Energy & Recycling

Published: November 16, 2021 | Updated: November 17, 2021

“Don’t turn a blind eye” says energy broker as business gas and electricity prices go sky-high

Sean Taylor, Director, Power Audit UK: “It really is worth having someone fighting your corner and trying to secure the best possible deal.”
By Andrew Diprose, editor

He has more than two decades’ experience of the energy market and has seen plenty of ups – and downs – during that time.

But Sean Taylor, Director of Poole-based commercial energy auditor and broker, Power Audit UK, admits recent events have taken matters to another level.

With already rapidly escalating energy costs set to soar further in coming months, his services have probably never been more needed.

Sean said: “We’re seeing some silly prices and they’re going to have a big impact on businesses renewing contracts.

“These are difficult times and it really is worth having someone fighting your corner and trying to secure the best possible deal.”

The scale of the energy price hikes, and the devastating effect it could have on specific sectors, has been highlighted by the Textile Services Association (TSA).

It cites energy price increases faced by the commercial laundry industry, in particular, describing them as ‘off the scale’.

The TSA, which is the trade association for textile services professionals, gives the example of gas prices now – and eight months ago.

In March, the cost per therm of gas was around 42p.

Now it’s breached 160p.

Similarly, electricity in March was around £54 per MWh.

Eight months later and the settlement price is around £140 per MWh.

Sean, 56, has around 1,000 clients across the UK, ranging from care and nursing homes to housing associations and engineering companies.

Some have up to 60 sites.

He has also seen prices soar and, in some cases, double for businesses looking to renew energy  contracts.

Power Audit UK offers a full audit review prior to finding the best supplier.

The service includes:

  • Making sure your business is on the correct tariff
  • Checking the consumption ratio
  • Reviewing contract end dates
  • Reviewing site capabilities and capacities
  • Obtaining data from existing suppliers to help with recommendations

Other services offered by Power Audit UK include green key solutions; new builds, refurbishments and upgrades; bill validation, troubleshooting and VAT issues.

But these are frustrating days for Sean.

He said: “So far, just one commercial gas supplier – CNG Energy – which had around 41,000 business customers, has closed.

“The top five commercial energy providers are British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Scottish Power and SSE as well as a number of secondary suppliers.

“They deal in huge volumes of energy and have hedged their prices, unlike some of the smaller domestic energy providers who have subsequently gone out of business.

“However, lots of commercial suppliers are sticking to existing customers rather than looking for new business.

“There are also problems and delays with suppliers, especially in relation to reviewing service level agreements.

“They may have a minimum duration of, say, seven working days but this can stretch to three weeks and more.

“Unsurprisingly customers want answers straight away.”

Sean, who first started working in the energy sector 23 years ago, said the first step to potentially saving clients on their energy costs was to have a copy of the bill.

This could be when the utility supply contract was up for renewal or if there was a new build or a business was moving premises.

He said: “Within five minutes I have everything I need to know.

“We can then try and do something about it.

“Our purpose is to help our business customers maximise their energy cost competitiveness.

“We base our success on referrals and recommendation.

“Our bill validation service can also provide peace of mind.

“Primarily at the beginning of any new contract but also periodic re-confirmation throughout the term of the contract.

“If we can help then we will.

“But, whatever you choose to do, my advice would be: don’t turn a blind eye.”