Watch out for hidden consultancy charges
Energy and utilities are a significant cost to businesses. If you don’t already do it, it’s important to always compare a selection of tariffs across several utility suppliers. However, did you know that consultants and brokers often ‘hide’ commission in their clients' energy rates? Without transparent bills, clients are often unaware that they are losing hundreds or even thousands of pounds!
You can avoid this by:
- Before signing a new energy contract, pay a fixed-fee for a consultant to ensure you get the best deal
- Ask your energy providers for a fully transparent bill that details ALL your energy charges
- Having a ‘bill check’ to identify any other hidden costs or errors
“We immediately cut our utility costs for water, gas and electricity and we will realise the savings going forward.”
Angela Broadbent, Sales Director and Owner, Northern Joinery Limited
Reduce your energy consumption
- There are to be increases to the non-commodity element of your energy bills. These can be reduced by complying with legislative schemes, energy management programmes and energy efficiency initiatives, such as Triad management, red zone management, Climate Change Agreements to reduce the Climate Change Levy.
- Investing in a survey or audit is a great way to ensure you are operating at the highest level of efficiency and understand where savings can be made
- Develop an energy policy and use it throughout your business. Small changes like turning off lights, photocopiers and computer screens can reduce costs by up to 10%
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s) – Five things private landlords need to know:
- From 1st April 2018, the regulations surrounding the EPC are changing
- Both commercial EPCs and residential EPCs within the private rented sector are affected
- The minimum EPC rating for commercial and residential will be set at an E rating
- A rating of F or G could potentially cause problems when trying to let a house/flat or renew a commercial lease. Government figures suggest a significant proportion of UK building stock will be affected (around a third of commercial properties and a quarter of domestic properties were rated E-G during 2008-2015). Properties previously rated E could be reclassified as F if the building fabric has deteriorated.
- The new EPC regulations will require all eligible properties to be improved to the minimum standard of an E rating
If any Landlord needs to sell/rent from April then it is advisable to find out if that property has a current EPC and to see what the rating is. You can access a copy of an existing EPC report here https://www.epcregister.com/ (please read terms and conditions).
If the property falls below an E rating, landlords need to take actions to implement energy efficient measures to enable another EPC to be completed to raise above an E rating. Landlords need to assess which improvements are essential and which are merely desirable and may not be cost-effective.
Further guidance is also available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-non-domestic-private-rented-property-minimum-standard-landlord-guidance or by speaking to a reputable energy consultant.
How Hallidays can help?
We have developed close working relationships with reputable energy consultants. Please let us know if you would like an introduction.
The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to be received as formal professional advice. Whilst we endeavour to provide accurate information, there can be no guarantee that the information is accurate as of the date it is received, or that it will continue to be accurate in the future, due to legislative changes. It is therefore important that before you act upon any information contained herein you seek appropriate professional advice to take account of your exact circumstances.