‘Lock in lower rates’ One retailer ‘gobsmacked’ over potential savings of more than £7,000
Shop around for energy – save up to 30% on bills
Retailers could be missing out on savings of up to 30% by not shopping around for the best gas and electricity deals, an independent consultant has warned.
Tom Collier, of Energy 4, told RN oil prices have hit an 11-year low, leading to reduced gas and electricity prices, but many store owners are not taking ad-vantage of the lower rates.
It comes after Londis brand director John Patti-son urged independent re-trailers to act now to reduce operational costs to bridge the “significant” National Living Wage shortfall.
“Businesses could save up to 30% on their renew-existing. But if they don’t look at their bills or can’t be bothered to change supplier because it’s too much hassle, they’ll just carry on being rolled over with their current supplier. This means the price will keep going up,” Mr Collier said.
The independent consultancy brokerage looked at four RN readers’ bills. The biggest saving was calculated for Sutton retailers Hiten and Ushma Amin, of Londis North Cheam, who have recently renewed their contract with the supplier they have been with since 2014. The saving for their store, if it took a four year contract with a different supplier, would be a total of £7,292.60 during that period.
Mrs Amin said: “I’m gobsmacked. That’s a big saving that could help cover staff wages and other costs.”
Mr Collier said retailers need to be aware of when their contracts are due for renewal and start shopping around early for the best prices. He also advised entering longer contracts to lock in lower rates.
“You have your fridges on all the time, CCTV and lights, so there’s a lot of money to be saved,” he said.
“Retailers can start looking at better rates now and lock them in to start six months before their contract ends, because in a few months if the prices go up, they would’ve missed those savings.”
l Mr Collier finds savings in four retailers’ bills, Your Issue, page 21.
HOW FOUR RN READERS COULD CUT FUEL COSTS
The National Living Wage will come into effect in April, leaving retailers only months to calculate the cost to their business and how to fund it. Last month, Londis brand director John Pattison warned that independent retailers must act now to reduce operational costs to help bridge a “significant” National Living Wage shortfall. He told RN the group is looking at ways it can work with retailers to reduce day-to-day costs from credit card charges to electricity bills.
Energy 4, an independent consultancy brokerage that provides free advice on utility savings to thousands of UK companies such as retailers, has looked at four RN readers’ bills and calculated the savings they could make. The company’s managing director Tom Collier told RN many retailers are missing out on lower rates, and advised store owners to be aware of this when their con-tracts are due and start shopping around early for the best prices.
Here are the savings he calculated for four retailers:
Ushma and Hiten Amin
Mr Collier says:
“This contract with Opus doesn’t end until 24 August 2018, but the rates are very high. Based on the store’s consumption there are cheaper suppliers out there. The Amins have been with Opus since 2 February 2014, which is a long time, and the rates I can get elsewhere show that loyalty doesn’t always pay off.
“I have found they could have saved £7,292.60 over four years if they entered a four year contract with SSE, which is a massive saving to be made based on their consumption and meter details.
“Even if they had taken out a three year contract with Scottish Power last year, I could have saved them £6,021.66 over the total length of the contract, which is a massive amount of money for stock and wages.”
Mr Collier says: “Mr Cock’s con-tract ends in May this year, and if he has not sorted out a contract by then he will be on out-of-rate prices, which are a lot for a customer to pay.
“The best saving is a two year contract with Corona Energy, which would be a saving of
£975.96 over the two years against his current rate. But if he goes on the renewal rate from British Gas, his rates will be higher, meaning the savings will be greater than this.
“However, if Dan was to take a fixed four year contract with SSE he wouldn’t make a saving in the first instance, but when rates go up his prices wouldn’t be affected, which means he would still make a massive saving in the long run.”
Mr Collier says: “The end date for Mr Masuria’s gas contract is in June. If he took a two year contract with CNG he would save £29.56 against what he is paying at the moment. If he was to go for a longer period of four years he would not make a saving, but he would be fixing for four years, so when the prices go up over that time he would have protected himself from any increases.
“His electricity contract’s end date is also in June. The prices he is currently on are good, but when he gets his renewal letter they will be higher than previously, based on his prices going up by 30% which is roughly the rule of thumb these days. In that instance, if he did a three or four year con-tract with SSE I could save him £5,690.49 for the three years and £6,826.80 over four years, which is a great
Mr Collier says:
“Mr Ghuman’s contract ends this month, and if he has not sorted out a contract by then he will be on out-of-rate prices. “The best saving is a four year contract with SSE. This would be a saving of £398.32 over the course of the contract, against what he is paying at the moment. However, if Mr Ghuman goes on out-of-rate prices his rates will be higher, meaning the savings will be greater than this.”