Jump to content
Energy Procurement Services Billing & Account Validation Completely Independent
Monitor & Report Expense Solutions Energy & Water Conservation

FAQs

 

Q: Why are a majority of your services free?

 A: Because Cost Centre Services (CCS) receives introductory fees from the winning energy supplier when tendering your energy. We also earn fees from refunds obtained for our clients - no refund, no fee. This means we are completely INDEPENDENT and best placed to help you reduce costs and make efficiencies.  We work for our clients NOT for energy suppliers.

Q: How will my business benefit from your services?

 A: CCS analyse all your energy usage and with over 23 ENERGY SUPPLIERS we are registered with help you find the best one for your business needs. We can also help with other utility and communication overheads.

Q: What makes your services different from others?

 A: Unlike other cost reduction companies, CCS is registered with 23 ENERGY SUPPLIERS - perhaps one of the biggest portfolios in the UK. We are able to identify from the sheer number of tariffs the most competitive for your business.

 We work diligently and ethically on your behalf taking out all the stresses and wasted resources from your business.

Because our background is in Cost Reduction Analysis we validate everything in your energy account you can be assured that we have looked very closely: if we don't look we can't find. We are concerned about reducing all your costs, so we have a range of innovative solutions which contribute to making savings in every possible area. Its one of the reasons we were a FINALIST in the INDEPENDENT ENERGY CONSULTANTOF THE YEAR AWARD 2010.

Q: How does the Utilities Intermediaries Association (UIA) help me as a client?

A: The following links may help to understand why you should choose an energy consultant who is a full member of the UIA.

  •         Full member of the Utilities Intermediaries Association (UIA) click here
  •         We operate under the UIA Code of Practice click here
  •         Including the UIA Code of Practice for business internet comparison sites
  •         The UIA Redress Scheme is available to our clients click here
  •         If you have a complaint: click here to contact Simon Binks Managing Director CCS

Q: Why is it best to choose your services rather than doing it myself?

A: We simply have the best software to help us! Depending on the number of suppliers you use and the size of your business the process of analysing, reviewing and negotiating to make sure you are on the best tariff can be very time consuming, stressful and often results in frustrating outcomes. Our skills and experience provides us with the ability to strategically analyse your invoices and usage and then find the best solutions to help you reduce costs. We have expert negotiating skills for obtaining any rebates due to you for backdating incorrect tariffs and we do all this on your behalf, leaving you to concentrate on running your business.

Q: I run a large business which is very busy, how much of my time will be taken up with this?

A: Because we simplify the process as much as possible we only need a minimal amount of time from you or the person who deals with this in your business. It's really easy and very quick for you to receive a no obligation Free Account Validation Report. click here to get started

Q: I have different suppliers for energy does that matter?

 A: No and having different suppliers can sometimes be the reason your costs are higher than they need to be. We can analyse your accounts and find out which options would be best for your business needs.

Q: My business energy supplier confirms I'm on the best tariff for my usage how can I be sure?

 A: It may the best tariff that your current supplier can offer, but not necessarily the best on the market to meet your needs. Why waste time checking with other suppliers when you can leave it all to CCS, for the free, expert help you can trust. You can be sure of an honest and independent assessment.

 An important factor of your energy supply contract is the term agreed including if prices are fixed and any differences between a short or medium term contract. CCS can provide your business with expert support and guidance on the best possible options available.

 Our ACCOUNT VALIDATION Report can help you budget more accurately. We assist in making sure your account is properly managed, helping you to make greater efficiencies in your business.

Q: My business energy supplier / energy broker wants me to agree a verbal contract over the phone. What should I do?

 A: We strongly advise never to confirm anything verbally over the phone with any supplier / energy broker. In our experience this only benefits the supplier and often means an in-depth process has not been fully completed to support your business.

 You can have confidence CCS will always provide you with all the options, advice and recommendations to make an informed and systematic decision based on facts and thorough analysis.

 Contact us for a no obligation chat before taking any action yourself.

Q: My energy supplier is demanding a large payment for back dated usage which I don't understand, can you help?

A: Yes we can and we are very experienced in analysing and managing this type of situation, often to a favourable resolution for our clients.

Sometimes energy suppliers make mistakes and we are experts at identifying any errors to provide you with independent checks. We can confirm if the demand is valid, and if so, assist in negotiating appropriate terms to settle the outstanding amount.

It's much easier to begin negotiations to a successful outcome earlier in the process so it's best to contact us as soon as you're aware of any issue.

CCS has proven techniques that can help in negotiations with energy suppliers. We charge fees for these services but guarantee you will never pay fees higher than the original demand. Normally, we agree in advance a percentage fee based on charges we save you paying. 

Q: My business has received a court summons for a disputed utility bill, how can you help?

A: Depending on how far the process has progressed we might be able to intervene to ensure all the correct procedures have been followed. Because the energy supplier will have applied to the Magistrate's Court to have your meter disconnected, Contact Us immediately as we'll need to assess the situation quickly to see if we can help.

To help prevent progression to a court summons make sure you Contact CCS if you receive any demand from your energy supplier, the quicker we can assess the situation the easier it is to be able to start negotiations where appropriate. 

Q: How much disruption will my staff experience or resources will I need to allocate during your review process?

A: None at all. We just need you to provide meter readings, this may be once or every day for a short period so we can assess the amount of energy your business is using.

Depending on the structure of your business you can either provide this to us yourself or allocate one of your employees - whatever works best for you.

Q: I've just renewed my contract but I think I may be paying higher prices.  Can you still help?

A: In our experience energy suppliers try to renew contracts at prices which are typically around 20-30% more than the market rate. This is why our services are so important to helping your business reduce costs where possible.

With renewals of existing contracts (verbal or written) there is no ‘cooling off' period and the contract is binding immediately on your confirmation with your energy supplier. Where we might be able to help is if your contract has been automatically renewed without your confirmation. Contact us for more details about how we can submit a Notice of Termination on your behalf to ensure you're not automatically renewed and become free to move to a different supplier.

We are also experienced in multiple sites as our sophisticated bespoke software assists us to manage the whole process for you  

Q: Why is it necessary to give Notice of Termination before my current contract comes to an end?  Does it mean my electricity or gas will be disconnected?

A: No you will not be disconnected - it's just a term used by the energy industry to describe giving notice that you do not want to be automatically renewed at the end of your current contract.  Energy supply contracts run for a fixed term. Its vital you give NOTICE OF TERMINATION during the ‘window of opportunity’ – the period during which a supplier specifies in the contract.

Different suppliers specify different periods, some have no periods, others accept NOTICE up to 7, 30 or 60 days, but most provide a period of 90 to 120 days before the end of the contract. If NOTICE is not provided, suppliers can usually ‘roll you over’ and you will pay dearly – around 20 – 30% more than the then market rate. You cannot move to another energy supplier and you have to accept the rates given by the energy supplier.

So the message is to make sure you submit a NOTICE.

CCS provides a free service so why worry when we can do everything on your behalf?

Q: What happens during the Transfer to another energy supplier?

A: On receipt of a customer’s signed contract, the energy supplier will normally write (at some point) to confirm details and enclose the T&Cs. Sometimes this is known as the ‘Welcome Pack.’ At the same, the new energy supplier will apply through an independent agency, to take over the supply. The old energy supplier may object because of an aged debt on the account, or because the customer is still in contract on the day the new energy supplier has applied to take over, or because no TERMINATION NOTICE was received, received too early, or received too late.

On further checking, the date issue can normally be resolved, but an aged debt must be settled before the old energy supplier will release a customer. If timely TERMINATION NOTICE was not provided, then the old energy supplier is normally entitled to block the transfer.

You can see that the provision of Termination Notice is crucial: let our systems at CCS cover this responsibility on your behalf.
Always provide CCS with copies of any correspondence from your energy supplier.

We contact you 5 days before the transfer date to request a meter read. We also ask you to forward a copy of your final billing, which we reconcile with the first bill from your new supplier.

In our experience around 30% of transfers have meter related problems – so we carry on checking until we are satisfied.

Q: Comparison sites and some other energy brokers say that they have negotiated special rates with energy suppliers - is this true?

A: Not in our experience: you see the contract is between the customer and the energy supplier so the 'special rates' headlined need to be treated carefully. There are occasions when certain energy suppliers offer the industry 'special rates' - perhaps they want to push a particular tariff or secure a certain sales volume within a set period - but this does not happen every day. Nor can energy suppliers realistically issue and maintain multiple quotes to multiple energy brokers so our advice is to treat such claims with caution.

On another point, the calculations and criteria used on comparison sites can differ enormously. In fact so much so, that we often find it impossible to reconcile the end figures given. To test this, try entering the same data into different comparison sites to see how many different answers you get. 

The problem with the concept of energy comparison sites for consumers of smaller volumes of energy*, is that the characteristics of your account may not be fully researched before quotes are provided. Instead, out of date data may be used or substituted and base calculations can be made on assumptions. The best quote could be based on assumptions that were simply wrong!

This area is not such a problem with larger energy consumptions as supporting evidence is usually available.
Your energy supply is a commodity with many facets: it needs to be treated with respect and individuality.
Do you really want your quotation process handled using assumptions?
Or, do you want your account to be properly researched and THEN put out to TENDER for a meaningful and highly accurate result?

Q: What if my business has bad credit history?

A: Energy suppliers are taking credit issues very seriously with their customers. There are number of solutions that are available and so you need to contact CCS as soon as possible.

Q: I already have an energy broker, so why do I need CCS?

A: Energy brokers / consultants are not all the same and operate in different ways. Some work indirectly for energy suppliers (so the same energy supplier is always put forward), others only have access to 2 or 3 energy suppliers so their quotes are similarly limited.

It must be in favour of your business to appoint an INDEPENDENT organisation able to source as many quotes as possible, and to present them all in a formal TENDER document which is clear, transparent and unbiased.

We are happy to present our TENDER at the same time as your current energy broker. Contact us to receive more information on: "Why Choose Cost Centre Services as your Energy Consultant".

We always want to make sure you receive the best possible options to meet your needs and impartial on the energy supplier you choose as we work for our clients, NOT energy suppliers.

We thoroughly look at everything to expertly validate your energy account. Its not all about pricing, there are other factors including buying the right tariff, account validation and any other associated cost reductions can be made. CCS provides a complete ‘one stop' service.  Click here to find out the questions you should ask your energy consultant.

Q: Can you do oil and /or bottled / tank LPG

A: No

Q: How can you help with budgeting?

A: We validate your account details and produce an ACCOUNT VALIDATION report which provides comprehensive details including a breakdown of your usage by meter, together with associated costs. This is especially useful for businesses that have several meters.

The best options are identified and following a TENDER we'll update your budget with an ANNUAL CHARGES REPORT. So at every stage you are in control and know what your expenditure should be going forward.

Q: How can you help with energy conservation?

A: There are a number of processes which we'll need to perform. Depending on the size and structure of your business, some are really simple and free. Others require more thorough research for us to provide our professional advice, which may include 3rd party specialists to assist.  Click here to download more information

Q: How can you help us with our water usage?

A: We work with a strategic partner specialist who will validate your billing and for a very reasonable fee, will carry out a physical water survey of your premises.

Click here to download more information

Q: How can you help with our Telecommunications?

A: We work with a strategic partner specialist who will validate your billing and carry out a free appraisal of all your telecommunication costs.

Q: Can you help with Energy Audits - what do they involve?

A: Yes. CCS specialises in audit work and is able to audit historical records up to 6 years and obtain any refunds which may be due. We normally charge a fee for this service which is normally tied in with a percentage share of anything we recover.

We can also provide ongoing audits as many of our clients want us to protect them from energy suppliers. In particular, ongoing audits assist cash flow and identifies any billing errors as they occur. We levy a small monthly charge per meter, for this service, and if we find anything, the refunds are kept by the business. Think of it as an insurance policy.

We normally set up an online account so that we can download invoices without any need to involve your time.

Q: Do you work with preferred energy suppliers?

A: No. We are client focused and always make sure we work for our clients.

Q: Can you source Green Energy suppliers?

A: Yes. We have a selection of suppliers. There may be limitations to the quantities you can purchase.

Q: My business has several locations spread across several counties. Can you help?

A: Yes we can, in fact our systems and software are specifically aimed at businesses, which have multiple sites. Our software can cope with an unlimited number of sites and will consolidate reports easily and at a touch of a button.

Next Page: Contact Us