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By Nationwide Energy

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Advice given: Nationwide Energy has outlined ways in which operators can improve their credit score, which can be beneficial when considering suppliers (image: Getty/Galeanu Mihai)
Advice given: Nationwide Energy has outlined ways in which operators can improve their credit score, which can be beneficial when considering suppliers (image: Getty/Galeanu Mihai)

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With energy markets continuing to fluctuate and operators facing uncertain costs, the MA has teamed up with Nationwide Energy Consultants to provide our readers with a regular update to keep you one step ahead when it comes to the utility sector.

The sharp decline in commodity costs has continued throughout the coldest months. These falls have been interrupted by short-term events reducing energy availability before the fundamentals of strong supplies create further downward pressure.

Power and gas year

The continuing positive picture of high levels of gas in storage, good supplies, and gas demand levels which are approximately 20% lower than pre-crisis has led to prices approaching long-term averages sooner than was previously predicted.



Commodity Cost

Av Unit Rate

Av S/C (£)































The increase in commodity costs has been reflected in the last few days in increased unit rates. It must be expected that this will continue given the lag between commodity and contract costs. The average price in terms of contract rates doesn’t reflect the range of rates that different customers are paying. While the differential between the lowest and highest rates has reduced, reflecting the overall drop in costs, some customers still face a significant additional cost of around 8ppkW for electricity and 2ppkW for gas.

Suppliers generally have a specific contract rate for every meter priced and it’s a matter of pass or fail on credit. The suppliers with the best rates often have the strictest criteria. However, some suppliers offer very competitive rates and low credit thresholds. In such circumstances, customers may face more punitive T&C’s: for example, the meter switching to pre-payment if you go into arrears. Such offers typically also include higher deemed rates, poorer customer service, and difficulties processing a change of tenancy.

Those most affected by this are sole traders and recently formed companies taking on a new business. Suppliers use a variety of credit checks and the exact criteria are unknown. However, there are several things you can do to improve your credit score:-

-          Check your credit report and correct any errors.

-          Make sure the credit report of any partners is also correct.

-          As a credit report typically updates every 30 days, check your report well in advance of any application for credit, including energy contracts.

-          For a limited company make sure your information is up to date on Companies House.

-          Ensure you are on the electoral roll and that your address matches the Royal Mail postcode checker.

-          Ensure you use your registered address rather than any temporary address.

A credit decline isn’t the end of the matter, and many Nationwide Energy customers get accepted by suppliers through their credit referral and appeals processes. The high volumes of contracts we process gives us detailed knowledge of supplier's practices and the type of challenges customers face.

We can also advise on the type of information that suppliers will request as proof of the change of tenancy. Many suppliers are taking a more rigorous approach to verification, particularly where there is debt, as the energy crisis has led to a major increase in business failures.

Given that many of the above-noted steps have a built-in delay of up to 30 days, operators planning on taking on a new pub are advised to make the above checks in plenty of time. For further advice and assistance please contact Nationwide Energy​ on 02476 328995 or at vasb@angvbajvqr-raretl.pb.hx

 •          Graph produced by Cornwall Insight in conjunction with Drax Energy Solutions 08/03/2024

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