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Moving premises or expanding? Manage the energy switchover

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When you move business premises, you have to manage your energy changeover smoothly to avoid losing money. Your existing contract should end, and a new one should begin, either with the same provider, or another. If this doesn’t happen, a business will find itself paying inflated rates at one of two levels.

Deemed rates are imposed when a company moves into a premises already served by an energy supplier without a contract in place, while out of contract rates are imposed when there is no contract with a supplier, or if an existing contract has lapsed. This is due to the fact that suppliers who have to source wholesale energy without a contract feel more exposed to risk. They therefore increase prices accordingly.

Signing a MOP agreement

Don’t leave it to the last minute to sign a meter operator (MOP) agreement for your new premises. Any business on a half-hourly meter must have one of these. MOP agreements include installation, servicing and meter reading.

Moving out

When leaving a premises, ensure you have an early termination clause for your wholesale supply contract, which enables you to exit prematurely. Identify any meter operator or data collection/aggregation contracts with early termination fees.

Notify your energy supplier at least a month in advance. You are contractually responsible for the supply until you inform them. Let them know where the final bill should be sent to, and take the final meter readings from your premises on the day you move out.

Moving in

When moving into a premises, assess the premises for potential energy efficiency gains as soon as possible. Find a suitable meter operator and energy supplier – consider working with a business energy broker to get the best deal. Let the energy supplier know as early as you can before you move in, so that they can set up the supply.

Find out who the current energy supplier is and notify them of the switch if you’re changing suppliers. For electricity, contact the local distributor’s Meter Point Administration Service. For gas, contact the National Grid.

Read the meter on the day you move in, and notify the energy supplier. This will avoid you being charged for someone else’s energy usage.

Nick Linklater is Head of Corporate Accounts at ENER-GProcurement Limited.

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