
Throughout our “Choosing the right supplier” series we have covered many aspects of small business energy contracts, from how to compare providers to choosing a type of energy and how to switch tariffs.
One recurring theme has been that switching doesn’t have to be a hassle – moving from one provider to the other shouldn’t interrupt your connection, you don’t need your new provider to come over to your premises and fit you out.
But what happens if you do need an alteration to your service? How do you choose an energy provider if you have an issue with your supply? In this instalment of our series, we are going back to basics to explore site works.
We caught up with Cherrelle Mclean, metering manager from Total Gas & Power to find out more.
What do we mean by “site works”?
In layman’s terms, site works is the installation, alteration or removal of gas or power supply and meters. It also includes upgrades, downgrades and relocation.
“It’s not necessarily just for businesses that are looking to build new properties,” explained Mclean.
“A site may require work to be carried out when renovating, if they need to move meters or are changing any electrical or gas appliances. Site works can even be carried out as part of a longer-term cost saving exercise e.g. removing two meters to install one which reduces industry standing charges.”
Sometimes, if it is a big job, there can be challenges, so some forward planning before taking on a site works operator is necessary.
“Timescales are the biggest challenge, particularly where network connections are required as this may involve shutting off roads and can be subject to council approval,” said Mclean.
“These tend to be the bigger, more complex jobs but the provider should be able to talk you through the process and offer advice and general lead times based on the work required.”
How can an SME source a site works provider?
If an SME owner knows it is going to need site works, either in the near future or somewhere down the line, they might look to factor this in when choosing an energy supplier.
Your energy supplier can double up as your site works operator, and although they don’t necessarily have to be the same it can help simplify matters.
“Most of the time we will be able to coordinate any works required – even on the supply side as we can liaise direct with the Gas Networks or Power Distribution Network Operators,” said Mclean.
“There are benefits to having your energy supplier in charge of your site works. They know about the work from the beginning and can escalate with the required parties where needed, they will also be able to ensure that industry systems and their own internal billing systems are updated much quicker than if they are notified after the work, which equates to a more seamless experience for the customer.”