Energy & Communications – Are You Buying Wisely?


On your bill you can find almost all of the information required to allow someone to tender for your supply. Each property is given a reference code, which identifies the usage and location of the meter. This is know as your MPAN Number. It may start 03, 04 all the way to 08. As a general rule the higher the number the higher the usage. If your MPAN Number starts 01 or 02 then your premises are classed as domestic properties. If your MPAN starts 00 then your are classed in the highest category for business electricity use.

Also beside or underneath your MPAN number should be your Tariff description, i.e. Business Standard or Q3 Standard.

Now you know what you are, you need to find out how much your paying. This is broken down into two sections, Standing Charge and Unit Price (kWh). Some meters may have more than one unit price depending on your tariff as you may use your electricity more heavily in the evening or weekend or both.

Once you know how much you pay as a standing charge and your unit rates you will also need to work out approximately how much electricity (kWh) you have used over the last 12 months, e.g. 430,000 kWh.

Armed with all this information you can now get accurate quotes from the electricity companies who will offer you prices and a contract length of between 1-5 years. It is important to note that a contract may not always guarantee your prices as the electricity company can raise the price if necessary. However they will ask if you object to this and if you do then on the anniversary of your contract period you will revert to your original supplier or have to tender for a new supplier. This has not happened to any of my clients but is worth noting before a salesman tries to get you to sign a five year contract claiming “prices are going to go up, sign here and you won’t be affected”.

As a good rule I normally recommend a contract between 1-3 years depending on the client and their future business needs.

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