Energy advice for businesses that are relocating
Relocating your business can be a hectic undertaking. While you’re busy with the bigger things like taking care of your business equipment and helping your staff enjoy a smooth transition, you may neglect the aspects of your business that run in the background.
One of these is your business energy supply. If you’re moving your business premises, you’ll need to let your energy supplier know so they can terminate your contract. They may also be able to transfer your supply and place you on a new contract if you wish to remain with them at your new premises.
Many energy suppliers have a dedicated team to help businesses when they decide to relocate. They will usually have a moving in form and a moving out form on their website, and will provide contact details for their moving experts who can ensure the transfer goes smoothly. You will usually be directed to specific pages depending on whether you’re moving out of your business premises or moving in.
To help things run smoothly, let your energy provider know in advance the date you are planning to move out – a month’s notice is usually sufficient (click here to see our termination letter template). Giving your supplier advance notice will also help them provide you with an accurate final bill. It will be useful to have the following to hand before using their online form or giving them a call:
- Your account number(s)
- Your final meter readings, and the date on which they were taken – so your final bill is accurate
- The date your lease or ownership of your old location finishes – so your supplier knows when to stop billing you for energy used at that address
- They may also ask you to provide the name of the new owner or business at your old location, if you have this information – they can use this information to help the new occupant set up their energy supply. If you do not have this information, your supplier may ask you to provide contact details for the landlord or managing agent responsible for your old location to help them obtain this information.
- The address and postcode of your new premises. If you’d rather your supplier sent your bill to your home address, let them know.
You may be asked to provide a Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN) for electricity and a Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) for gas at your old premises. You can find these numbers on a recent copy of your energy bill - click here to see example bills from a range of suppliers.
If you are choosing to cancel your contract rather than trying to transfer it to your new location, it’s advisable that you do not immediately cancel your direct debit as there may still be a final bill – or you may be eligible for a refund if you’ve overpaid on previous bills. If you made payment in any other way, any refund you are entitled to will be provided by cheque.
If you would like to continue using your current supplier at your new address, let your supplier know. You may need to provide your contact details, the address of your new premises and the date your lease or ownership of your new premises starts. Your supplier can use your details to find out if they already manage the energy supply at your new location.
If this is found to be the case:
- Your supplier will ask you whether you would like them to supply both gas and electricity, so they know which products to charge you for.
- Your supplier can then tell you the price of supplying energy at your new location.
- Your supplier can also tell you whether your current pricing arrangements can be carried over to your new location – this depends on the location and the type of meter installed there.
- You will be asked to provide a meter reading on the date you move in. This is called an open meter reading, and is the first meter reading taken when you start an energy contract. This is used to ensure you are given an accurate quotation, which is not possible when working with an estimate.
- You may also be asked to provide a forwarding address for the previous owner or business at your new location, if you have this information.
If your supplier does not already manage the energy supply at your new location, they will probably be interested in providing you a quote for a new contract:
- First, you’ll need to contact the current energy suppliers at your new location to let them know you are switching suppliers. You can find out who the current gas and electricity suppliers are by calling the National Grid.
- Next, send your supplier the meter readings on the date the supply is switched – your supplier will let you know when this date is.
- It can take up to six weeks to complete the switch.
- If you haven’t yet moved into your new premises by the time the supply is switched, you may be given a certain amount of time after you have moved in to the premises to provide this reading.
- Using this reading, your supplier can create an energy quote.
Your supplier may also ask you to provide the contact details for your new landlord or managing agent, so they can obtain the details of the business at the premises before you. Usually your final bill for your old location or your first bill for your new location will be sent to you within 28 days. Click the link to read more about energy supplies for new tenants.
Moving in without a contract
If you move in to a new location without setting up a contract beforehand, you’ll find yourself paying expensive deemed or out-of-contract rates. That’s because the old occupant’s supplier will still continue to provide the premises with energy, but as you haven’t agreed to a specific deal with them you’ll automatically be charged higher prices for the gas or electricity you use.
As these deemed rates are often more than double the cost of those you could be paying with a fair energy deal, it is important to arrange a new deal with a supplier as soon as possible to avoid paying over the odds for your gas or electricity.
Issues during business relocation
While suppliers have measures in place to ensure your business relocation goes as smoothly as possible, you may encounter issues when moving:
- Reconnection fees: if the previous tenant had had their supply disconnected because they did not pay their energy bill, your supplier may ask you to pay a connection fee and a security deposit.
- Connection fees: there is often a charge for setting up a connection in a premises without any previous supply.
- Early termination fee: some insurers may charge an early termination fee, or cancellation fee, but may also waive this if you continue with them at your new premises.
- Energy efficiency: if you implemented energy conservation measures in your old premises and wish to do so at your new premises, you may encounter difficulties depending on what is available at your new location. If you’re interested in exploring energy efficiency options at your new location, it may be worthwhile doing an independent energy audit so you know what needs to be done to maintain energy efficiency. Plus, you are usually provided with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) from the owner, which provides information on the building’s energy, as well as recommendations for improvement.
- Feed in Tariff: if you had installed solar panels at your old premises, you may be able to take them with you when you relocate. This will preserve your Feed in Tariff payments, so you can continue to reap the benefits of the scheme.
If you’re moving in or out of more than one site, or have sites with multiple meters, the process can be slightly trickier – it’s best to call your energy provider to discuss your next steps. Click to find out more about the types of business energy tariff that may be available to you in your new premises.
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