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Energy Advice During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ricky Gawera
Energy Advice During the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the most recent Government developments regarding COVID-19, Era Energy wishes to provide an update and some helpful tips to our customers or anyone affected.

If you are having to, or thinking of, closing your business due to Covid-19:

It is not something any business wants to do, and Era Energy really do hope that it isn’t for long. This situation is unprecedented and hope we can all remain resilient through these testing times.

If you are forced to close we advise you do the following:

  1. Provide your Utility company with an up-to-date meter reading of both gas and electricity – this is to ensure your bill is accurate, that way you will avoid paying any overestimated bills. if you have a smart meter then this wouldn’t apply to you. You can submit a meter read through your energy provider's website.
     
  2. Turn your thermostats down or off completely while the property is vacant. You do not want an unexpected bill for keeping an empty property warm (if there is no reason not to).
     
  3. If you are a business & finding it hard to pay your bills, the government has published advice on support for businesses, including available grants. While there is support in the form of grants and loans, most - if not all - utility providers will offer some sort of payment plan, usually without any penalty or interest. Pick up the phone or email and explain your situation, work out what you can afford before contacting and propose this to your energy provider.
     
  4. If your current gas or electricity contract has ended or is close to expiring in the next few weeks/months, some simple steps will help you avoid any unexpected high bills:
  • Know your end date, this can normally be found on your bill, if not you can check your account online.
  • Failure to renegotiate or switch to a new supplier means you have been rolled over to out of contract or deemed rates. These rates can be up to 50% more than being in contract.
  • Speak to an energy consultant who can compare the market and provide you with expert advice in these uncertain and confusing times. Energy consultants can renew or find new tariff rates 12 months in advance but it’s never too early to review your invoices and gain advice.

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     5. If you are looking to switch suppliers during these next few weeks, please be aware that there have been a few changes with some energy companies not taking on new contracts and there have also been changes to credit scoring policies, mainly affecting pubs/clubs/restaurants. Below are the changes so far:

Ecotricity have announced that due to the current climate involving CoronaVirus, they are moving their minimum start dates out, contracts to 42 Days for Gas & 21 Days on Electricity.

ScottishPower would like to reassure you that they will continue to take on new SME business. However, in order to support this, they have taken the difficult decision to review their Credit Risk Policy.

Effective from Friday 27th March, the following applies to all new business:

  • Credit score for acquisitions is now 26 for most types of businesses; however, for Pubs, Clubs, Restaurants & Takeaways it is 31.
  • No change to Special Organisations; credit score of 16.
  • No change to Quarterly Direct Debit credit score at 81.
  • There will be no changes for renewals.

Gazprom have decided to temporarily suspend new business sales for SME and Mid-Market customers so their team can focus on looking after existing customers as much as possible.

Utilita are no longer accepting new business, however, they will accept renewals.

British Gas Lite will no longer accept contracts for the below business types;

  •  Bars
  • Pubs 
  • Clubs 
  • Restaurants

EDF - Due to the current uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 (Coronavirus), they have unfortunately had to take the decision to revise their credit policy for SME customers.

As of 18th March, the credit rules for Acquisition and Renewal will be:

•    0-24 – no contract offered
•    25 – 49/1111 DD only
•    Over 50 any payment type

Announcement from Total Gas and Power:

This applies to both Renewal and New Business - TGP is no longer available for sites starting BEFORE October 2020. Anything post-October 2020 will be OK to price as things stand. This will be reviewed as we learn more about the development of the Virus.

Lastly Era Energy are here to help, please call or email for any help or advice, big or small, at no charge! Open Mon-Fri - 9am-6pm:

Tel: 0116 4888 758
Email: Info@eraenergy.co.uk
www.eraenergy.co.uk

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