Customer FAQ’s

Q: Do BC Consultants charge for their services?

A: No, BC Consultants are paid directly by the supplier in various ways for the introduction of and continued support of business clients.

Q: I have had an estimated bill, how can I give you a reading?

A: Simply send an email to sme-support@bc-consultants.co.uk all we ask is that you provide your postcode, account number, and email address – enter your company name into the subject field of the email.

Q: How can I get a copy of my bill?

A: Most of our customers find that registering for online bills saves a lot of time and effort when looking for copy bills, however if you need a copy of a bill or would like help registering for online bills please contact sme-support@bc-consultants.co.uk or call us on 0845 217 7525

Q: I think my bill is incorrect, what do I do?

A: If you think your bill is incorrect please check the charges are based on actual (rather than estimated) readings.

For electricity, if your estimated readings are within 250 units of the reading on your bill, your bill does not need amending. For gas, if the difference is within 45 units for a 4/6 dial meter and within 120 units if you have a 5 dial meter, then your bill doesn’t need amending.

If your bill is higher than you expected you can also check how many days the bill is for, as it may be for a longer period of time than your normal bill. You can also check to see if your prices have recently changed.

The more factual readings we have on your account, the more accurate any future estimates will be as we’ll have a better record of your recent usage. Actual readings include readings provided by you, obtained by our appointed meter readers or collected electronically through the meter.

Ultimately if you are not satisfied do not hesitate to contact us.

Q: (SME) I am moving in/out - what do I need to do?

A: If you’re moving premises please call us on 0845 217 7525. We will need to know the dates when the property changed hands, meter readings from this date and any information regarding the new occupier.

Q: How do I get a quote for a contract?

A: For an instant quote, or to find out more about using BC Consultants services call us on 0845 217 7525.

Q: What is Climate Change Levy?

A: Climate Change Levy (CCL) was set up to encourage business and public sectors to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

The rates applicable from 1 April 2011 for electricity and gas are:

Electricity 0.485 p/kWh

Gas 0.169 p/kWh

The levy is subject to VAT.

Q: How do I find out if I am exempt from Climate Change Levy?

A: Customs and Excise will be able to provide you with this information. You can call them on 0845 010 9000 or visit their website – http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/climate-change-levy/

Q: Why is VAT calculated on some bills at 5% and others at 20%?

A: You’re charged VAT at 20% if you use 33 electricity units or more per day, and if your gas usage is 145 kilowatt hours per day or more. VAT on consumption under these figures is charged at 5%.

Q: What is an Electricity Supply Number (MPAN)?

A: An Electricity Supply Number, sometimes referred to as a Metering Point Administration Number (MPAN) is the unique number given to each electricity customer, to identify a property. This number is issued by the local company that supplies the electricity to your area. These are commonly known as Host Regional Electricity Companies (Host REC’s).

Q: What is a Gas Meter Point Number (MPR)?

A: A Gas Meter Point Reference Number is the gas equivalent of an Electricity Supply Number/MPAN. It is used to identify which meter we are actually transferring your supply for.

Q: What is KWH?

A: The kilowatt hour (symbol kW•h, kW h or kWh) is a unit of energy equal to 1000 watt hours or 3.6 mega joules. For constant power, energy in watt hours is the product of power in watts and time in hours. The kilowatt hour is most commonly known as a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities.

Q: Do I need to let my current supplier know I’m transferring with BC Consultants?

A: No, you don’t need to contact your current supplier. We’ll do all the work for you.

Q: How long will it take to transfer my account?

A: It takes about 28 days to transfer your supply. If we have determined your end of contract date, the new supplier will take control from the next calendar day after your end of contract date.

Q: When will you need my first meter reading?

A: Your new supplier will get in touch with you around 10 days before your start date to ask for your first meter reading. Once you’ve heard from them, it’s really important that you provide it as soon as you can so that your account is setup correctly. We will pass this reading onto your previous supplier so that they can provide you with a final bill.

Q: How are my monthly Direct Debit payments calculated?

A: Your Direct Debit agreement is designed to bring your account to a zero balance in the spring of each year, when an annual review of your account is calculated. Customers typically build up credit in the summer to help cover their heavier winter consumption. However, depending on how much energy you use, there is sometimes not enough credit on the account to ensure you arrive at a zero balance. Suppliers check each time a bill is produced to make sure that your payments are on target to achieve a zero balance. If a change is required, up or down, then they will let you know at least 7 working days before any change occurs.

Half Hourly supplied premises FAQ:

Q: What are transmission charges? (TNUoS)

A: Known as Transmission Use of System (TNUoS), this is paid to National Grid to cover the expense of running the grid - either charged as TRIAD for large levels of demand, or based on usage between 4pm and 7pm for smaller demand levels.

Q: What is RCRC?

A: Residual Cashflow Reallocation Cashflow (RCRC) is to cover balancing costs in the last 15 minutes before gate closure. The charge is for each half-hour, and may be positive or negative.

Q: What are distribution charges? (DUoS)

A: Known as the Distribution Use of System (DUoS) charge, this is paid to the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) on whose network the meter point is located. It is composed of the following elements: Availability, DUoS day/night, Reactive power.

Q: What is availability?

A: Otherwise known as Supply Capacity, this is the maximum kVA allowed for a particular supply in a particular network, and is set before the supply is energised. This maximum capacity is charged every month despite the fact the maximum demand may be lower. If this availability figure is breached, the maximum demand may be charged instead and this figure may stay as the chargeable figure for twelve months depending on the distribution area. Alternatively, it can just return back to the original availability figure.

Q: What is KVA?

A: Kilo Volt Ampere: A volt-ampere (VA) is the unit used for the apparent power in an electrical circuit, equal to the product of root-mean-square (RMS) voltage and RMS current. In direct current (DC) circuits, this product is equal to the real power (active power) in watts. Volt-amperes are useful only in the context of alternating current (AC) circuits (sinusoidal voltages and currents of the same frequency). The KVA rating is limited by the maximum permissible current, and the watt rating by the power-handling capacity of the device.

Q: What is a Data collection charge?

A: The fee paid to the Data Collector for determining the energy consumption of the supply.

Q: What is a Half Hourly Data Collector? (HHDC)

A: For half-hourly metered supplies, the HHDC retrieves the energy consumption data from the meter and makes any necessary estimates. The HH data is a history of the supply’s consumption for each half-hour.

Q: What is a meter operator charge?

A: The fee paid to the meter operator for installing and maintaining the meter.