Moving Premises and Change of Tenancy

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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.

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 a 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 businesses gas and business electricity.

Check the terms of your 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.

Cost effective gas and electricity for your business

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. Gas prices continually fluctuate but our experts can see where and when price drops are likely and we can tell you when is the best time to sign up to a long term contract. Similarly, we understand that navigating the complicated electricity market can be overwhelming, but our award-winning industry experts will guide your way to lower costs.

Our team search numerous suppliers from major companies such as British Gas and Scottish Power to smaller brands such as Opus Energy or Total. Our role is to find a company that is best for your business in terms of offering the most competitive price for gas and electricity.

Your water supply can also be supplied from any nationwide water company and so don’t automatically assume you have to remain with your regional water company, we may suggest you swop to a different one in another part of the UK, if we think it will benefit your business.

The process for setting you up with a new supplier to a business premises is really easy and Utility Bidder will do all the hard work for you. We shop around and find the best price from a supplier we think offers your business the most cost efficient deal.  We are with you every step of the way to make the process as painless as possible. 

Challenges

There are occasional challenges your business could face. If the previous tenant has been cut off due to arrears for instance, you may have to pay a reconnection free and security deposit. If you are moving to a brand new building, you may have to bay a connection fee to have the gas and electricity supplies set up. Most companies offer similar processes to the one outlined here from British Gas. However, for the most part, the majority of business moves are straightforward.

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,

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 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.  

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.  

We hope that you found this guide helpful, but please get in touch with us for any query about gas, electricity and water when moving to a new business premises.

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