FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Your Service FAQ’s:
Why use Prestige?

Prestige are specialists in energy procurement and strategy. Being independent, we are able to provide your business with an energy strategy to match your growth plans, ensuring only the most suitable and cost effective suppliers are put in place.

How are Consultants paid?

Different consultants have different payment models. Some charge consultant fees, other a percentage of your savings etc. Prestige prefer to charge the suppliers rather than our clients. Our commission is negotiated on a case by case basis, directly with the relevant supplier and is built into the margins, that already exist, in prices offered. Prestige are completely independent and this will never impact why a certain supplier is recommended.

Why are you recommending a certain supplier?

Prestige work from the ground up. We look to work with our Clients and really understand their business growth plans. This will greatly impact which suppliers would be most suitable for your needs. Prestige will propose the most suitable corporate energy strategy for your business along with the most cost effective supplier to match those requirements. As energy suppliers operate very differently, we know which ones are best suited for our Clients needs to match the proposed strategy.

Can you tie me into anything?

No. Prestige do not hold any contracts with our Clients. Any contracts put in place are solely between the supplier and the business which all have to be signed by the end Client. Although we hope to continue working with our Clients for many years, we prefer them to use us because they want to, not because they have to.

What is your expertise?

Prestige have in-house expertise in the energy market spanning over 20 years. Operating in our markets on a daily basis, with many suppliers and over many sectors. Prestige are able to deliver a far greater level of on pulse industry expertise than any business can have internally.

Can I get better prices direct?

Prestige manage millions of pounds in spend for our clients energy contracts. Thus, consultants have far greater purchasing power than any sole business – no matter how large. Price is only a part of the service from Prestige. We are all increasingly busy, especially if you are a growing business. We can take the energy management off of your desk, allowing you to focus on other areas, without having to pay a member of staff, with little or no industry expertise, to manage them. How much do you value your time?

How often will I hear from you?

As much or little as you wish! Prestige look to act as an added member of your team. Working closely with your Operations/Procurement departments to ensure the energy strategy remains efficient and cost effective. We will not bug you unnecessarily, however, we will make you aware of important industry changes and market opportunities that you may wish to take advantage of!

Can I do it better myself?

The answer is more than likely no. We all have our areas of expertise. Prestige will offer you the industry expertise we have in the energy markets, allowing you to focus on your key areas of strength elsewhere in the business.

Is it not just about price?

Is your business just about price? Although price is of course important, Prestige offer far more than that. We ensure our Clients have a long term strategy in place for their energy purchasing. Identifying potential risks, improving inefficiencies and ultimately saving you considerable time and money as your business grows.

 

Power – Tariff FAQ’s:
What is a standing charge?

A standing charge is a fixed amount which is applied to your bill daily. If your tariff includes a standing charge you will need to pay this no matter what. Standing charge will be on your bill as pence or pounds per day X amount of billing days.

What is a kWh?

Kwh stands for kilowatt hour. This is the metric used for measuring energy.

What is an MPAN number?

(metering point administration number) is the unique reference number for your electricity supply . No one MPAN is the same. They are also commonly known as supply numbers.

What is an MPRN or MPR number?

An MPRN/MPR number is your meter point reference number. This is the unique reference number for your gas supply.

Where can I find my MPAN number?

Your MPAN number will be on your bill from your energy supplier. Typically this can be found on the second page among the breakdown of your charges. MPAN’s can be found most commonly in a rectangular box with an S in the front.

What are these symbols on my bill?

Energy bills can have numerous abbreviations which can be hard to understand.

E – Estimated bill. Your supplier has not received an actual meter read from you and has therefore estimated your consumption for the billing period. This is likely to be incorrect. By submitting regular meter reads you can ensure your bills are based on actual consumption.

N – The first read from a new meter. If you have a new meter installed you will see an N on your first bill.

A – Actual meter read. Your supplier has read your meter and has billed you based on this.

R – Final meter read for a removed meter. You will only see this if your meter has been removed.

C – Customer meter read. Your supplier has received a meter read from you and billed you based on this.

F – Final meter read. This is your final bill. You will receive this upon switching supplier or leaving the premises.

What other costs are on my bill?

Dependent on your meter profile you will see breakdowns of various costs. A standard 03-04 electricity meter or gas supply will see the below:

CCL – Climate change levy

VAT

Standing charge

Unit rate (this is pence per kWh)

If you have a Half Hourly meter there will be various other costs. See our HH section for further detail.

What is an economy 7 tariff and can it help me save money?

An economy 7 tariff means that you are charged a cheaper rate for 7 hours in the night. This can be beneficial for businesses whom consume the majority of their usage in the night period. As a general rule, if you consume more than 40% in the night period you will benefit from an economy 7 plan.

What hours are day and night in an economy 7 tariff?

These vary from supplier to supplier and will vary dependent on which part of the country you are in. Typically the cheaper 7 hours will be somewhere between the hours of 10pm-8.30am.

How can I switch to an economy 7 tariff?

To switch to an economy 7 tariff is a manual process your supplier will have to complete and will likely require a meter change. Your supplier may also charge you for this. Your supplier will also have to request your MTC code to be changed with ECOES (Electricity central online enquiry service).

 

Electricity meter FAQ’s:
What is my profile class?

All MPAN numbers start with a two digit number between 01-08. These two digits are known as your profile class and determine which kind of tariff you require. All of these are known as NHH profiles.

01- Domestic single rate customers

02 – Domestic economy 7 customers

03- Non-domestic, single rate customers

04 – Non-domestic, economy 7 customers

05 – Non-domestic, Maximum Demand customers. Peak load factor is less than 20%.

06 – Non-domestic, Maximum Demand customers. Peak load factor between 20%-30%.

07 – Non-domestic, Maximum Demand customers. Peak load factor between 30%-40%.

08 – Non-domestic, Maximum Demand customers. Peak load factor of above 40%.

Profile classes from 01-02 are solely domestic. 03-08 are for commercial customers. Profile classes 05-08 are known as Maximum Demand customers (typically referred to as MD).

What does Maximum Demand (MD) stand for?

Profile classes 05-08 are known as maximum Demand customers. This means the metering system has a register that gives the maximum demand for any given period.

What is a peak load factor?

All Maximum Demand meters have peak load factors (LF). The peak load factor is the ratio, expressed as a percentage, of consumption (in kWh) during a given period to the number of kWh that would have been supplied had the maximum demand been maintained throughout that period.

Can I change my profile class?

Suppliers are responsible for ensuring their customers profile class is set appropriately. There may be occasions where you feel you are on the wrong profile class. This may be due to a domestic property being renovated to commercial use, or a large industrial unit turned into domestic properties.

If you feel your profile is not best suited to your needs you will need to discuss directly with your supplier. They will advise whether you are able to change your profile class dependant on your consumption data and future use of the premises.

What is a Half Hourly (HH) electricity supply?

All profile classes of 00 are Half Hourly supplies (commonly known as HH). HH meters allow for the recording and storgae of electricity consumption data every half hour. Since April 1988 it has been mandatory to have a HH meter installed for any supply with a demand over 100KVA.

Can I choose to have a HH meter?

Businesses with 70KVA or above you can request a HH meter. For those above 100KVA (peaked 3 times or more annually), your distributor will write to you advising an upgrade is required. This is mandatory and can not be ‘opted out’ of.

How do I know if I am on a Half Hourly supply?

If your MPAN number starts with 00 (profile class) then you are on a Half Hourly meter.

What are the costs involved on a HH supply?

HH customers will see various other costs on their bills. These are mandatory and can not be avoided. These can include TNUOS, DUOS, DC, DA and KVA. These are explained in more detail further down.

What is KVA?

KVA stands for Kilo Volt Amperes. Also known as ASC ( Authorised supply capacity). Volt-ampere is the unit used for the apparent power in an electrical system. Apparent power is a combination of true power and reactive power. Maximum Demand and capacity charges are generally billed using kVA rather than kWh. Essentially, your KVA is the maximum amount of power you can pull from the grid at any one time.

Who sets my KVA and can I change it?

The KVA on any HH supply is set by the distribution network. If you are unsure of your KVA you will need to contact your DNO to confirm. Lowering KVA is significantly easier than increasing it, however, neither decision should be taken lightly. I

How to reduce my KVA

KVA plays a major part in the overall cost to a HH customer. A typical scenario is moving into a premises for a different purpose. You will need to contact you DNO ( Distribution network operator) in order to request a lower KVA. Once a lower KVA is agreed with your distribution network it is highly unlikely you will be able to increase this again in the future. There can however be significant monetary savings.

How to increase my KVA

Many businesses make the mistake of purchasing new equipment or moving into a new premises without checking the KVA first. It is vital that your KVA is set accordingly for your needs or you will be charged excess capacity charges by your DNO. In order to increase your KVA you will need to speak with your DNO whom will send you the relevant paperwork.

How to tender a HH supply.

Tendering a HH supply can be complex. Suppliers will need your annual HH data in order to quote for your supply. This can be obtained from your incumbent supplier. Suppliers will also need to know your KVA and Meter Operator (MOP).

HH quotes typically take 5 working days to obtain due to the complexity of their nature. Once received they will only be valid in day as prices are based on that days trading market.

If you are using a consultant a Letter of Authority (LOA) will be required in order to obtain pricing for any HH supplies.

What is a DNO ( Distribution Network Operator)?

DNO stands for distribution network operator. DNO’s own and operate the distribution network of towers and cables that bring electricity from the national transmission network to your premises. DNO’s do not sell electricity to consumers. There are currently 14 licensed DNO’s in the UK.

What is a MOP (Meter Operator)?

A MOP is an organisation responsible for installing and maintaining electricity and gas meters. They are completely seperate from energy suppliers or DNO’s. Although, some energy suppliers now have their own MOP arm.

It is a legal requirement for all HH meters to have a meter operator contract in place. If you do not appoint a MOP then your energy supplier will appoint their chosen operator and pass through these costs on your bill.

Can I shop around for my MOP contract?

Since de-regulation of the Meter Operating market competition is rife. You do not have to place a MOP through your supplier, or DNO. The MOP contract is a completely separate element to your energy costs. Prestige work with various Meter Operators and can assist you with this.

How much do MOP contracts cost?

This varies from supplier to supplier, and is dependent on your meter type (COP 3 or COP 5). Typically, they average anywhere from £300-£550PA.

What is DA/DC (data aggregation) on my HH bill?

Data Aggregation and data collection form part of the costs to HH customers. These are mandatory costs which can not be avoided.

Can I appoint my own DA/DC for my HH supply?

One of the benefits of having a HH supply is the ability to view and understand your data in real time. Prestige work in partnership with one of the few companies in the UK to be fully qualified as a MOP and have the ability to perform NHH and HH DC/DA.

As DC (data collector), we process the remotely retrieved meter readings and send the validated data to the supplier, to enable timely and accurate energy bills to be issued to customers. As DA (data aggregator), we will ensure the data is settled in accordance with industry procedures.

What are transmission Use Of Systems (TUOS/TNUOS) charges on my HH bill?

TUOS stands for Transmission Network Use Of System (commonly known as TUOS or TNUOS). These are the costs suppliers have to pay to the National Grid to cover the expenses of running the Grid.

What are the DUOS charges on my HH bill?

DUOS stands for Distribution Use Of System. These are the costs suppliers have to pay to the DNO of where the meter point is situated. These can often be seen as red, amber and green costs on a HH bill.

What is the TRIAD charge on my bill?

TRIAD is only charged separately on pass through contracts to HH customers. TRIAD costs occur due to suppliers having to pay the national grid for energy transmission. This is calculated from a suppliers demand in each UK region at the time of the highest national demand. These peak demands are known as TRIADs. Triads always occur between the months of November-February, typically between 5pm-6pm. This is due to the fact that industrial demand coincides with the domestic tea-time peak.

Triad charges are usually included in a unit rate on all fixed contracts, you will only notice an extra cost if you are on a pass through term.

Triad costs are passed onto customers from suppliers, based on your own peak demand at the time of the triad. If you have a high demand at this time it is possible to reduce your bill by reducing your consumption during this period.