Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why use an energy broker?
An energy broker can help secure the best value contract for your business by comparing offers from a wide range of suppliers, which can be a time consuming process for a client. Brokers can quite often negotiate more competitive offers than are available by going direct to a supplier. They deal with account queries direct with suppliers to ensure clients are free to work within their own business.
In addition to this, a broker can provide a range of other services such as bill validation, data analysis and energy management services, site works & metering.
Find out more about energy brokers.
How does an energy broker get paid?
The majority of brokers, including Apollo Energy use a commission-based payment method. This means that the supplier offer you receive will contain a small uplift in the form of a unit rate or standing charge which will be paid to the broker.
What types of energy contracts are there?
A fixed energy contract means the price you pay for your energy usually won't change for the duration of the contract, which is usually between 1-3 years. There are some fixed contracts where some of the non-energy costs are reconcilable or pass through -- these need to be taken into account when selecting a contract type.
In contrast, a flexible energy contract allows you to take advantage of wholesale price movements in order to buy gas and electricity at a more optimum time. Please note that the markets do rise as well as fall so it is not guaranteed that a better price can be obtained on flexible contracts.
Purchasing green energy can vary in price but is guaranteed to be sourced from renewable sources, with some suppliers providing a supply which has produced zero carbon emissions.
What are the benefits of green energy?
Opting for green energy not only helps to reduce the carbon footprint of your business but can also help to improve brand image and retain environmentally conscious customers making it a valuable marketing tool.
What additional charges can you find on a typical utilities bill?
Non-energy costs can make up 55 per cent of a typical bill, these charges include the following; transmission network use of system, distribution use of system, balancing services use of system, capacity market, contracts for difference, renewable obligation and feed-in tariff.
Visit our downloads page for Typical Electricity Price Components (Pie Chart).
What is water deregulation?
As part of the Open Water programme, commercial and non-household water users will be able to switch supplier in order to secure a better deal - ultimately leading to cheaper prices and improved service.
From April 2017, the retail water market for non-household customers in England will be opened up as part of a government initiative to support the water sector and provide a better overall product for consumers.
Find out more on our Water Procurement pages.
What is P272?
P272 is a mandatory, industry-wide change issued by OFGEM and will be implemented by all energy suppliers.
P272 defines that all non-half hourly (NHH) metered supplies with profile codes 05-08 (first two digits of your top line MPAN) must be settled as half hourly supplies (Profile Code 00) before 1st April 2017.
Currently the majority of the electricity usage in mainland UK is estimated and therefore suppliers and network operators are unable to know the exact demands on the network & the exact costs of supply. A project has already been completed to install Automated Meters (AMRs) on all these supplies in preparation for P272, this was completed by 31st December 2014.
Visit our downloads page for more information about P272
What is smart metering or AMR?
A smart meter would replace your existing meter and is able to send automatic meter readings to your supplier via a mobile phone network, resulting in accurate energy bills.
According to government policy, all businesses with profile class 05-08 electricity supplies had until 31st Dec 14 to install a smart meter -- it is envisaged that smaller businesses will be required to do the same by 2019/20.
Why use a bill validation service?
In-house validation of all the invoices you receive can be a time-consuming and costly activity, which is why a lot of businesses believe the invoices will be correct or will be sorted in future billing . However, suppliers do make mistakes on invoices & estimated billing & incorrect contract charges can often mean that many businesses overpay their energy bills by considerable amounts each year.
A professional bill validation service will ensure that you are being charged at the correct rates by your supplier and you only pay for the gas/electricity your business is using.
All invoicing errors are followed up directly with the suppliers to ensure the account bills correctly from the next billing cycle.
Find out more about Apollo Energy's Bill Validation services.
How can I manage energy costs and reduce consumption?
Apollo Energy provide a range of services which can help you keep track of your consumption, allowing you to make necessary changes in order to improve efficiency. Services such as our bespoke reporting suite, energy data analysis and our in-depth customer portal can help optimise your usage, resulting in significant savings.
Find out more about our Energy Data Analysis services.
What factors effect energy and gas prices?
Energy and gas prices are affected by a wide range of factors ranging from movement on the oil market, supply issues, economic climates, the weather and major political events.
Apollo Energy publish a daily energy market analysis, explaining price movements and offering insight into potential issues which could affect the market in the future.