Is there anything to worry about?
Since the news of faulty meters broke, it has emerged that there have been around 3.9 million households that have been over charged. If this is the case for households, has this happened to businesses? Could this mean that small and medium sized businesses are being overcharged for their power?
If this is the case how can a business know if they are being charged correctly? Bills are sent through to you as an estimate, so it could be difficult to identify if the meter is faulty or if you are being over charged.
There is a solution and it is called billing validation. This method will recognise if you are being charged incorrectly. Taking this into account, your business could possibly save on energy bills if you were to look into bill validation.
So how does bill validation work?
A bill validation will deconstruct and analyse your bills. This will break it down into these relevant areas:
- Rate: is the cost of the raw energy you're consuming and is the rate which your supplier will quote.
- Standing charge: is a fixed cost associated with your energy supply such as meter reading maintenance and the cost of keeping you connected to the network.
- Capacity charge: is the Available Supply Capacity (ASC), this refers to the amount of electricity that the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) is required to make available for your site. Essentially it is the maximum electricity you can draw from the grid at any one moment.
- KVARH: stands for Kilo Volt Amps Reactive Hours and is best described as a charge for the poor use of energy which can come down to machinery or the use of energy that is inefficient. This takes away from the areas supply which the company charges as KVARH.
- CCL: also known as Climate Change Levy, is added to your bill as a tax intended to maintain a clear price for carbon emissions encouraging the electricity generation industry to invest in low carbon emission technology.
- VAT: is the tax rate you pay on your energy bill and is at 20 per cent - unless you receive VAT exemption.
- FiT and RO: stands for Feed-In Tariff scheme and Renewable Obligation. This was introduced to encourage people and businesses to introduce other means of energy production such as turbines and solar panels. If you are producing more than you use the government will reimburse you for the amount you feed back into the system. RO is where the energy suppliers are encouraged to find and offer a renewable source of energy and supply this where possible.
Once these have been broken down, all areas will be cross referenced with your account and supplier to ensure the highest accuracy. If there has been a problem identified you can then begin the process of recovering that utility cost.
Being proactive with your energy spend will benefit as you will be able to spot any inaccuracies within the bill and using a trusted professional will be increase the success rate due to their experience. This would save you time and money, especially if you are a small to medium enterprise.