Decembers Gas Disaster – Prices Going Up!

forties pipeline

Brace yourself, things are getting a bit crazy with gas prices. We’ve seen in the last 24 hours some major problems. Mainstream media are always ready to bash energy companies over their high prices the reality is, it’s not always their fault.

Yesterday a Gas pipeline (known as Forties Pipeline) in the North Sea was closed due to fractures in the pipeline. This pipeline transfers around 40% of Britain’s Oil & Gas. It will be closed for at least a few weeks, which as you can imagine, will massively effect us.

Further to that, there was an explosion this morning (12th of December) on a Gas pipeline in Austria, which was one of the main pipelines to Western Europe.

Add to that, the coldest night of the year last night, the snow all over the place, many people staying at home. I’m going to have to advise you that now is THE WORST TIME to do a Gas contract.

If you’d like to know more or want to know when would be a good time to do your Gas, drop me an email at me@hamedadefuwa.co.uk and I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Bulb Energy – My Domestic Supplier of the Year

bulb webpage

With 2017 ending,  energy price caps looming, Brexit producing enough news for 10 years and winter bills rising – I figured I’d offer a little distraction. I hate to recommend a supplier I haven’t used or dealt with before so rest assured, I’ve been with Bulb Energy for near to 6 months and it’s been great.

Green energy and cheap unit rates, could you ask for anymore?

If you’re looking to save some money on your domestic (home) bills then I couldn’t recommend Bulb Energy enough. They will gladly boast to you that they are the number 1 energy supplier on Trust Pilot.

bulb energy trust pilot

The two founders, Hayden & Amit, made a big effort to simplify things for their customers and bring energy back to basics. They simply offer one tariff. It’s a variable tariff and a very cheap one at that. No exit fees. Infact they’ll pay your early exit fees for you if you switch to them.

I could go on but I’m sure you’re sold already but finally..

They offer both myself and yourself £50 credit when you join with them.

Please use this link below;

bulb.co.uk/refer/hamed3406

Price Cap – My Views

price cap hamed adefuwa

In light of the news of this new price cap, I have a question;

If you want to control the prices of energy, why not control the prices of rent, phone bills, internet, train prices?

Controlling markets don’t work well. Restricting prices will bring short term benefits and it will make people jump for joy for the duration of the cap. What happens behind the scenes and then the immediate impact once the cap ends will be devastating to the average Brit. I wonder what will happen to all those who jumped for joy when they’re monthly bill goes from £90 to £160. Ultimately it’s short term gain, long term pain.

Getting involved in this energy market will slow down competition between suppliers, stop customers from engaging with the market and throw innovation out the window.

The problem isn’t with prices, the problem with the market is people aren’t engaging their energy suppliers. They don’t care about saving £50 a year and when this occurs every year over 10 years; they’ve lost £3900 over that period.

I’m no expert and don’t really know how to solve this problem but trust me, the political guys suggesting this are doing it to win your vote and not because it’s best for you.

I’d probably recommend insulating homes, getting customers energy monitoring devices and educating them on how to use less energy. Shopping around to save 5% on your bill will never save you as much money as reducing your energy consumption by 5%.

 

Scottish Power & EON Scrap Standard Tariffs (Domestic)

ScottishPower

Energy companies are always caught up in the political mess, thrown to the dogs in my opinion, when it comes to “ripping off customers” and overcharging for electric and gas. The reality is this isn’t the case but we’ll discuss this another time. Since everyone has been talking about these price caps, energy companies are attempting to do something to stop the price cap.

As such EON first, and now Scottish Power have moved to scrap their standard variable tariff and now put people onto fixed price tariffs when their current one ends. This means that once your November 2017 tariff expires, you’ll be put onto a November 2018 tariff. What we’re unsure about is whether you will now be free to leave that tariff at any time for free or would you have to pay an exit fee to leave, I’d assume it’s the latter.

Is this good news, yes, however I’m sure prices will continue to rise and I doubt profit margins for these suppliers will get any bigger.

Time To Consider A Longer Contract

contracts

Time To Consider A Longer Contract

As with all things, energy prices go in cycles. I joined the energy sector in 2014 when the market was as low as it was in 2008. Clearly I joined at the lowest end of the cycle. You all remember in Winter 2015 when the petrol price per litre was 0.98p. Now were about 13% above that. The average price per kWh has increased by about the same in that period however for customers that use energy brokers, they really notice the difference.

Although the average price has only changed by 15%, the absolute bottom line price has changed drastically in two years. Since the EU referendum suppliers put their base prices up by 1-2% every month.

If you worked with me in 2015 you would have been on 8-10pence per kWh. Now the cheapest client I have is on 10.5pence p/kWh, with the average kWh being 12pence.

The question may arise, who’s to blame? If you’re interested give me a call and we can discuss why the Governments plan to have half hourly meters in every property, domestic or commercial in the next 5-7 years is both pointless and expensive for us.

Any ways let’s forget the blame game and look to what you can do about it. Gas keeps getting cheaper as technology becomes better, we’re able to store it more cost efficiently. So don’t fix that one for 5 years, I can almost guarantee I’ll beat your current gas price now.

Electricity on the other hand is a different fish. About 30% of electricity is made from Gas. Odd thought I know but it’s true, the cost of making electricity is cheaper but the cost of transporting it and meeting these ridiculous government regulations/plans costs stupid amounts of money. I’d very rarely beat your current electricity prices unless you got ripped off previously. I’d recommend going for a two or three year price. Of course the prices might come down, but I most certainly doubt it.

July Prices Update

background july 17

Prices Update as of 7th of July

Prices generally change on a month to month basis unless something major happens in the world of currency or oil. The month of July has seen the average prices of electricity going up and the average prices of gas going down.

In previous months, March – June, we saw prices fall but now that looks set to be back up on the rise.

I’ll update this with percentages once all the suppliers release their prices.

If you need anymore info just get hold of me on me@hamedadefuwa.co.uk

Energy Suppliers Updated So Far

Corona Energy 1.7% electricity decrease & 2.7% gas decrease.

British Gas – electricity increase & gas decrease (% unknown).

EON – 2% electricity increase & 0.5% gas increase.

Scottish Power – 1.43% electricity increase & 3.25% gas increase.

Crown Gas – 3.2% electricity & gas increase.

Gazprom – 1% electricity & gas increase.

Total Gas & Power – 0.08% electricity & gas increase.

Dual Energy – electricity & gas increase – no %’s released.

Npower – no increase/decrease information released, just indicated prices have changed.

Suppliers Contact Numbers & Emails

hamed adefuwa phone

We all need to contact suppliers at some point, whether it’s to ask a general question, make a complaint, solve a problem or just to shop around for prices. I will do my best to update these as and when I noticed changes or errors, although the smaller suppliers I’ll probably notice less often. If you notice and discrepancies leave a comment below and I’ll get it updated straight away. Thanks & enjoy!

Npower

For Business enquiries Mon-Fri 8.30am- 5.30pm – 0845 166 3360

Please note Npower charge for this line as it’s an 0845 number.

British Gas

Business MetersMon-Fri 8.00am-6.00pm, Sat 9.00am-1.00pm – 0800 107 3457

SSE

Business MetersMon-Fri 8.30am–5.00pm – 0345 725 2526

EON

For Business enquiries 8am-6pm Monday to Friday0333 202 4586

 

For large Corporate metersMonday to Thursday from 8.30am – 5pm and Friday 8.30am – 4pm – 02476 42 42 42

Choosing A Meter Operator

KFC in Darlington

Appointing a Meter Operator (MOP) should be the first thing you do after agreeing a half hourly contract. If you’re unsure as to whether you have a half-hourly meter you can email me and I’ll find out for you.

You need to have a MOP in place, which would look after the meters maintenance and sending all the usage data over to your current supplier.

I’ve compiled a list of some MOP’s, I’d advise you to have a shop around, call them and ask for a quote and say you’re just shopping around. Sometimes the difference in price between two MOP’s can be over £2000. You shop around for your electricity and gas unit rates, stressing over £200 difference between two suppliers, so please do the same for your MOP.

EON

Phone: 02476 187390
Email: HHMeteringContracts@eonenergy.com

EDF

Dave Siggers – CVA Metering / Half Hourly SVA
Phone: 020 8298 8174
Email: Dave.siggers@edfenergy.com

IMServ Europe

Commercial Matters – For all new commercial enquiries regarding electricity, gas, water and energy management
Phone: 01908 257709
Email: sales.support@imserv.com

Morrison Data Services (formerly G4S)

General Enquires
Phone: 0191 201 3500
Website: www.g4s.uk.com

P272 – Max Demand Meter Change – Save Money By Appointing A Cheaper Meter Operator

All sites with a meter profile of 05, 06, 07 or 08 must should have now moved to half-hourly metering.

Your new meter will take a meter reading every 30 minutes. This information will be stored on the meter and a Data Collector, known as a “DC” will come and collect it. They will pass this information onto the Meter Operator known simply as “MOP” and the MOP will analyse all this data and then send it to either you or your supplier.

You have to pay for this service. Either your supplier takes the cost and passes it onto you by way of your energy bill, thus your bill will be higher. Alternatively, you can shop around and get quotes from meter operating companies and data collectors and then pay them yourself.

The two are not equal!

What You Should Do

If you don’t do anything then your supplier will arrange their preferred Meter Operator and Data Collector for you. The market in this area is open and highly competitive – getting a contract sorted before your supplier goes ahead and agrees one for you can really loosen the blow to all this mess.

Should You Do Nothing..

If – by your deadline – you have not appointed a MOP, DC, your energy supplier will give the job to their preferred MOP, DC providers by default. This will initially be out of contract, and as such you are likely to pay inflated rates.

As there is a legal requirement for the MOP service to be contracted, their MOP will then contact you directly and ask you to sign. At this point you can of course negotiate, but without having searched the market for other providers, you are unlikely to secure the best value contract.

As DC services do not legally need to be contracted, it is likely that your energy supplier will simply charge you monthly for this. This will be out of contract and as such you are likely to be pay an inflated rate, as well as the energy supplier’s admin fees. What’s more, you won’t get access to your energy usage data – a service that is only offered under contract. This means you will miss out on crucial insight into how, when and where energy is used at your sites.

Will My Bills Rise?

Short Answer is Yes.

This government pushed change is not to save you money. It’s to make your billing accurate so the government, the energy suppliers, the national grid and all other people concerned can monitor when and how electricity is being used.

Electricity used at “peak times”, for example, the 5pm winter peak will be more expensive, you need to learn about this and avoid using electricity at the expensive times.

Should you choose to arrange the MOP and the DC yourself, then they will invoice you directly and it won’t show on your energy bills. You can use the information they send you to analyse how well your electricity management is. It may sound long and annoying, but in the long run getting your head around this will help.

I’ve tried to keep this simple so please feel free to jump on Google for a more detailed explanation.

Why Have Energy Prices Gone Up? – Explained Simply!

price rises

Energy prices have risen since Brexit. It might sound like scaremongering but it’s the truth. Since the turn of July, each month the prices have risen. All of us brokers hate it just as much as you do, our job is easy when prices are low.

As the GBP (£) collapsed and is now not worth as much as the USD ($), the prices for energy have gone up. Why? Raw energy (Oil, Coal, Natural Gas), before it’s been converted into energy we use, is priced in US currency all around the world. Hence it costs more British Pounds to buy the raw energy.

There are other reasons as to why the prices have gone up, winter, greed from the suppliers, EDF doing random tests etc.

Whats The Difference Between Level 1 & Level 2 Letter of Authority

Man Signing Contract

The Simple Explanation

Level 1 – The third party becomes your consultant, they do all the legwork, explain everything to you and you sign.

Level 2 – The third party become your deputy director and have all the power you have, they can agree contracts without your authorisation. You as the director can revoke the power at any time.

letter of authority hamed adefuwa

Interested In More Detail?

Talking about the differences in levels of authority is difficult but necessary. There are officially two types of letter of authority’s; level one & level two. Level one allows the third party mentioned in the document to request basic nonsensitive information from your current supplier, your contract end date, your usage and things similar to that. Level two permits the third party to sign new contracts on your behalf and change your billing address from your address to theirs. These are supposedly the two levels of authority you can grant but in reality, the lines are far more blurred than that.

Most brokers will add what they consider necessary to the letter. If a broker wants to sign you up quickly they’ll add only to request current contract information and to be able to terminate your current supply to the letter. This allows them to get you accurate prices and then switch/renew you as you please.

If however the broker, wishes to keep your business for a few years they’ll usually add things into the letter like, the permission to handle objections, change business information and even handle new contracts without the need for a signature.

Actions Available on Most LOA’s

  • Submit notice of termination
  • Request recent bills
  • Request current and renewal prices
  • Request terms and condition of supply

Warning

Signing a letter of authority without reading it is careless of you as a business owner or someone who’s been entrusted to look after this side of the business so please take five minutes to read things before you sign.

Beware of documents entitled “Level 1 Letter of Authority” when in actuality it’s a level 2. Don’t be duped – read the document and if you can, avoid signing them unless you genuinely are busy.

Domestic Energy Supply Deals

Domestic Energy Supply Deals

If you are interested in getting a good price on your home energy. I don’t personally do it however I have arranged some pretty decent deals below. Just click any or all of the links below.

First Utility


uSwitch


October – The Month So Far

hamed adefuwa october month update

This month has been a crazy month for me. I’ve been working at home for four months and now things are starting to get full on, when I started I was doing one contract every two days, now I’m averaging near two a day. Obviously, all business is good business but I do think I need to play it a little smart and improve my organisational skills.

My Headache

bad customer service hamed adefuwa
 
I’m suffering from constant pain in the shape of one particular energy supplier. If it wasn’t for the fact I have an agreement with them I would name them. They are one of the most unethical companies I’ve ever experience, they operate like a dodgy law firm/stock brokerage. I’ve switched over twenty-five businesses away from them in the last four months and they have unlawfully objected or blocked the transfer of at least fifteen of them. This creates more work for me, more emails and more phone calls. That’s not even the worse part, the customer ends up on out of contract prices just so that the supplier makes an extra £50.
 
I always advise organising your contracts a few months before the contract end date, this allows for time to deal with these ridiculous tactics.
 
That aside, the prices are fairly high at the moment but I’ve managed to negotiate some fantastic deals. After the Brexit vote and as the value of the British £ continues to drop, the energy prices rise further and even in this climate I’m still saving company owners money. It makes a headache worth it.
 
I’m incredibly pleased with my progress so far this month, to be honest, I owe it to some amazingly nice customers as of recent.

Mr Cook

 
I’d like to mention one customer, in particular, an extremely nice gentleman, I’ll name him Mr Cook for this purpose. He was born in July 1930, he lives in a small village in north England, I’m not sure what he did for a living but now he is a trustee for four charities in his village. He manages their accounts, balances their books, deals with tax and even shops around to get them great deals on their energy. At the age of 86, he’s a real legend, Mr Cook was emailing me at 10pm, he printed, signed and scanned me back a letter of authority and even used his smartphone to record a video of his meter so I could have a look at his meter.
 
I love the elderly, I feel like they are the most neglected in our society and I hate the fact that in the UK if I offer to help an old woman carry her milk, she would be too scared to accept my offer in case I run away with her bags. Honestly, it’s a real shame.
 
Mr Cook, however, is really trusting, he’s clued up and incredibly intelligent. I don’t like to think about being in my eighties but if I ever get there, I hope I’d be able to work out if a no standing charge and 11.2p per kWh rate is cheaper than a 22p standing charge with a 10.4p per kWh rate. These are calculations forty-year-old adults running successful companies often struggle with and Mr Cook has it in the bag.
 
I’d like to think that I helped Mr Cook get a good deal for his village hall but the truth is he helped me. I end this post as I started it, it’s been a stressful month but Mr Cook reminded me why I love my job and I wish Mr Cook many more years of health and happiness.

Hamed Daily #9 – £150 More Expensive

hamed adefuwa hamed daily blog

I intend with these posts to document everything that happens in my work day and walk you through my day. I am hopeful that by showing everyone my way of working I will be given the opportunity to arrange your friends & families business energy contracts.

Please note all customers mentioned in this are real however their names have been changed in order to protect their identity. If you happen to read about yourself and are happy to be named then I can do so and will also attach your business information to your name.

Let Today Begin – 03/10/2016

I’m extremely pleased with how early I’m getting out of bed in the mornings these days. It was only a few weeks ago I was dragging my dead body out of bed at 8.45am – now I’m up 6am beating the sun. Today was a fantastic day, I made a very nice amount of commission, which is the main reason anyone does such a job. To add to the blessing of being able to look after my family, I also have the pleasure of knowing I solved many problems today and even saved one lovely lady £550 on a £4000 bill.

hamed adefuwa hamed daily blog

Super Grateful May

I’ve been chasing May for months, six months to be exact. She assumed I was a nonsense caller but I didn’t give up. I kept trying and she gave me a chance. I gave her my best price with her current supplier Npower. She pulled out a bill and I was saving her near 20% while renewing her with Npower, May was over the moon. Usually, when I sign someone up they behave like they did me a favour, but she was seriously grateful when I had only saved her £70 a year. I figured I’d try helping further by asking about her gas as well. Turns out she was on British Gas’s variable price plan and paying a lot. Thankfully, I quoted her with British Gas and saved her £550 on her gas. You can imagine May’s reaction to that news. Now she wants me to take a look at her water bill, I have no knowledge on water but when the market opens I might take a look into it.

May was clever in renewing with her current supplier, sometimes switching isn’t always a good idea. If the saving in switching is small, and you switch and then end up on out of contract rates due to credit vetting issues, unpaid bills or lazy administration from your current supplier, your saving could be wiped out in a week or two on high prices.

“Hamed Pick Whoever You Want”

Steve runs a small security company. I signed him up last year and had the same success this year. Steve was incredibly busy but savvy. He unlike most didn’t need me to remind him ten times to terminate his contract. Thankfully he came onto my site, downloaded my termination email and sent it to his current supplier – legend.

Last year I put his consumption down as the national average, which after speaking to Steve this morning, it was 10x the amount he actually used. As Steve’s consumption was so low, the cheapest supplier was £25 cheaper than the most expensive, all other suppliers were in between the two. Steve didn’t mind who he went with and just said: “Hamed, pick whoever you want, I don’t mind, I’ll leave it for you to decide.” For me only two companies are in the race to be the best for customer service; OVO Energy and Scottish & Southern Energy. Considering SSE have been praised at every award ceremony and are well on track to be the first ever company in the UK to achieve a gold star in customer service (see here), I recommended them to him. Let’s hope they don’t let me down!

Food for thought; many people will say the price is all they care about, but it’s not the truth. Price may be the only thing you factor in when making a decision as to who you go with, but ultimately you care as to whether your energy supplier takes 5x the amount they’re supposed to out of your bank account. You also care as to whether your supplier decides due to you having a low consumption, they’ll be changing your prices, but you’re free to leave and find a new supplier just two months into the contract agreed. You also probably care that the energy supplier you’ve chosen remembers to apply for your transfer. These are all real problems many customers face so choosing a good supplier who’s 1.5% more expensive might be the better option sometimes.

£150 More Expensive

Sulayman is a guy I really respect. I called him eighteen months ago when I was working for a supplier and he told me his contract ends at the end of 2016. It was a brief conversation but I remembered it, Sulayman knew what he was paying, told me and I said I’d definitely beat it. Last week I called Sulayman and to my surprise, he remembered me. I was amazed, some people I speak to multiple times a week, sign them up and they forget me but not him. What impressed me further was he runs a convenience store that was very busy and he still stayed on the phone to listen to my prices.

It gets better…

He was currently paying a very high price with British Gas which he was unfortunately put on two years ago. He then told me he got another price from another broker. Nine times out of ten this wouldn’t have been a problem but the price he got was old, and the prices since July have been rising by around 8% each month. I wasn’t about to try and explain to Sulayman that my price would be higher, I just tried my best to beat it, I couldn’t.

I decided to work out how much more expensive I would be for every 20,000 kwhs he used. Turns out I was £60 more expensive per 20,000 kwhs. I was honest and explained I was more expensive, we worked out he used 50,000 kwhs a year so I was £150 over the year more expensive than the other price he had been offered.

The good news for both of us, Sulayman liked me, and more importantly, I was still £650 over the year cheaper than what he was paying least year with British Gas. I asked if he would sign with me and he agreed.

I sent him the contract to sign and the letter of authority, I got the letter of authority back but unfortunately not the contract. He was a bit tied up but tried to send me the contract again but it failed. He tried to take a picture of it but it wasn’t clear enough to pass the quality checks, so I asked him to send it back to me via email which I’m hoping will be coming back tomorrow.

There wouldn’t be a rush normally except for the fact that all of the suppliers have increased their prices massively due to some nonsense involving EDF not generating enough energy due to them carrying out random tests. Sounds a little fishy to me personally but it is what it is.

Energy Tip: I do advise everyone that is sorting out their energy contract to set aside a few hours on one day and get it done, as opposed to dragging out over two or three weeks. When comparing prices, you might have a price from two weeks ago that is now out of date and has since increased. This only takes up more time. What you can do is ask brokers and suppliers to contact you on your selected day. The guys who have good deals with suppliers will contact you on that day, and the ones seeking massive commission will leave you alone.

Smart Meters Delayed Even Further & Other Issues

smart meter rollout hamed adefuwa

These smart meter delays are getting ridiculous now. I remember in 2014 they came out with a plan that all businesses using maximum demand meters will be upgraded to half-hourly meters by April 2016. That was then pushed forward to April 2017 since none of the suppliers even attempted to meet that deadline. I do feel for all the customers stuck on Maximum demand meter contracts with small suppliers who don’t have the functionality to upgrade them. It’s unknown as to how the suppliers will shift them onto a new supplier.

smart-meters-rollout-hamed-adefuwa

Is This The Right Time?

The government has chosen to mess with both the business sector and the domestic sector at the same time, which surely can’t be a smart move, especially now with all this Brexit nonsense. None the less, all energy suppliers have been told they must start installing smart meters now and have until 2020 to hit their target. It’s going to cost £10.6 billion to install 50 million smart meters. The funny thing is, it will only save the average household £26 a year.

With a target of 50 million smart meters, they began in 2011 and as of 2016 there had been 550,000 meters installed. Things were going slow.

Kind-of-Smart Meters

British Gas was a little silly in installing “kind of smart meters”, which were no-where-near what the Government had asked for. They now have the annoyingly silly task of replacing all those “smart” meters by 2020.

Privacy Issues

I’m not one to care too much about privacy. I don’t care who has my direct debit details, if money gets taken out I’ll just get it reversed. I don’t consider information like my families names or date of births as sensitive so I’m not one to buy into lots of these privacy concerns that others have. However with that said, there are some major issues with this mass smart meter rollout. When you look at the mess that has been created by it, the lack of enthusiasm by both energy companies and customers, it’s all been a bit sloppy.

The biggest issues are probably; your home energy network becomes connected to the internet, people with access to the network can see what times your usually at home if you’re at home now and what you use your energy on. Smart meters are even detailed enough to determine where in your house energy is being consumed, i.e. you’re in the shower for 45 minutes between 8pm and 8.45pm.

One of the intelligence agencies investigated the systems being installed and noticed a key flaw. Every smart meter being installed in a business and home has the same encryption key which is used to pull off all the information from the meter. This means, anyone with access to that key, or if the key was discovered by hackers, every smart meter information could be compromised.

Smart Meter Delays

Two of the big companies involved in this whole process (BEIS & DCC) claimed in July that they would have their systems up and running by September. It was originally supposed to be done by 17th August but that didn’t work. One of the spokespeople for the BEIS said;

“The new infrastructure is planned to go live at the end of September, it is currently being tested to deliver a long-lasting, world class system to bill payers.”

My Final Thoughts

I doubt the delays will affect things too much however I do believe this is a sign of things to come. E.ON got fined £7 million in November 2015 for not doing enough. With all these delays and security issues, I do believe we will see more problems with this whole transfer. Let’s hope things go well.

Hamed Daily #8 – I Worked!

robin the cat hamed adefuwa

I intend with these posts to document everything that happens in my work day and walk you through my day. I am hopeful that by showing everyone my way of working I will be given the opportunity to arrange your friends & families business energy contracts.

Please note all customers mentioned in this are real however their names have been changed in order to protect their identity. If you happen to read about yourself and are happy to be named then I can do so and will also attach your business information to your name.

Let Yesterday Begin – 27/09/2016

Up from 6am, started working 7am, still recovering from my cold and sore throat – it was a morning of mixed feelings. Few teaspoons of honey & a coffee and I was ready to go. I’m really out to improve my own work rate, I’ve decided to push myself and the stats are going through the roof. Monday 27th of September was my best day on the phone since June and I’m glad.

robin the cat hamed adefuwa
Robin, my cat, considering her career options…

No LOA

It took me over a week to get a signed letter of authority from Claire. She’s in charge of all the paperwork for two garages. Her bosses; Daniel & Dave are sound guys but their strength is fixing cars not chatting with me on the phone so whenever I try to speak to them about the energy they just fob me off. Thankfully Claire sent me the letter of authority yesterday so I was finally able to process the contract I did with her last week. The great thing about switching people to British Gas is the price very rarely changes more than once a month. Had the prices we agreed with her last week changed, Claire and I would have had to redo the contract on new prices.

I submitted everything to British Gas straight away and then got a very silly email. I had been sloppy when going over the prices with Claire. As she didn’t use any electricity at night I only spoke to her about the day rate and the standing charge, completely forgetting there was a night rate on her meter. When we did the verbal contract I forgot to mention the night rate and thus British Gas required I call Claire and confirm she’s still happy to proceed with the night rate.

As with all these problems, they are never quite as simple as they sound. I called the garage and Claire had gone home. Now I’m on the phone to Dave, who wants me off the phone as much as I want a chicken kebab. I decided to take a long shot and ask Dave if he’d allow me to confirm the new prices with him. To my surprise he agreed but persisted in saying numerous times, “Hamed, as long as it won’t cost me any more money and it’s exactly what ‘Claire’ agreed to – I’m happy.” Call recording done, Dave has me off the phone, British Gas are happy and I’m off the hook.

Omar & The Missing Bank Details

I’ve signed up Omar a few times now and unfortunately his situation is a very messy one. I have a good solution for him but he’s a busy guy and things do drag out quite a bit. Running a restaurant is no easy task and things have been difficult for him recently so I do my best to be understanding. I like to think of my job as understanding people’s problems and coming up with solutions.

Omar has had a lot of issues with his current supplier, he was even disconnected once, which as a restaurant can be disastrous. He’s currently paying off the debt with his supplier. They have accepted termination from him and we are hopeful his switch will be successful. Omar agreed on a deal with Scottish Power three weeks ago but as he took two weeks to send me the bank details the contract couldn’t be locked in so now the prices have changed.

We agreed to use a different company without credit issues and switch to Scottish Power and Gazprom but now we have the same issue as three weeks ago. I had to process the contract before midnight but Omar hasn’t sent me the bank details so now I’m just holding my breath hoping the prices don’t increase.

Quick tip: If you’re in debt with your supplier, nine times out of ten, your supplier will tell you you’re not allowed to switch supplier. This technically isn’t true. In most cases, if you agree to set up a repayment plan with your supplier’s debt team, for example; twelve monthly instalments of £400, they will allow you to switch to a new supplier as long as you agree to continue repaying them after you switch. I would not advise cancelling the repayment plan thereafter as the debt collection process can get messy from then on and its just not worth it.

Adam & Credit Issues

Adam is a great guy, managed to save him a lot of money last year but this time, round it’s been in vain. His current supplier is offering stupid prices and every supplier I’ve moved him to has refused him due to credit score. He’s a recruitment consultant from home so he doesn’t have all the time in the world for me. I managed to sign him up with Gazprom on a truly fantastic gas price of 2.01 pence p/kWh. I was worried he would fail credit with them and he did.

These credit issues really can cause problems, thankfully there are some suppliers that will pretty much take on customers with any credit score. Npower & Opus are the shining stars when it comes to gloomy nights and gloomy credit scores. The price I got him off Npower wasn’t great, it was an extra £10 a month on top of what he paid for gas last year. It’s not great but its still cheaper than what most pay on a domestic tariff.

I’m confident Adam will pass credit with Npower so hopefully, he can stop focusing on all this energy stuff and concentrate on his business.

Time for me to go and focus on my business, its 9.30am and I’ve got work to do!

Hamed Adefuwa

Home Energy Help (Infographic)

Home Energy Help

It is not always the easiest of jobs to get your employees interested in saving energy for your business. Particularly, if they do not see any personal benefit in it themselves. Here below is a great tip for a way to encourage your staff members to save energy, both at home and in the workplace. The idea is to make saving energy a habit they get into at home as well as at work.

Download it here; Home Energy Help

Home Energy Help

Report Energy Theft

crimestoppers energy theft website

A charity called Crimestoppers has set up a new website for us to anonymously report people stealing energy. They want both businesses and the public to come forward and report energy theft, either through the website or on their phone service, 0800 023 2777.

crimestoppers energy theft website

Crimestoppers are working with all of the energy suppliers to start this hotline. Hoping to get everyone to provide information and help ‘pull the plug’ on energy crime – pun intended.

Tampered and bypassed meters are costing the big companies lots of money but more importantly, people have actually been harmed by the exposed electric current. It can even cause blackouts in some neighbourhoods.

A tragic incident occurred in Glasgow, that resulted in an elderly, housebound woman losing her life in a house fire caused by a tampered meter. She died of smoke inhalation, and her son, who lived with her, and was actually responsible for tampering with the meter, was sent to jail.

If caught stealing energy, people face a fine and up to five years in prison.

Click here to report anyone you suspect of stealing energy; www.stayenergysafe.co.uk

crimestoppers energy theft website

Hamed Daily #7 – “Never Call Us That Again”

hamed adefuwa energy consultant islington north london

I intend with these posts to document everything that happens in my work day and walk you through my day. I am hopeful that by showing everyone my way of working I will be given the opportunity by you, to organise your friends & families business energy contracts.

Please note all customers mentioned in this are real however their names have been changed in order to protect their identity. If you happen to read about yourself and are happy to be named then I can do so and will also attach your business information to your name.

Let Yesterday Begin – 19/09/2016

hamed adefuwa energy consultant islington north london

Monday started well, very well. Up from 6am, didn’t bother with a coffee, I was pumped. I’m hopeful that by waking up early and replying to all my emails, writing this blog post, doing some exercise and planning my day – I will be able to work more efficiently and be able to call all the people I have scheduled for that day.

Chris – Forgot Me Again

In 2014 it took me about twenty calls to sign up Chris, 2015 it took about twenty to thirty and this year I’ve called him fourteen times so far. I’m willing to call him another 20-30 times before I give up. Chris is lovely, he costs me 45 seconds a day so I don’t mind calling him. He only uses 3,200 kWh a year, so my commission is about £20 but who cares. I like the guy and I want to get him a better price. I don’t mind making £20 a year off Chris for the next ten years.

Bob – Oh Crap Erm!

You may remember Bob from Hamed Daily #2. He’s a fantastic guy. I hadn’t spoken to him since I messed up on the voicemail I left him a week ago. Thankfully this morning he picked up and he was delighted to hear from me. Thankfully he didn’t mention my awkward voicemail! I asked him how things were with his current supplier and he claimed they were really good, no issues at all. The only problem he’s had is that they’ve sent him a letter claiming that because he uses a low amount of energy, they want to change his tariff and break his contract – I’m not impressed. He’s now not sure if his contract finishes in January like it was supposed too or if he can leave them next month when they change his tariff. It’s something I’m not aware of so I promised that if he gets me back the letter of authority I would ask the question to see if he can leave sooner rather than later.

I then asked concerning his new contract and if he would allow me to get some prices for him again this year. Thankfully he agreed and I gave him a call back within 15 minutes with some prices. His current supplier refused to quote as his contract end date apparently was too far out.

Side Note: This is another boring tactic suppliers use in the hope that you would wait until right before your contract ends. This tactic works superbly firstly because if you wait until six or seven weeks before your contract ends, you may be busy doing other things, then forget about it and end up being rolled over for a further twelve months. The amount of customers I know that have fallen for this is ridiculous, I try to warn them but who am I? The second reason it works so well is that even if you don’t forget, by the time they give you your price, you have three weeks to deal with it so you feel the pressure. You think; “should I cancel my contract, go on out of contract, wait a week or two or just agree to renew with them?” Nine out of ten times, the person renews with their current supplier.

Returning back to Bob, I asked his opinion concerning a two or three-year contract as I had managed to get a price that was cheaper than what he was currently paying on a two-year deal but he requested the one-year deal, (which are most times cheaper.) Thankfully ten minutes later, Bob was a happy customer, I went through the verbal script with him and all was gravy. The only issue now is that as I’m writing this, Bob still hasn’t emailed me back a signed letter of authority. The problem with this is that I am unable to process the contract without a letter of authority, so now (7am Tuesday morning) if the prices I agreed with him change, then we’ll have to run through the verbal contract again.

Please, guys; as a request from all energy consultants – send us back a signed letter of authority ASAP. We can’t do anything without it!

Carl – I Love Pharmacies

Carl runs a small pharmacy in Wales, he’s a really nice guy – I know I say that about everyone but I do like the Welsh. I signed up one of Carl’s two meters eighteen months ago and truthfully I was supposed to call him back in May this year but I completely forgot. I spoke to him yesterday and he had no clue who I was but was cheerful none the less. After doing some story telling, he remembered or at least pretended to and I continued to try to establish his current situation. It appears he didn’t know much about the two contracts either so he may have been automatically renewed for both. The only way to know for sure would be to ask him for a bill, he said they’re at home and he’d be bringing them in on Tuesday so hopefully today goes well and we can get some clarity.

Mr Smith – “Never Call Us That Again”

The title of this post is regarding Mr Smith. He’s a great guy but accidentally, he’s fallen trap to the tricks of brokers. I quoted Mr Smith last week at 11.2 pence p/kWh for his electricity. Another broker has come along and quoted him 11.5 pence p/kWh for three years. Which sounds like a good deal but wait, it’s an annual price review contract. I mean it’s all in the name – Annual Price Review. Each year the company will send you a letter sixty days before your contract ends informing you what your new prices will be for the following twelve months. If you don’t say anything to them, they will automatically put you on those prices and if you find a better price, you can leave if you terminate your contract thirty days before your contract ends. Sounds familiar? Of course, it does because it’s just a one-year contract made to sound like a three year one.

Mr Smith isn’t the only one to fall for this contract, I’ve lost a few customers to this tactic. I did my best to explain this to Mr Smith but obviously he instead probably thought, Pssh Hamed you don’t know what you’re talking about. Regardless he’s a good lad, owns a launderette and is quite relaxed. He supports Bristol Rovers, who just recently got bought out by a Jordanian Billionaire. Obviously, he’s excited and hopes they’ll get to the Premier League, he even took a dig at my crappy team (Manchester United) – which they deserve since they’re performing horribly. We had a good chat about his football team and I made the unfortunate mistake of calling Bristol Rovers, “Bristol.” He then laughed and warned me; “Never call us that again, we are the Rovers! We all hate being called Bristol, it’s like calling Nottingham Forest, Nottingham.” I just laughed, football is indeed a funny game and us football fans are a little bit silly.

May – Tell Me More About You

I’ve been trying to pin May down and get her to look at my prices. Often the biggest misconception with my job is that most believe my job is to switch customers from one supplier to another. Now don’t get me wrong, that is 80% of what I do. However, there is still a big part of my job which just involves renewing customers with the same suppliers. May has been speaking to me for the last week constantly telling me she is happy with Npower and wants to stay with them.

Today she decided to have a bit of a rant about her water bill, she wanted me to get her a better deal on her water. It’s not a market I’m looking into right now so I said I couldn’t help. She then randomly decided to give me more attention and said: “Please tell me more about you, your company, I want to know how you are able to get a better price from Npower than what I’m paying.” I then realised she had actually checked my price and became excited. I asked her if she knew what she was paying so I could compare and work out her consumption. She said she would dig out a bill for me on Thursday so things are looking good with her.

Omar – No Bank Details

You may remember I worked until 8pm a week and a half ago with Omar to sort out his gas and electricity. Sadly lately it was a bit wasted because Omar didn’t have his bank details on him when we did the contract. As I only take peoples, account numbers and sort codes, I’m used to most people having them memorised. Omar rents out the restaurant so he wanted to use the bank details of the people he rents the restaurant out too which is fair enough. He had a few family problems and took ten days to send me the bank details. The prices changed massively over those ten days so now we will have to recontract him. The supplier we agreed for him to switch too, prices had gone up by about 3% and I also managed to get him prices from two other suppliers which was actually 3% cheaper than what we agreed. Obviously, I recommended switching to the other two suppliers instead. Now I’m just waiting on a response from him for what he wants to do.

Usually, I go out for a walk during the work day as a break but yesterday I ended up working straight through from 6am to 5pm. It was a fantastic day and I’m hoping for more of the same today.

Speak to you soon!

Hamed
0208 050 5456

Hamed Daily #5 & #6 – £500 Cashback

hamed adefuwa islington sainsburys

I intend with these posts to document everything that happens in my work day and walk you through my day. I am hopeful that by showing everyone my way of working I will be given the opportunity by you, to organise your friends & families business energy contracts.

Please note all customers mentioned in this are real however their names have been changed in order to protect their identity. If you happen to read about yourself and are happy to be named then I can do so and will also attach your business information to your name.


Let The Two Days Begin – 14/09/2016 & 15/09/2016

I was ambitious in thinking I could get these done every day, but alas I will try. Monday and Tuesday I took off for Eid in order to spend some quality family time. Thankfully the weather was amazing.

hamed adefuwa energy consultant regents park

I decided after having a four day weekend I would get up nice and early to start grinding. That’s exactly what I’ve done on Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday I managed getting up at 5am and working straight through til 6pm. Thursday, not so much, got up at 8am but didn’t stop until 8pm. Must say, the last two days have been difficult. Obviously, I didn’t call anyone until 10am, my emails pile up and without a personal assistant things get overwhelming. Thankfully 5am is a nice peaceful fine to crack on with emails. Last week I made a bid to wake up earlier and that effort paid off yesterday. I finished Wednesday having spoken to twenty-three clients, quoting 6 electric meters and solving some annoying British gas problems. Thursday finished with 21 clients, 4 quotations and a load more problems.

Chris – The Man That Keeps Forgetting Me

Wednesday started with Chris forgetting to bring a bill into his shop again for the third time in a row. I’m not annoyed, to be honest, I’m happy working around people especially because I know energy is not the only thing on a business owners mind. If they lose one customer it could cost them 10x the money I’d save them and I appreciate that. I feel that I have the edge over most brokers because I’ve run a marketing company before, I know what it’s like working 16 hours days and having no time to sit and easy let alone answer the phone to dinner idiot selling electric I already have. Anyways, Chris said to try him tomorrow, he promised to bring a bill in today.

Calling New Customers

I’ve made a conscious effort to start calling all those customers I didn’t have time to call in the previous two years. Amber was one of them. When I spoke to Amber in the summer of 2015, her contract didn’t end for another 17 months but she was still nice enough to tell me what she was paying. I like to speak to people that engage with me and make both our lives simple, so I figured I’d give her a call. Turns out, she’s had a fair number of other brokers calling her. She’s told them all to call back on the 15th (today.)

I’ve been cheeky and emailed her asking for her meter numbers so I can quote her prior to the 15th. Unfortunately no response and so I’ll be even more cheeky and get her meter numbers another way and quote her on a generic consumption. I hope to today, call her really early before everyone else starts to annoy her. Its a hit or miss situation really but considering I’ve called her once this year, it’s not much work.

I called Amber Thursday morning with some prices ready and she asked me to call back 1pm. Unfortunately, I forgot to call her back at 1 so I’ll have to try again tomorrow. Chances are she would have had 10 brokers call her by then, so we’ll see how it goes.

E.ON Offering £500 Cashback

Nigels daughter runs a pub while he runs a plumbing and heating company. He has the unfortunate task of organising her gas and electricity at the pub.

Now this wouldn’t be difficult had there not been this P272 government change taking place, switching all maximum demand meters to half-hourly read meters. Ultimately it’s a headache for everyone, suppliers win, big companies get the benefit of knowing how much they use every thirty minutes and small companies pay over the odds for a service they’ll never use. One good benefit for everyone is that less energy will be wasted by suppliers so hopefully, that will have a positive impact on the planet.

Good news for Nigel, E.ON are offering all their current customers that are having to undergo this procedure, a £500 cash back. Nigel didn’t know about it but after informing him, he’s excited. We just need to check his daughter, has an AMR meter installed. I’m fairly certain they do but Nigel needs to send me a letter of authority before I can find out. I’ve emailed him one over but I doubt he’ll send it back to me so I’ll probably leave this one there.

Tried to call Nigel, still, no answer so left a voicemail and will just try back in a few months.

Kids Stressing Her Out

May, a wonderfully friendly Asian lady who runs a launderette is currently with Npower and wasn’t happy for me to try and switch her at all. After giving her some Npower renewal prices she was a lot more receptive to me and wanted me to call back once the kids had gone back to school. I think they had been stressing her out. She’s asked me to call back today at 4.30 to compare the renewal rates with her current rates, should be good news.

I spoke to her on Thursday and emailed her over some Npower renewal prices. She’s asked me to call back Friday afternoon again so I’ll keep you updated.

Mixing Up Day/Night Rate

TJ runs a hotel, I signed him up and helped organise his switch away from a company that had just done EVERYTHING wrong. Unfortunately, I wasn’t even successful in getting TJ to switch, he made a BIG mistake. TJ’s hotel uses about £15,000 electricity a year and his current supplier has been billing him incorrectly, they’ve had his usage bring recorded the wrong way around (day and night switched around.)

This meant he’s been paying a low rate in the day and a high rate for the night. Rather than paying £15,000 a year, he was paying £10,000. Me & TJ both went back and forth with his supplier to try and fix the issue so that he could pay the correct amount. The company couldn’t understand what we were on about, they were adamant it was correct. TJ’s contract expired in April and rather than him paying what he owed them and leaving, he decided to continue pursuing the issue and trying to get it changed. This has now meant for the last 5 months he’s been out of contract with them. This could be fantastic if they were charging him what he was paying last year but they will most likely charge him emergency prices. I hope this mess gets sorted, it has been a headache. Six months, two-hundred emails, fifty phone calls later and we are not anywhere closer to sorting it out. I’m trying to get hold of TJ now to hopefully have another chance and organising the switch.

Rita The Lovely Accountant

Keeping up with the theme of hotels, I spoke to Rita who works in accounts in a fairly large hotel. She’s absolutely wonderful, I quoted her in April but her contract doesn’t end until January 2017. She asked me to call back now and unfortunately when I requoted her meters, the prices are much higher than a few months ago – Rita will definitely see the increase. When I quoted her in April, there was a saving of £700, that’s now dropped to £150. Still, a saving is a saving. Rita asked me on Wednesday to call back on Thursday, I couldn’t get hold of her so I sent her an email with British Gas’s best prices.

Poor Credit

Naseem runs a tech shop in Leicester, he’s super trusting and literally is the easiest guy to deal with. I signed him up last year and then again a month ago. Unfortunately British Gas refused to take him on due to bad credit, thankfully I have another idea. Naseem is changing his business name in a month so we’ll get the contract put in that new name and that will pass credit straight away.

hamed adefuwa islington sainsburys

Jake – The Real Deal

Last but not least, the most straight up real bloke there is, secretary of a big salon company, Jake is a good friend. I’ve signed up three of Jake’s salons now, with another three to go. We’ve got two to do at the end of November. I’ve priced them and got his renewal prices from British Gas and they are pretty good. The only problem is they represent a 10% increase on what he’s currently paying. I was honest with Jake, I told him if he hangs fire for a bit I’ll try to get better prices and I will. I’m fairly certain in the next six weeks I’ll be able to get him prices that will be the same as what he’s currently paying. Jake agreed to wait and I’ll get in touch with him as soon as I get some better prices.

My New Twitter Header

I would also like to show off my new twitter header I made on Canva.com, took me about 15 minutes and I’m in love with it.

canva.com twitter header hamed adefuwa

 

twitter header hamed adefuwa

Moo.com – My New Business Cards

I also figured it would be a good idea to get some new business cards. I did some googling and found a pretty amazing company called Moo.com – I just ordered my cards and I’m quite excited. Ordered 50 cards for £15, a bit expensive but hopefully worth it.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @hamedadefuwa

moo.com business cards