Getting out of my car I had forgotten how rural the area was with a short drive out of Northamptonshire. I was visiting Eckland Lodge Business Park near Market Harborough for a meeting with Daniel and Leigh who are the management team at Eckland. We had met at a mutual networking meeting and had gotten into a conversation regarding the energy market and how this had led Daniel to think about building a solar farm to supply his customers.
Eckland had recently added the very impressive Lincoln Building to its portfolio, a large managed office in the heart of their site with a view to offering offices with no expense spared. Walking around on the “tour” with Leigh and Daniel, it’s very easy to see they have achieved exactly what they set out to do. The finish of the building is of the highest order, all areas have been thought through from a business point of view with all the comforts you would expect from a high-end office environment.
After, we sat down to talk about the energy requirements of the whole site and started to see a common theme with the farming market when it comes to energy procurement. Leigh had placed the business through a buying group and was more than happy with the service they had received from this group. We went through the meter supplies one by one and pointed out the extra charges on the bills that should have been added to the unit rates to give a true representation of price. Also, even though the supply was with one supplier, all the meters were on different rates, end dates and bills.
We took the whole portfolio to market and tendered for it all, by tendering the business with all suppliers we create competition and in turn get the best deal for the customer. Once we obtained pricing we asked Leigh to request an offer from their current supplier to show our confidence of our offer and to our amazement the buying group hadn’t “purchased” their energy yet due to increased prices and wouldn’t offer a renewal. This is a new one for us, in digging a little further the buying group are aligned to a single supplier. This means that they were waiting the energy prices to drop before signing their contract with their supplier to be able to offer the customers pricing. This really limits the customer’s options.
Getting the Help of Business Energy Brokers
At this point we sat down with Daniel and negotiated our uplift onto the contract; this is how business energy brokers make their money. A lot of business energy brokers will tell the customer that they are paid by the supplier for placing business giving the illusion that their service is free to the customer. This isn’t the case, we are paid by the supplier but place an uplift onto the customers unit rate and this is paid from the supplier to us. With this agreed we drew up contracts and placed the Eckland Lodge business with a new supplier and started to manage the portfolio on Daniels behalf taking some of the pressure off Leigh to focus on other business areas.
Once we gave the old supplier their termination notice we were given one last surprise in that the buying group issued change of tenancy paperwork to be signed. At no point had Daniel or Leigh been advised that when signing up to the contract that it wasn’t in the company’s name. By signing a change of tenancy Eckland would have been moved onto out of contract rates meaning the price would have risen sharply for the final months of their contracted period. We advised against signing these as this wasn’t in the customers best interest. We negotiated with the current buying group to get a written statement to ensure that they would hold the price until the end of the contracted period as you would expect. This could have resulted in the loss of multiple thousands of pounds due to the contracted business not being explained properly at the start of the contract.
In short Eckland Lodge is now contracted in their own name, in a group deal with The Apertus Group now managing their portfolio going forward.
If you are in business and would like to learn the in’s and outs of your current supply contract or your next one, and want to find out how business energy brokers like us can help, please get in touch with via email at email@example.com or call us on 01604 212828.