Change of tenancy

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Change of tenancy

Regardless of the sector, you operate in, we appreciate that your businesses gas and electricity bills are likely to be high among the highest outlay.

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Deemed contract

Once you move in to your new business premises, the current energy suppliers will automatically continue to supply the premises – this is known in the trade as a ‘deemed contract.’ Essentially, this means that until you change supplier the existing contractor already supplying the premises has a contract to continue to do so – unless they are told otherwise.

BUT – and this is important – do not just sit back and automatically continue with the existing provider of your gas and electricity. Ofgem warns that these contracts are, on average, 80% higher than a negotiated contract and suggests business shops around to compare suppliers as significant savings can be made. It is vital therefore that you take action right away in order to avoid some hefty bills for your business’s gas and business electricity.

Property

Meter readings

On the day you move into your new business premises, make sure you read the gas and electricity meter and ideally take a photo of the readings. The readings have to be provided to the company currently supplying the building. If you don’t know who that is, you can find out by contacting the Energy Networks Association(ENA) which represents all the network operators for gas and electricity in the UK. If you are moving into a leased property, the landlord should provide you with these details.

Your supplier will send you a final bill after you have moved. It is also useful for you to leave a note of the final meter reading with the new occupants and/or the landlord. The vast majority of moves go smoothly and energy suppliers are getting better at giving customers refunds if you are owed any money due to a business move. If, however, you do have any reason to complain about the moving out and/or the moving in process when it comes to energy, you can, in the first instance talk to the complaints department of the company involved.

If you feel, you are not getting the desired response, within 8 – 12 weeks, and then you can talk to the energy ombudsman.

Check the term of you tenancy

If you are a tenant in your new premises, make sure you are clear about the terms of your tenancy agreement when it comes to paying gas and electricity bills. You will pay either directly to the energy providers or via the landlord. If it is the latter you have less freedom to choose who your supplier is, as gas and electricity costs will usually be part of the rent.

If, however, the agreement makes you wholly responsible for energy you are free to switch suppliers. As always, check the fine detail of any agreement to make sure you do not fall foul of the rules, but assuming you are free to choose your own utility supplier for your business, make this a priority. Ditch the deemed contract as soon as you can and talk to Utility Bidder about a cost effective provider for your business utilities.

Energy saving lightbulb

Moving out

When you are leaving an existing business premises there are also numerous things to do to ensure a smooth handover from yourself to a new business owner/and or landlord.

Make sure you inform your existing energy providers that you are leaving – at the very least give two days notice, but ideally a month. Each supplier will have a slightly different way of handling the move, www.eonenergy.com for instance has an online form for you to complete. From your point of view, it is vital to give meter readings on your final day in the premises. You can usually do this online but you can also telephone your supplier to give the reading. Again, in order to avoid any uncertainty – take a photo of the meter reading.

What your energy provider will require

The energy provider may also want proof that you are no longer going to be responsible for bills. EDF for example say, ‘you may be asked to verify the change of responsibility with documentation such as a valid Land Registration, tenancy agreement, management agreement or solicitors letter.’

Be wary of early termination fees, which will be in the small print of your energy contract. These could be waived, especially if you want to use your existing supplier in your new business premises. However, you may not be getting the best price and by speaking to Utility Bidder, you could find savings made from a new energy provider could outweigh the termination fee.

If you pay your bill by direct debit, do not cancel it right away. You will still have a final bill to pay which could be more or less the amount you usually pay. Cancelling may cause problems and more paperwork and so wait until you are advised to do so by your utility provider.

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Case studies

We’re dedicated to helping businesses like yours save more on energy. That’s why we’ve put together a selection of case studies showcasing exactly what we have achieved for company’s similar to yours.

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