Over the past 12 months energy prices have skyrocketed as a result of the supply and demand of gas. This soar in energy prices has had a huge impact on both domestic and non-domestic properties, for both individuals and businesses. Everything is currently pointing towards energy prices going up in 2023, although nothing is certain. Fixing your energy prices for 2023 is the best way to reduce the risk of being affected by any potential price hikes, allowing for stable monthly budgeting.
Why is the price of energy going up?
Energy prices are going up due to an accumulation of reasons. As countries began to emerge from the pandemic, there was a demand for energy that could not be met. The shortage of gas has caused wholesale prices to go up, which in turn has led energy suppliers to increase their rates in order to cover the extra costs, resulting in higher energy bills for users. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine further threatened supplies, driving prices up even further, only adding to the impact of energy prices on people and businesses. The UK’s high gas and electricity usage and, and lower storage capacity, has caused it to be hit harder than other nations.
What can I do to fix my business energy rate?
The government recently introduced the Energy Bill Relief Scheme to help business owners with the increasing energy prices. The Energy Bill Relief Scheme is designed to give all businesses a discount on their energy bills for the next six months. This new scheme will fix wholesale electricity prices at £211 per megawatt hour (MWh), and wholesale gas prices at £75 per MWh for six months. One of the main takeaways from the announcement was that it will be working with suppliers to ensure that all businesses can switch to a fixed energy rate while the scheme is in place.
Businesses that are currently on a different type of contract such as deemed or variable, will benefit from being on a fixed rate tariff. Fixing your rates is the only possible way to guarantee you know what you’ll be paying for a certain period.
Is it worth fixing my energy price?
If your business’s fixed tariff is due to expire, and you’re unable to find a cheaper alternative, you will want to avoid being put on a variable tariff. Although there is no guarantee whether prices will increase or decrease in 2023, opting to fix your energy price will provide bill stability and avoid any upcoming hikes.
You’ll be able to lock in a fixed amount and protect yourself from price hikes, allowing you to take control of your monthly spend and budget. If market conditions are good and you shop around, a fixed-rate tariff will be better value than a variable-rate one.
The con of fixing your energy price is that fixed-rate tariffs are dependent on the conditions of the energy markets, so there is always a chance that energy prices will drop in 2023, which could leave you paying a premium price.
Ultimately the decision to fix your energy price is yours, factoring in the pros and cons of doing so. There are other things to consider that might affect your decision, such as other outgoings for example premises rent, insurance etc, and the overall need for your business.
Troo can not only help provide information and insight that you might need when making decisions that affect your business energy costs, we can also help business owners get fairer priced energy through our broker service.
Business owners have genuine concerns over the current energy market and the effect it is having on their ability to run and maintain their business.
The package of support provided by the government is designed to help businesses manage the impact of predicted wholesale energy price rises throughout this winter.
The scheme will run from 1st October 2022 – 31st March 2023 across Great Britain, and the government will provide a discount on usage over this period for qualifying business.
However, it is important to understand that the scheme will not be applicable to all businesses.
To qualify for the scheme and benefit from the support package, 2 criteria must be met.
- The scheme will be available to everyone on a non-domestic contract including:
voluntary sector organisations, such as charities
public sector organisations such as schools, hospitals and care homes
- The scheme will be available to everyone on the following contracts and rates:
on existing fixed price contracts that were agreed on or after 1 April 2022
on deemed / out of contract or variable tariffs
on flexible purchase or similar contracts
What help does the scheme give?
The EBRS scheme applies to the wholesale element of your bill. The chart shows the
approximate portion this equates to for gas and electricity. It is this element that discount will be applied automatically by your supplier.
For customers on fixed priced contracts, the discount will be the difference between the Government supported prices for the wholesale costs (21.1p/kWh for electricity and 7.5p/kWh for gas) and the relevant wholesale price based on when the contract was agreed.
As this discount is on the wholesale rate element only, it does not mean the unit rate will be 21p/kWh.
All other elements of the bill will be applied as normal.
Want to know more?
Download our comprehensive factsheet on the scheme here:
It isn’t always easy to get your head around all the green energy solutions out there on the market. From green energy contracts to smart technology to basic energy efficiency changes, it’s hard to know where to start. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
Just a few years ago, green business energy contracts were not common. Now, it’s a different story. More and more businesses want to do their bit for the environment – because their customers are demanding it.
Green energy has also become more available. The National Grid has made substantial infrastructure improvements and the UK is now using more renewable energy than at any point in the past. That renewable energy comes from the UK’s own wind and solar farms. It also comes from Europe, thanks to the interconnectors between the UK and the continent.
Increased demand and increased supply have successfully driven down prices. Businesses with green energy contracts no longer pay a premium for their energy.
Now, there are a number of green energy suppliers operating in the UK. Every single energy contract they sell is green. Suppliers like Ørsted build and operate windfarms and then supply that renewable energy to business customers in the UK. Even the Big Six energy suppliers are getting in on the game, with at least three of them offering contracts that boast 100% renewable energy.
There are lots of different smart technologies available on the market now, and they can all help you save energy. For example, we recently took a look at the pros and cons of a smart thermostat in your small business. A smart thermostat can help you save energy (and money) in your business by helping you to regulate and monitor your heating, 24/7.
Beyond thermostats, there are a wide range of smart technologies that can help you save money in your business, including things like smart lightbulbs and motion sensors.
Motion sensors are particularly useful for businesses. These sensors detect motion and turn lights on and off automatically in response to your presence. Instead of keeping lights on all day with a single, traditional switch, your lighting can function on demand. Some sensors also detect natural light levels and adjust their brightness to match, helping you to save even more energy.
Updating your lighting systems is often one of the quickest ways to save energy in your business. These projects usually have the shortest payback periods, too.
Energy Efficiency Improvements
There are plenty of other ways to save energy at work, even if you can’t invest in smart technology and it isn’t time to switch your energy contract. Making small, practical changes can have a big impact on your bills, and they are a great way to get started when it comes to energy efficiency.
CHECK TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR RADIATORS AREN’T BLOCKED BY OFFICE FURNITURE.
If they are, it’s time to rearrange your office. Keeping your radiators free of obstruction allows heat to flow around the room more efficiently, allowing you to turn down your thermostat.
CLEAN YOUR WINDOWS TO MAKE THE MOST OF NATURAL LIGHT.
We all dust the shelves and hoover the floors, but when was the last time you washed the windows and cleaned the lights? Maximise your natural light to reduce your reliance on artificial lighting and keep lights turned off for longer.
TURN THE HEATING OFF IN SPACES THAT AREN’T USED REGULARLY.
Restrooms, corridors, and kitchens aren’t occupied for hours every day, so turn the radiators down or even turn them off to save money.
How to Prioritise:
Once you know what kind of green energy solutions are available to your business, you need to prioritise. Here’s how to tackle it:
1. Find out when your business energy contract will end and start looking for a new green energy contract three to six months before that date. It might mean switching to a new business energy supplier. Switching is simple and doesn’t cost you anything – in fact, it will often help you save money.
2. Analyse your business and identify all the ways you can be more energy efficient without investing in smart technologies. Then put them into practice.
3. Look at what kind of smart technologies are available on the market. Can they help your business be more efficient? This is also the time to find out if there are any grants or funding for small businesses trying to be more energy efficient. It’s always worth checking with your business energy supplier, as some of them may be able to help.
Making a few simple changes now can help you make some serious long-term energy savings, and that’s something to take seriously as we face up to the tough times ahead.
Have you ever thought about installing a smart thermostat at work? We take a look at the pros and cons of a smart thermostat in your business.
There are plenty of pros and cons to a smart thermostat, especially when it comes to installing one in your small business. A smart thermostat connects to the internet and allows you to monitor your heating on the move, using your phone, tablet, or other devices. In theory, being able to keep a constant eye on your heating helps you use less energy and save money on your gas bills.
But smart thermostats aren’t cheap to install, especially for small businesses contending with Covid-19. So are they worth it? We take a look at all the pros and cons of a smart thermostat in your business.
What is a smart thermostat?
First, the basics. A smart thermostat connects to the internet and allows you to monitor and control your heating on your phone, tablet and other devices, usually through an app or a website.
It is not the same as a smart meter, which connects to the internet and sends your meter readings to your energy supplier. A smart meter is usually installed for free by your energy supplier and can affect any energy switching you do in the future.
Unlike a smart meter, a smart thermostat is entirely under your control. You buy it yourself, arrange the installation yourself, and it has no impact on your ability to switch your business energy supplier.
The pros and cons of a smart thermostat in your business
1. Smart thermostats allow you to automate your heating schedule
Even traditional thermostats allow you to automate your heating system, so what makes smart thermostats so special? We’ve already mentioned that smart thermostats allow you to automate your heating schedule from your phone, tablet and other devices.
But more than that, smart thermostats allow you to be much more flexible and granular in your schedule. For example, Hive allows you to adjust your heating in five-minute increments, hour by hour, day by day. That means you can set your heating to come on at 21C at 7.35am on Tuesday, and at 19C at 6.05am on Wednesday, and so on. You can really vary your schedule according to your needs, something you can’t do with a traditional thermostat.
This is a major benefit if your business operates flexibly and your team are in and out of the office at different times every day. It’s an even bigger benefit now that so many of us are working from home so much and going into the office every now and then.
2. You can monitor your energy use with a smart thermostat
Most smart thermostats provide an app that you can use to monitor your heating on your devices. These apps tell you your thermostat’s temperature setting. But did you know that some of these apps also show you the ambient temperature in your workplace, too?
This means that you can see when your office has reached the right temperature, so you know not to increase your heating (and your energy bills).
3. A smart thermostat can help you use energy more efficiently
You can be more energy efficient at work just by really making use of your smart thermostat’s flexibility, so you aren’t heating your workplace when you know there’s nobody there. But some thermostats will also send you alerts when your workplace is too warm, allowing you to turn your heating down. Some will also let you know when the thermostat detects draughts, so you can close windows and doors and stop wasting heat.
1. Smart thermostats aren’t 100% reliable
No technology is 100% reliable and smart thermostats are no different. The functionality is entirely dependent on your internet connection, so if your internet is a bit dodgy and prone to outages, your smart thermostat won’t operate at its best.
The thermostats themselves can also catch you out. For instance, if the batteries in your thermostat die, you may not notice for a couple of days if you don’t check your app regularly.
Sometimes the device that connects to your boiler can go offline and needs to be rebooted and, again, you may not notice immediately.
It’s not a major problem, but when you get caught out on a chilly day, it can be annoying.
2. Smart thermostats are expensive to install (and don’t always save you money)
Many smart thermostats cost in excess of £200 to purchase and install. Under normal circumstances, this figure probably wouldn’t be too off-putting for most businesses. But after months of Covid-19, lockdown and difficult trading conditions, many small businesses might consider that figure beyond they reach.
Beware, too, any claims you see about smart thermostats and saving money on your bills. While they will definitely help some businesses save money by helping them to reduce their energy use, as usual the best and most effective way to make real savings on your energy bills is to switch your business energy supplier.
3. Following through on the smart thermostat information takes commitment
Smart thermostats give you a lot of information on how you use energy and how you can use it more efficiently. But following through on that information well enough to actually make savings takes some serious time and effort. That kind of time investment simply won’t make sense for every business.
Are smart thermostats worth it?
There are so many pros and cons to a smart thermostat in your business that it’s hard to say. On balance, if your business runs flexibly and you need the powerful scheduling functionality that a smart thermostat offers, it’s probably worth the investment. But if your business operates with fixed hours and your team works fixed shifts, you can probably make do with your traditional thermostat.
One thing is certain: if you’re looking to make savings on your business energy bills, the best way is to shop around and switch to a cheaper energy supplier. We’re happy to help – give us a call on 0808 164 2222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a callback from one of our business energy experts.
What buildings need a certificate?
All buildings meeting the following criteria require a Display Energy Certificated:
- All buildings over 250 square meters.
- Buildings visited by the public.
- Buildings partially occupied by a public authority.
If you meet the above criteria a Display Energy Certificate is a legal requirement , but you’ll find it also has other benefits including:
Awareness of Energy Use.
- A Display Energy Certificate is based on the amount of energy the meter uses in the building over the previous twelve months.
- A Display Energy Certificate shows where the most energy is being consumed in a building.
- In the long term this helps organisations prepare for helping the UK Government reach its net-zero emissions target by 2050.
- The organisation will be able to identify where they can start to reduce their carbon emissions.
- Getting your staff involved can also help with energy efficiency.
Improve environmental social and governance accountability.
- Placing a Display Energy Certificate in a place that is clearly visible to the public shows how energy efficient your building is.
- If your property has a good Display Energy Certificate rating, you can increase your organisation’s Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG reporting.
- The Display Energy Certificate is accompanied by an Advisory Report. An Advisory Report this highlights recommendations to improve the energy performance of the building.
- The fine for failure display your Display Energy Certificate is £500. A further fine of £500 is incurred if you front obtain an advisory report.
- Ensuring compliance with the legislation will help your organisation to avoid fines.
- If your Display Energy Certificate is out of date or you do not have one, your local authority will give a deadline. This will allow you to resolve any issues.
How long is it valid for?
- If the building is more than 250 square meters but under 1000 square meters a Display Energy Certificate is valid for ten years.
- If the building is larger than 1000 square meters a Display Energy Certificate is valid for one year. The advisory report is valid for seven years.
- You will find the expiration date of your Display Certificate in the bottom right section entitled “additional information.”
How do businesses know if they are compliant?
Troo can help you check your Display Energy Certificate status and whether it is valid and in-date quickly. Give our team a call on 0808 164 2222
Many businesses now have smart electricity meters that will send meter readings from your business directly to your supplier. If you do not have a smart reader it is important to know how to read your electricity meter manually. Read on to find out how:
Single rate electricity meter:
The single-rate electricity meter is a small, white meter. The display is straightforward with one set of numbers that are digitally displayed across the meter. Reading from left to right, write down the first five numbers you see including any zeros, and ignore any numbers after the decimal point, or which may show in red.
Two-rate/electronic electricity meter:
The two-rate electricity meter is very similar to the single rate meter. The main difference being there are two rows of numbers.
Looking from left to right, make note of the first five digits in each row including any zeros, and ignore any numbers after the decimal point, or which may be shown in red. For the electronic meter just press the blue button to change the screen display.
Make sure you write down all the numbers from left to right, including any zeros but ignoring any after the decimal points. Remember, when you submit your business electricity meter readings to your supplier you will need to provide two separate readings. Be sure to know which reading is which so you give your supplier the right readings for the right meter.
Dial rate electricity meter:
At first glance, the dial rate meter looks like a confusing and complicated arrangement of dials, but it’s much easier to read than you may think. When looking at the meter, you’ll see six different circular dials.
To accurately read the meter, you need only pay attention to the first five dials. (the sixth dial is usually red in colour – you can ignore this dial).
Reading the dials from left to right, make a note of the number that each pointer is aimed towards.
If the dial is pointing between two different numbers, write down the lowest of the two numbers to ensure greater accuracy.
We can help you
Remember as part of having Troo on your side, you will automatically receive first-class customer service from our Troo assure team. So, if reading the meter gets a little too much for you, or you would like to run the meter reading by us before sending it across to your supplier. Please give our team a call on 0808 164 2222.
Find out where you’re wasting energy by carrying out an energy audit.
Here at Troo, we talk about energy audits a lot. That’s because they’re a fantastic way to kickstart your energy efficiency efforts in the workplace. They help you understand how you’re using energy and how you’re wasting it. They also help you figure out how to stop wasting energy, so you can save more money.
Instead of asking ‘Why do an energy audit?’, you should really be asking why you wouldn’t. We’re such big fans of energy audits, we even put together a guide to DIY energy audits for microbusinesses.
What is an energy audit?
An energy audit is a survey of your business. It analyses how you use energy and tells you where you’re wasting it. It also helps you work out how you can boost your energy efficiency and make savings. Energy audits are usually carried out by qualified energy assessors. Your energy assessor will visit your business and check things like:
- Your lighting fixtures and switches
- Your air conditioning and heating systems
- Equipment used in business operations, for example PCs and vending machines
- Roof and wall insulation
- Windows and door fittings
These are just a few of the things your energy assessor will analyse when carrying out an energy audit. How long this process takes depends on the size of your business. If you’re operating in a single building, it might take one or two days. If your business is spread out across different locations, it could take a lot longer.
Why do an energy audit?
Energy audits are about more than spotting all the ways you’re wasting energy (and money). They also help you find ways to stop that waste. After the initial survey, your energy assessor will put together an in-depth report into how your business uses energy. It will highlight some key areas for improvement and should provide you with estimated payback periods for each measure.
A payback period is the amount of time it takes to recover the cost of your investment through efficiency savings.
Key things to look out for.
Energy assessors typically look for quick wins: changes to your business that can be implemented quickly and at relatively low cost, with shorter payback periods. Lighting upgrades are often the quickest way to start saving, especially when combined with motion and light level sensors.
An energy audit report will also highlight any changes you could make to windows, insulation, and your heating systems. These recommendations are not always based on upgrades, and they often recommend changes to how equipment is used and operated. For example, your energy assessor might recommend switching off your heating system in parts of your premises that aren’t regularly used.
Get help with your energy audit and start saving on your business energy costs.
Kickstart your energy efficiency drive and give your business a boost! Book a callback from our team today.
Energy is often one of the highest costs for businesses, but what drives energy efficiency in your company. You may be surprised just how much energy your workplace wastes in a day. Every business will notice an increase in its energy costs during the winter months.
Many small business owners believe that improving energy efficiency is the fastest, least expensive, and most significant single solution for saving energy and money.
To ensure that your energy costs are kept to a minimum, it is helpful to educate your staff to use only the energy needed and no more.
There are lots of ways to save energy and become energy efficient. However, the most straightforward and most effective manner for many businesses to save energy is to change the behaviour of their staff.
Are your staff aware of what are the most significant energy-draining habits are in the workplace? Let your staff know what they can do to help reduce the cost of energy and become more energy-efficient. It all works towards being on track to meet the net-zero government target by 2050.
These usually involve failing to turn off the computers overnight and leaving windows open when heating is on. When people understand why they are doing something new and why they are doing it, they are less likely to push back against new procedures.
How to get employees engaged in energy efficiency
The key is to engage as many of the team as possible toward energy efficiency in your workplace. Change can be a challenge for some employees, so we recommend presenting it as a positive change. Here are some ways to begin saving energy at work:
Many businesses are still printing many documents. By promoting paperless working, the amount of energy saved by reducing printer usage can cut your electricity bill significantly. Going paperless is a way of showing the business is proactively taking steps to become more environmentally friendly too.
Publish an official energy policy
It might help existing staff and future employees to have an energy-saving policy outlining exactly how the business plans to improve its efficiency. The document will detail how the company currently makes energy savings and the responsibilities of the staff. Having this readily available for staff helps with implementation. The good idea is to post it on an internal bulletin board and include it in any training or staff inductions.
Appoint an energy champion
Empower your employees by appointing an energy champion. It could be a single member or a group responsible for improving awareness of energy efficiency around the business. It’s also a good idea to have your appointed energy champion produce informal monthly reports. This shows staff any changes and improvements that have been over the cause of the month. Actions speak louder than words.
With the ever-rising costs and carbon reduction deadlines, the energy you don’t use is the cheapest. Troo insight is a fantastic energy management tool detailing when and where you consume energy. It is an essential tool to drive down energy usage and, ultimately, cost. It allows users to assess, manage and monitor their utility usage 24/7, whether with one site or multiple. Troo insight reports can also be accessed from a desktop or mobile device. Making the reports public in your organisation will help staff see where waste lies and what can be done to tackle it.
The old mantra rings true, you cannot manage what you cannot measure. Troo insight shines a torch on your energy usage and costs. Given the ever-increasing costs of energy and reduction in usage is by far the best way to control costs and minimise environmental impact.
To book your free demo or have a general chat on how you can increase energy efficiency, contact the energy team on 0808 164 2222
A lot of business owners are asking what is ESG and what does it mean for my business? The following is a guide to help you through the concept, what it is and how Troo can help.
What is ESG?
ESG stands for environmental, social and governance. It sets out the criteria on which the company is operating and managed. Everything is measured against a sustainability yardstick. It’s an evaluation of an organisation’s collective conscientiousness for social and environmental factors. The data is collected and collated to form a score as a basis of measurement. Looking at each part:
Environmental criteria may include a company’s energy use, pollution, waste, renewables etc. The measurements may include issues like how an organisation disposes of its waste products, how much of its energy is renewable, how it deals with toxic emissions.
Social typically refers to how an organisation interacts with its partners and business relationships. For example, does the supplier base hold the same values as the company? Does the organisation interact with the local community or encourage volunteer work? How are the organisation’s stakeholders consulted and their opinions considered? Is the health and safety of the staff a prime concern?
How is the organisation run? What governance measures are in place? Is the organisation ethical, is it in tune with best practices and open regarding its corporate affairs?
So what does this mean for you as an organisation? ESG concerns have simply been seen as a signal of organisations caring credentials. This was typically all wrapped up under the badge of “corporate responsibility”. Increasingly now these measures are increasingly seen as a fundamental part of an organisation’s success and a benchmark of sustainable business.
ESG concerns have come to the fore in the realm of raising business finance. Environmental, social, and governance concerns are now significant indicators of future performance and business sustainability for potential investors and can not be ignored.
How Troo can help
Measurement is a crucial part of managing. At Troo, we have the experience and expertise to help you measure and manage some of the key features around your ESG score. Be it looking at renewable sources of energy, measuring and managing your carbon footprint, or how can you reduce your energy consumption, we are here to help.
Our cutting edge reporting tool, allows you full visibility on what you use and when. The reporting functionality displays your carbon footprint allowing you to target measure and reduce your carbon footprint and reach your own ESG targets.
Our team is at hand to help you through your carbon neutral journey and discuss how we can help you hit your ESG targets and reduce costs. Call now on 08080 164 2222
Energy prices have been hitting the headlines. Wholesale prices have gone through the roof, putting some energy companies out of business. Not only is this causing turmoil throughout the industry it is also causing turmoil within people’s homes and businesses.
Why are electricity and gas prices rising?
The UK’s, and European, gas storage levels have been at historic low levels.
Both Europe and Asia last year faced a long and cold winter which resulted in more gas being consumed than expected. Maintenance issues in the North Sea, less gas supply from Russia, and low solar and wind generation mean there is less to go around.
Why are energy companies going bust?
Energy companies buy their energy in advance, it’s called hedging. Buying energy in bulk in advance helps reduce risk; wholesale prices may go up and down.
However, if a company has already bought enough energy, it can weather the storm and walk the line between turning a profit and staying competitive.
What do I need to do when my supplier stops trading?
Firstly, take a meter reading. Please click the link to see how to read your meter https://www.troocost.com/uncategorized/business-electricity-meter-reading-guide/
It will help with your final bill for your old supplier and means you’ll start your new account with the correct readings. You can also download your bills and check your balance to see if you’re in credit. Apart from that, you don’t need to do anything.
You will be contacted by your new supplier once you have been moved.
Will my power be cut off?
No, your power won’t be cut off. Ofgem simply moves you to a new supplier.
Will I be put on a new tariff?
Your old tariff with the supplier in question will probably end, and you’ll be set up on a new one. New suppliers will send you all the details, including how much you’re paying and when the contract ends. They’re not allowed to charge you an exit fee if you decide to switch, so it’s worth shopping around.
Will my energy bills go up?
Unfortunately, it’s likely your bills will go up, especially if your old supplier was selling energy too cheap. You can get in touch with your new supplier and ask to be put on their cheapest tariff. Or you can shop around to see if you can find something cheaper elsewhere. If, however you decide to go with a different supplier other than the one Ofgem has chosen for you, you won’t be charged an exit fee.
Should I cancel my direct debit?
Ofgem’s advice is you don’t need to cancel your direct debit as you could be at risk of building up debt. If you are in credit with your supplier, your money is protected, and any new supplier may not need to take any payments for a while. If you are in debt direct debits will continue.
Will my credit move with me?
If you have built up credit with the supplier which ceased trading it is all protected.
If you have built credit this will either be transferred to your new contract or paid back to you. Your new supplier will let you know how they’re going to do it.
What happens if I have debt?
That depends on what your new supplier agrees with your old supplier. If your new supplier agrees to take on customer debt, you’ll pay them as your debt will be transferred over. If that’s not what they agree then you may need to pay your old supplier. Don’t worry- this is exactly the sort of thing your new supplier will resolve.
Let us take away the worry.
If this seems all too complicated and you have more pressing things to be getting on within your business. Why not let Troo help you out. Our team of energy experts are here to help answer any of your questions and give you guidance. Give our team a call on 0808 164 2222 today.