Haywards Heath RFC enjoys a strong community presence in Haywards Heath, West Sussex where the club supports a senior rugby team, six youth sides and six mini sides. The Club was established in 1959 and boasts affiliations with the London and South East Division of England Rugby and Sussex Rugby.
The aim of the ‘Microbusiness Strategic Review’ is to provide better, fairer energy agreements for microbusinesses in the UK. Based on consumer feedback and research, Ofgem have introduced guidelines and restrictions for TPIs/ Brokers and energy suppliers to support microbusinesses when procuring energy.
Initiated in mid 2022, there are several elements of the overall scheme that are now active, which will contribute to wider aim of providing a better experience to microbusinesses within the energy industry.
What do these new measures mean for you, your business, and the industry?
The Microbusiness Strategic Review is a combination of several measures put in place by Ofgem. These measures include Faster More Reliable Switching (FMRS), an Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme (ADR), fee transparency and the removal of termination notices. The aim is to provide protection, support and guidance when navigating the energy market.
Due to the current turbulence of the energy market, the Microbusiness Strategic Review is more important than ever. The main goal of the Microbusiness Strategic Review is to enhance the experience of microbusinesses in the energy market.
Further information and guidance have been made available for microbusiness owners, making it easier to understand energy contracts, fees, and terms.
Who is covered by the Microbusiness Strategic Review?
As this scheme is for microbusinesses only, here is the outline of what the government define as a microbusiness:
- A business that employs fewer than 10 employees (or their full-time equivalent) and has an annual turnover or balance sheet no greater than £1.7 million; or
- A business that uses no more than 100,000 kWh of electricity per year: or
- business that uses no more than 293,000 kWh of gas per year
Outline of the Microbusiness Strategic Review
- Faster more reliable switching – Ofgem has driven a programme whereby non-domestic customers should be able to switch within 2-4 working days. This provides a significant reduction in switching time for microbusinesses as it would usually take 15 working days to switch gas and 10 days for electricity.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Scheme – There is a new requirement for suppliers to only work with brokers who have signed up for a qualifying ADR scheme. This scheme will be run by the Ombudsman service and will act as an impartial mediator for disputes regarding contracts and agreements. ADR will support positive change within the energy industry, helping brokers/suppliers to improve their service and customer experience.
- Fee transparency – Brokerage costs must now be provided to microbusinesses via principal terms. Suppliers will need to present this as a total cost in pounds covering the duration of the contract. This will provide certainty to microbusiness owners on precisely what they will be charged.
- Removing termination notices – Ofgem has stated that microbusinesses will now no longer need to provide termination notices for their contracts. This provides microbusinesses with the ability to secure a new contract without the legal requirement of providing a termination notice, making switching easier.
Why work with a Third-Party Intermediaries (TPI)/Broker?
Third-party intermediaries, or TPIs, and Brokers provide choices for customers and create rivalled competition in the market. The Competition and Markets Authority has regularly flagged choices to consumers through price engines and third-party providers is critical in maintaining competitive markets.
With the support, insight and connections a TPI/Broker can provide, you can get direct access to a vast range of UK energy suppliers and their exclusive quotes only offered to those Brokers with a Premier relationship status. This leaves you with time to get back to what you do best – running your business.
TPIs and Brokers have driven 50% of non-domestic energy switching activity and this continues to grow. Fuelling competition in the market places the onus on suppliers to offer better prices, packages, and services to their business customers. The activity undertaken by TPIs/Brokers strengthens this competition and gives you a thorough understanding of the scope of the market and this is useful when choosing your next supply.
A reputable TPI/Broker will act as your knowledge hub for all things energy. They will help to assist you with any supplier issues, plan any required meter changes and offer you unbiased advice on the current energy market.
How do TPIs/ Brokers get paid?
Many contracts facilities by brokers have mandatory fee disclosure – and a significant number of companies fall into the definition of micro business. The services provided by a TPI/Broker are chargeable, and the way that they charge can be different for different amounts but typically, an uplift is added to the contract and the supplier pays the TPI/Broker directly. Any reputable brokers will be clear with their customers up front on how they operate and how much they change. Broker’s fees are usually spread over the energy contract – making them better for companies’ cash flow. Our fees are typically 1p per KWH which represents less than 3% of a typical power contract – using a current base price of 30p per KWH.
If you are unsure or unhappy with the amount being charged, we recommend gathering several quotes from different TPIs/Brokers to assess which company will work best for you against the value they are charging.
How to choose a reputable Broker?
Third-party intermediaries and energy brokers must be registered to the ADR scheme to work with microbusinesses. Any reputable energy brokers will be transparent with their customers on how they operate and how much they charge.
To identify if you are dealing with a reputable broker, customers should check their terms and conditions, industry awards and accolades, number of years trading, number of customers, fees, and online reviews. It is worth doing the research to ensure you are going to receive the service and support you need.
Why work with Utility Bidder?
With 13 years of experience, Utility Bidder has helped over 70,000 businesses across the UK. Our energy expert’s actions are customer-centric and committed to always providing our award-winning customer service, value for money and comprehensive knowledge. Utility Bidder is ADR registered and rated Excellent on Trustpilot with more than 2,000 reviews from our customers.
Over the past 10 years, we’ve built strong relationships with the UK’s leading energy suppliers to simplify the switching process for our customers, drive through better offers and allow our customer base to take advantage of the breadth of the market in one place.
We are extremely proud to have won “Consultancy of the year” at the 2022 TELCA awards and be highly commended at the 2022 Energy Awards. Utility Bidder is built on values of unrivalled customer service, alongside a determination to offer above-and-beyond value to our customers. We aim to always act right, either by looking to build long term relationships from the moment we’re in contact, to being at the forefront of industry conversation to bring about further protection for our customers.
Disclaimer: Views contained on this page are Utility Bidder’s however they do not constitute certainty of market movements. Energy prices are volatile and could go up or down.
Frequently asked questions
Firstly, you should contact the TPI or Broker to try to resolve the issue directly. If a resolution has not been presented by the 1st of December 2022, you are allowed to take your complaint free of charge to a TPI Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme when:
• You have reached a “deadlock” position, where the parties involved aren’t able to agree on a resolution
and have reached the end of the complaint process; or
• An agreement has not been made within 8 weeks
Currently, the Ombudsman Services is the lone provider, but other providers may emerge in the future.
The Ombudsman has stated they are willing to investigate a complaint against a Broker if the customer was not aware of the event they are complaining about until after 1st December 2022. Only in situations where the event that gave rise to the complaint happened before 1st December, but the customer only became aware of it after the 1st of December.
Unfortunately, the current ADR scheme only applies to complaints from microbusiness customers.
Business utilities comparison case studies
We’re dedicated to helping businesses like yours succeed, but we know that seeing is believing. That’s why we’ve put our money where our mouth is with some real-life case studies.
Founded in 2009, with a range of industry accolades to our name, Hayri recognised that Utility Bidder was a well-established and growing business and our five star Trustpilot reviews along with our size and longevity ensured HTC Europe had peace of mind.
“I was impressed with Utility Bidder from the start,” said Hayri. “Nothing was too much trouble for my account manager Rebecca Lau. Professionals recognise fellow professionals and it’s true that one doesn’t buy from a company, one buys from a person and Rebecca is a credit to Utility Bidder.
Rob says that thanks to the competitive rates secured by Utility Bidder in his studio, it would be cheaper to live there than at home! “We pay about £30 a month for gas during the winter and around £25 a month for electricity – and that’s despite having a lot of energy-guzzling equipment such as studio lights and fan heaters. Our energy bills at home are far more expensive!”
Sharda Care is contacted frequently by companies within the energy industry, but the desire to work with Utility Bidder was motivated by our bill validation service (and that they hadn’t checked their VAT). Our team have an experienced background in working with businesses of this size and will instinctively scrutinise all utilities to investigate potential savings.
Paul Kay was fantastic in securing us a great deal and explaining everything in full. Thanks and would wholeheartedly recommended.
Excellent service from Kenny in the Manchester office, he worked hard to find the best price for me and explained everything along the way.
Will definitely use him again in the future and would recommend.
I spoke to Paul Kay this morning who in the space of 30 mins looks to have halved my salon electric bill, he was personable, knowledgeable and honest. The proof will be seeing if the bills actually reduce and if so I will leave another review but so far an excellent service
I dealt with Utility Bidder over the past couple of days, amazing service and prompt. Paul Kay gave excellent customer service! would highly reccomend.
Without a doubt utility bidder has saved my sanity. They have sorted months of going around in circles with a supplier in under a week.
I would highly recommend to everyone I know.
Had a lovely phone call from Connor this morning, he was very helpful, explained everything very clearing and all I had to do was agree to everything that was suggested and he done the rest! Very happy with the service
I have just worked with Alex from Utility Bidder to sort our electricity contract today. He has got us an excellent price for our charity and it has all been sorted in half an hour (possibly less!). He was extremely helpful. THANK YOU
Had a call from Alex York who within minutes had arranged a new electricity contract with a new supplier. He was extremely courteous, professional and friendly. Highly recommend.
Robert Johnson has just completed my renewal contract with my energy supplier. He was very helpful and very efficient. It’s the first time I have used Utility Bidder and I will definitely use them again and highly recommend them. Thank you for making it so easy.
Immediate pricing access to all major UK gas suppliers. We can save you upto 45% on your business gas prices.
We manage 20,000 electric meters for our commercial customers – So you’re in safe hands.
We’ll find the best prices and provide you with a hassle free service for both your business gas and electricity….
With our help. You’ll get a better quality service, lower water bills and better value for money.
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