What I Do As Your Energy Consultant

hamed adefuwa energy consultant

My job is more in-depth than you might expect. Initially, it is about educating myself about how the industry works and what all the different energy suppliers get up to. A significant part of it actually involves a lot of studying and learning what would be deemed “pointless” information to most.

My main role is to make the life of my customers easier. I will be the one that goes from supplier to supplier to get you the best possible prices for your business or home. It is all about saving you, the customer, time and money.

Why Choose To Work With An Energy Consultant?

Typically if you are doing this alone, it involves you spending a large part of your day calling supplier after supplier, listening to hold music and haggling with numerous salesmen. Working with an energy consultant, like myself, means that you only need to be dealing with one person who will be doing all the legwork for you. All you need to do is take your pick out of the prices I present you and away we go.

Due to the industry based relationship I have with these suppliers, it enables me to get you some of the best deals on the market. I am fortunate enough to work with nineteen different energy suppliers from a commercial stance, and three suppliers, as well as uSwitch, for my domestic customers. This allows me the freedom to compare prices with multiple suppliers on your behalf and in turn get you the best prices.

My Process

What I aim to do, so you are not overwhelmed with options, is give you a renewal price with your current supplier as well as the cheapest alternative on the market. That way you have a simple and easy decision to make without all the hassle.

Furthermore, as an energy consultant, I come across countless clients that are having an issue with their current supplier. As long as I have a letter of authority from you, that problem gets taken out of your hands into mine, and I can communicate directly with the supplier on your behalf to get the issue solved.

Finally, I have found that some customers can be a little apprehensive about working with an energy consultant due to their price being affected by the consultant’s commission. While it is fair to have this concern, my commission is not something I primarily focus on. My main aim has always been to get my customers the cheapest deals and save them as much money as possible on their energy bills. Now, believe me, this has not always gone down well working in a target and commission based industry. However, what I found it has done, is allow me to build a strong and loyal customer base, where it enables him to keep their business year in and year out.

My aim is not to make me the most commission but to make you the customer, the most savings.

[Featured Image Credit: brokeronlinexchange.com]

What Are Smart Meters? Should I Get One

smart meters ovo

Smart meters are a new gas and electricity meters that have been developed as part of a government scheme in Britain

A smart meter can automatically send daily meter readings to your supplier, which means your bills will be more accurate for your energy usage .

You don’t have to pay upfront to have a smart meter installed – they are paid for through your energy bills.

A smart meter won’t automatically save you money – you’ll have to be proactive to reduce your energy costs. One of the most efficient ways to do this is to use the digital ‘in-home’ display that you’ll be offered with a smart meter that tracks how much energy you’re using. That way , you can then try to reduce it.

When you’ll get a smart meter

Most energy suppliers will start offering smart meters from Autumn 2016, although some are offering them earlier.

Your supplier should contact you to tell you exactly when you can get one. If they don’t, you can contact them to ask when it’ll be possible .

Want one earlier?

You can contact your supplier to see whether they’ll install one in your home now, but they don’t have to.

You might want to shop around and see if any other suppliers can offer you one. If they do, you’ll need to switch supplier.

Be careful about asking for one early because some suppliers are not ready to install smart meters that comply with government standards (known as ‘SMETS-compliant’), but are offering similar products. These are sometimes referred to as ‘advanced meters’. If you end up getting one of these you might not get the same tools or services a smart meter has, and you’ll probably have to upgrade to a smart meter in the long run .

Ask the supplier if the smart meter they’re offering is SMETS compliant – if it’s not, it might be best to wait or speak to other suppliers.

Refusing a smart meter

You don’t have to accept a smart meter if you don’t want one. If your supplier tells you that you must have one installed, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.

If you refuse one, you might find it hard to access certain tariffs. This is because in future the cheaper tariffs offered by suppliers might only be available to customers with smart meters.

One option is to have a smart meter installed but ask for its ‘smart’ function to be switched off – this means it’ll work in the same way as an ordinary meter, but won’t send any information to your supplier. You can then easily turn the functionality back on at a later stage.

If you’re worried about your meter sending daily meter readings to your supplier, you can choose to opt-out and only send one reading a month (this is the minimum your supplier will need to be able to bill you).

Your supplier might want to collect more detailed information than daily meter readings. They must get your permission to be able to do this.

Switching supplier

Once you have a smart meter, you’ll still be able to switch energy supplier as before.

However, some energy companies haven’t started installing smart meters yet. If you switch to one of these suppliers, you might lose your smart meter’s functionality. For example, you may have to start submitting meter readings again. This would stop once the supplier eventually introduced smart meters to their customers.

You should check with the supplier to make sure they currently offer smart meters before you switch.

Suppliers can’t refuse to supply you with energy because you have a smart meter.
If you’re told by a supplier that you can’t switch supplier because you have a smart meter, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.

Get help

Smart Energy GB has more information about the benefits of smart meters and how they should be installed.

[Featured Image Credit: www.ovoenergy.com]

British Gas Losing Customers Fast

british gas experience drop in profits

British Gas from a consultant’s point of view is great. They’re easy to deal with, have lots of staff so any of my customers that have problems, I can get the problem solved quick and painlessly. However, they do have many problems and they have done for years but considering their size and market share – they have not been bothered. Maybe it’s time they start taking notice.

In the last six months, British Gas has lost nearly 400,000 home customers. This has meant a 7% drop in profits. Not that that really has an effect on their overall profits; with that 7% drop in profits, their profits were still a colossal £516m over six months. Centrica, the company which own British Gas, have blamed the drop in customers on a “competitive environment” and the fact that long-term contracts have now become a thing of the past.

Centrica said that they expected some short-term impact on their profits due to the Brexit vote but they only expected it to be limited. Like all other companies, there is some ambiguity with regards to how much damage will be done and what will happen once we eventually leave Europe.

Centrica said earlier this month;

“However, the result creates general uncertainty which adds to challenges for UK businesses in all sectors, with implementation plans as yet unclear.”

“The UK is now a major energy importer and what happens in the European energy market will ultimately impact energy consumers in the UK. We will continue to engage with the UK Government and the European Commission as we move forward.”

Centrica also points to their decision to drop their home energy prices by 5%. They were actually the last of the ‘Big 6’ to drop their prices thus they lost a few customers to their competitors who dropped their prices earlier.

The company also said it has made some major savings by cutting their costs this year as a part of a plan to save £750m by 2020. They have managed a £141m drop in costs in the first half of this year by cutting 6,000 jobs with a further 3,000 being cut by the end of the year.

Their chief executive said:

“The first half of the year has been demanding for Centrica, but the response has been strong and I am encouraged by the progress we have made.”

“I remain confident in our ability to deliver both attractive returns and underlying cash flow growth, as we continue to implement our strategy.”