Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Why do I need an energy consultant?

Tackling the energy market without professional help can prove to be a costly decision for any organisation. Many businesses overspend on their energy bills simply because they don’t understand the market or the contracts they are in.

As an energy consultant we can help find you the right supplier, check and negotiate contracts on your behalf as well as save you time and money so that you can focus on other parts of your business. Put simply we are here to help relieve your energy headaches.

Depending on the size and type of your business, what you require from an energy consultant may differ. For example, if you have complex energy requirements, multiple meter types, high energy consumption or several sites, we can help simplify things for you, efficiently manage your portfolio and clamp down on avoidable costs. If you have a single site business with a low energy consumption, then we can help you find the best deal to suit your needs (plus provide support on everything in-between).

Why should I use Indigo Swan for my business utilities?

One of our values is that ‘We Celebrate Individuality’ and this is applicable to the way we do business. We acknowledge that all our customers are unique, and that’s how we treat them – we give each a tailored service, based not only on what they want from their energy supplier but also what they want from us as their consultant. We take pride in the fact that we do not just offer our clients an ‘Off The Shelf’ service.

At Indigo Swan we are very proud to have signed up to the TPI Code of Practice. Third Party Intermediaries (TPIs) within the energy industry aren’t regulated; the Code is a set of standards designed to ensure the TPI you are dealing with is trustworthy. The guidelines set out in the Code are there to protect you and make sure the service you receive is an honest and professional one. If an energy broker isn’t signed up to the Code there is no way of knowing if they will follow these standards.

We offer our clients lots of tools and Knowhow to help them make better business decisions about their energy. We understand the energy industry can be complicated and confusing, so we ensure our processes and services are as simple as possible.

Our team of experts have a comprehensive understanding of the commercial energy market and regularly attend training sessions to make sure they keep up to date with developments in the fast-moving sector so that we can best advise and support our clients. We break down all the information into easy to understand, manageable chunks so that you can make more well-informed decisions.

Our core competency is ‘Clever Contract Management’ which means we professionally manage a client’s energy contract from start to finish. This process includes:

  • Collating portfolio data
  • Comparing prices of all suppliers
  • Putting that data into an easy to understand format
  • Taking care of the necessary contract paperwork
  • Supporting with ongoing account management

We don’t just stop working with you once you’ve signed on the dotted line, like many brokers. We’re here to help and assist you with any queries or issues you may have throughout the duration of the contract.

How are Indigo Swan different from other Energy Brokers?

We are a specialist energy consultant. It’s worth noting that not all energy brokers are consultants. One of the main differences between the two is that we will undertake more detailed analysis of your business practices and energy consumption in order to provide a bespoke solution – something not all brokers will offer. This additional research also helps us gain a better understanding of where we can add the most value.

Our ‘Quality Triangle’ comprises of our Investors in People and ISO9001 accreditation plus the TPI Code of Practice, demonstrating that we are happy for external professionals to test our integrity by examining evidence of the quality of the service we deliver. We believe these accreditation’s provide reassurance that we are transparent on things that clients and suppliers cannot easily measure themselves.

We don’t want to be the cheapest or the biggest energy consultants in the UK, we want to be the very best. Our customers are always at the forefront of our minds and ‘We Have An Unflinching Commitment To Finding A Better Way’. This motivation means we’re constantly looking for ways to develop our products and services to add value for our customers and their experience of working with us.

Our dedicated ‘Live Check’ process ensures we deliver a good level of quality service to our customers. We confirm with the supplier the rates and consumption; the start and end dates and the direct debit are all setup correctly at the point of going live with any contracts – this is very rare within our industry. Last year our ‘Go Live’ rate was an industry leading 99.97%, which means the business we passed through to suppliers went through without a hitch.

How will I be charged for your services?

We are always honest and upfront about the way we charge our customers and encourage them to consider the value of investing in professional, well informed advice. Think of paying for our service in the same way you pay your accountant or legal representative for their help and opinion; we’re all pragmatic professionals.

There are two ways in which the cost for our services can be structured for our clients.

  • The first option is to include a commission element in an energy contract which is added to the unit rate or standing charge you pay and recovered from the energy supplier, after you pay your invoices and during your contract.
  • The second option is to agree a project fee with yourselves, which is paid in advance from the point at which we start to work with you.

The cost for both options are the same, it is just the payment method that differs. We would never double charge our clients by building the cost into the contract and charging a direct fee. You may wish to ask other brokers and consultants how they charge for service and be sceptical if you are offered it for ‘Free’.

I’m out of contract, what does this mean for my bills?

If your business is out of contract you are likely to be on very high rates. These are typically 50%-100% higher than a negotiated contract rate, so every day out of contract is costing you more than you need to be paying

The circumstances around how your business came to be out of contract will usually have a bearing on the level of charges you will incur. Many suppliers distinguish between:

  • Out of contract – a previous contract has been terminated but no request to switch to another supplier has been made. A new contract with the current supplier can be negotiated at any time, and you do not have to serve additional termination notice to switch supplier.
  • Variable/ standard price plan – you have not contacted the supplier to arrange a renewal or move to a new supplier. At the end of the previous negotiated contract you’ll move onto a rolling 30-day contract term, where prices can change with little notice and you would have to submit termination notice in order to switch to an alternative (likely cheaper) supplier.
  • Deemed – you have not chosen to be with the current supplier e.g. because you have moved into a new business premises. Until a ‘Change Of Tenancy’ (or similar) has been processed and agreed between yourself and your supplier you will be paying much higher rates than you need to.

The sooner you can agree to a negotiated contract with a supplier, the sooner you will start saving money.

I have multiple sites within my business, can you help me with all of them?

Yes! We recognise that multi-site customers have different needs and can offer tailored support to suit you.

We can look to align all your contracts to a common end date or move the portfolio to a single supplier, removing your administrative headache. However, if individual contract negotiation suits you better, we will tailor our service and contract options accordingly.

We developed our online customer portal, PathFinder, following feedback from our multi-site clients such as Property Managers and Housing Associations who manage huge numbers of meters, varying from a few hundred to a few thousand. They needed somewhere where they could view their energy data and supplies in one place, submit meter reads without the need for sitting on hold for hours and somewhere they could manage their portfolio remotely.

We have continued to develop PathFinder to respond to our clients’ changing needs over the years. It has played a vital part in retaining a minimum of 90% of our clients each year since we started in 2010, and one of the best types of feedback you can get from your clients is their continued custom.

We are working even more closely with our clients on the next generation of PathFinder to make sure we continue to innovate, and clients continue to see value and worth in everything that we do as a company. Innovation through collaboration is in our heart and PathFinder has been a shining example of this.

Will you give me access to all the tariffs out there?

We are proud to be an independent energy consultancy which means we are not tied into any supplier targets or incentives. Instead we work closely with and maintain fantastic relationships with a long list of UK energy suppliers so that we can get access to the best tariffs available for our clients.

We work with all the names you are familiar with, along with a host of independent and niche suppliers.

Our supplier panel gives us great access to prices that suit you, whatever your requirement. We have an option for you if you need ‘Green’ supply, have poor credit or need your bills presented in a certain way. Every part of our service is tailored to your business needs and circumstances.

What information do I need to give a broker?

To kick start the process, all we need from you is a recent bill for each meter and a Letter of Authority (LOA).

A LOA is a permission slip which will give us authority to speak to suppliers on your behalf. At no point will we sign or agree contracts for you; this responsibility always remains under your control.

We won’t be able to deal with suppliers for you without the LOA so it’s important to get this signed and sent back to us as early as possible to ensure everything runs smoothly.

As we work through the process, we may require some more information and documents from you.  These requests will vary based on your individual circumstances and we will also explain why additional information is required.

What is the Climate Change Levy?

Climate Change Levy (CCL) was introduced in 2001 by the government to help combat the production of greenhouse gases and to encourage businesses to find ways of reducing energy demand. It does this by making energy more expensive by placing a tax on energy used at volume.

The CCL is charged to companies on their electricity and gas bills. If you pay VAT at the 5% rate (rather than the standard rate of 20%) you are eligible to be excluded from paying CCL. Also, if your industry trade association has a Climate Change Agreement (CCA) you may be eligible for a significant reduction in the rate of CCL that you may pay.

If you believe you have paid CCL when you should not have done, we can raise a case with your supplier to get a refund. You must remember that the supplier is only collecting CCL and the actual payment goes to HMRC. Any disputes over whether you should pay CCL or not should be handled in conjunction with your supplier and HMRC.

How long will the process take?

Once we have received a LOA will commence the data gathering process to ascertain your meter details and understand your business’s specific requirements. Depending on the size of your business and your current supplier the time needed to undertake any work will vary. We will always keep you informed of progress and let you know when everything is ready to go.

Once the data is in, depending on your meter type, we will allow 5 days to arrange your tender. This is to enable as many suppliers as possible to participate in competitively pricing your renewal. Once you have made your decision and signed a contract, we usually allow 28 days to transfer your meter to another supplier. This enables suppliers enough time to register your meter correctly, and for you to clear any outstanding balance with your current supplier. Some suppliers can handle this process much quicker than the 28-day standard and we will let you know if your chosen supplier is one of these.

How can I save money on my business energy?

For our top tips to help your business be more energy efficient check out our blog.

Our Core Values

Leading-By-Example

How we do anything is how we do everything

Everyone’s experience of Indigo Swan should be the same – exceptional. This value is about delivering quality, thoughtful work every time, no matter how big or small the task is. Every piece of work will be given our full attention.

Innovation-and-Creativity

UNFLINCHING COMMITMENT TO FINDING A BETTER WAY

We’ve always been ambassadors for innovation and creativity, and it’s what sets us apart. Our Swans are intelligent, inventive and brave and we will always listen to ideas on how to make our company even better. We won’t be limited by what we currently know and do, and when seeking solutions to our challenges we’ll forget ‘what is’ and embrace ‘what if’.

Paper swan on water

HAPPINESS FIRST

We’re reversing the equation: happiness leads to success. We promote wellbeing and advocate positivity. We want to create an atmosphere where everybody can thrive. Kind gestures, excellent work and enthusiasm for doing good business won’t go unnoticed.

Individuality

WE CELEBRATE INDIVIDUALITY

We recognise each Swan for their own amazing qualities and character, and acknowledge that this diversity contributes to our culture, which we cherish. As a company, we’re 100% independent from supplier-imposed targets, so we’ll never encourage our clients into making decisions that are anything less than what’s best for them.

You’re in safe hands