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Is Your Business Energy Supplier Overcharging You?

Is it a mistake or did your business energy supplier really just overcharge you? Either way, it’s far from pleasant to receive and pay a bill that’s higher than it should be. Being overcharged is a common worry among UK businesses, so we’re here to provide some clarity. Here’s a guide on being overcharged by a supplier, what to do, who to complain to, and the steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

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How Can I Avoid Being Overcharged For Energy?

Read your meter regularly

Regular meter readings are a simple way to avoid being overcharged. You can then give your supplier readings on a regular basis and avoid estimated billing, as it often leads to overcharging. Make it a habit to read it every three months.

Invest in a smart meter

With a smart energy meter, accurate readings are more likely and they’re automatic. They provide real-time usage stats for your supplier so your bill is correct.

Switch tariffs

Energy prices fluctuate, and variable tariffs change according to energy price increases and decreases. Opting for a fixed tariff could be helpful in terms of avoiding unexpected costs. But, before you make the switch, check to see if there’s a contract exit fee. You should also familiarise yourself with terms like back billing. Back billing is when consumption charges not included in previous bills are put into your latest one.

What Is A Business Energy Provider Complaint?

If you notice or strongly feel that something isn’t right about your energy bill, especially when estimated billing is used, then lodging a business energy provider complaint is what you do. You can make a complaint to the energy company or about them. But, if you’re having problems with your gas or electricity supplier, bring it up with them first. This gives them a chance to fix things if they can.

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If your energy bill is much higher than expected, you’re well within your right to query this. Overcharging can happen for a number of reasons but you don’t have to pay for mistakes.

Poor customer service

Customers always come first. If you’re experiencing poor customer service, such as slow response times, you could consider lodging a complaint to the energy supplier.

Not receiving energy bills

If you haven’t been getting your bills then you can easily fall behind on payments. This could then lead to debt and recovery action.

Problems with your account

Make a complaint if you’re experiencing issues such as not being able to log into your account or your account number having incorrect details associated with it.

Late or inaccurate energy bills

Late bills can be just as bad as not receiving bills. If they keep coming late, report this issue.

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How Can I Make A Complaint?

Having problems with your energy supplier can make you want to rush to make a complaint. While you have the right to do so, it’s important to gather evidence, contact your supplier, and follow up, as required. If you’ve gone through your energy supplier’s complaints procedure, you can then escalate the issue to the Energy Ombudsman.

What Do I Need To Make A Complaint?

  • Name on the bill and energy account number: These details are needed to identify your account.
  • Photos of the meter: If your complaint involves your meter or billing, take photos of the meter and note the latest reading.
  • Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) and Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN): These numbers are important for identifying your gas and electricity meters.
  • Copies of unusual bills: Keep copies of any bills that seem unusual or incorrect.
  • Previous email or phone correspondence evidence: Record the dates, times, and names of any representatives you’ve spoken to since you last spoke to your supplier. Keep copies of all emails and responses.
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Who Can I Make A Complaint To About My Energy Provider?

Always talk to your energy supplier first, giving them a maximum of eight weeks to respond. Phone calls may get through but keep your correspondence to email as much as possible. If they haven’t responded after eight weeks, try contacting Citizens Advice for guidance or comparing supplier performance via their table.

Small businesses can get in touch with the Energy Ombudsman. They handle issues such back billing errors, the wrong amount on a bill, and poor customer service. You should easily find contact details on the Energy Ombudsman service site. Do note that Energy Ombudsman doesn’t handle LPG or pricing issues. Also, you have to contact the Energy Ombudsman within 12 months of receiving a deadlock letter.

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How Much Does It Cost To Get My Meter Tested?

Meter tests are free. But, you might have to pay an energy supplier for organising if they find that you’re meter is working correctly. So, only go for this option if you’re absolutely sure that’s something not right with your meter.

Switch Business Energy Suppliers With Business Energy Comparison

Wrapping your head around everything to do with business energy can be a cumbersome task. This is particularly true for SMEs and large businesses that need a lot of energy to function. Luckily, that’s where Business Energy Comparison comes in. We take all the boring energy topics and turn them into digestible sources tailored to your business’s utilities, industry, and general needs.

From breaking down the Energy Price Guarantee to giving you tips on how to become more energy efficient. We give you everything you need to make informed decisions about your energy consumption. But, that’s not all we offer.

We also have a handy comparison tool that lets you compare business gas and electricity prices from the UK’s leading energy companies, in just a few clicks. So, take control of your business energy and never be overcharged again. Start your journey with Business Energy Comparison today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can energy companies overcharge you?

Yes, they can overcharge you, but they shouldn’t. A supplier will typically overcharge a business when making estimated billing or a general billing error like adding an extra zero to a number. In this sense, regular meter readings, checking bills, and having an accountant can help prevent overcharging.

Do you pay more for business electricity?

Yes. You’ll find business gas and electricity rates to be much higher because of how much energy businesses consume and their different tariff structures. However, a business may easily reduce its energy bill by seeking out an alternative supplier, sourcing energy deals, or switching to greener energy solutions.

Is it easy to switch business energy suppliers?

Switching business energy suppliers can be a very straightforward process. But, the overall ease of the process depends on various factors like what type of contract you have and whether your account is up to date. It’ll also involve comparing supplier rates and how efficient your current supplier is at processing a request to switch.

How do I get out of my business energy contract?

To exit a business energy contract, thoroughly read your contract to familiarise yourself with the terms, if you haven’t already. Check if there’s an exit fee, as sometimes you might not want to incur this. Notify your supplier in writing of your intent to exit the contract, and be sure to do so within the notice period specified in the contract. Once you’ve done that they should follow up with further instructions.

If you’re unsure about an aspect of your contract, get in touch with a business energy consultant.

Do businesses qualify for the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG)?

No. The government introduced the Energy Bills Discount Scheme for everyone on a non-domestic energy supply contract. Eligible customers can get a per-unit discount on their energy bills during the 12-month period between April 2023 and March 2024.