money grab

Ofgem orders ‘Big Six’ suppliers to give money back to customers with dormant accounts, but energy giants cling on to £400m from overpaid bills.

This article caught our attention this week, as it highlights something we come across far too often here at MDG Group. When switching energy provider there is sometimes a credit left on your old account if you have been billed using estimates towards the end of your contract.

Once you provide the supplier with an up to date meter read it may be the case that they have been over estimating your consumption prior, therefore a credit is generated on your account depending on how many units you have been over-charged.

You would assume that the supplier would automatically refund this amount back into your account, right? Unfortunately not. Unless you specifically call up the old supplier and request this money be refunded, the credit will sit in your dormant account for years to come.

Ofgem is challenging this practice, calling for all energy suppliers to actively try to contact the customer and organise a refund. We certainly support this action by Ofgem, and urge you to review your closing invoices if you have switched supplier.



We are delighted to have successfully negotiated more than £20,000 worth of savings for one of our customers this week, by taking the lead in settling a dispute with their water supplier.

An analysis of a recent bill uncovered historical overcharges, meaning they will benefit from these savings for years to come. On top of these overcharges being rebated, we negotiated further savings in relation to a leak allowance dispute that had been on-going for some time. The time and effort we saved our customer’s management team was substantial, and we are pleased to have got a positive result for them.

With the recent increase in competition in the Scottish water market, there really is no better time to review your business water contracts. We can help you to obtain exclusive discounts from a number of suppliers, as well as determining if there are any historical overcharges that can be claimed.

For more information on our water services, please visit our website and do not hesitate to get in touch.



An end to businesses being ‘kept in the dark’ about hidden fees?

With Ofgem currently reviewing the policy framework of the energy sector, one of the UK’s biggest energy buyers is calling for an end to businesses being ‘kept in the dark’ on up to £100m-worth of hidden fees. Utilyx, which buys 10.5% of business energy in the UK on behalf of the country’s biggest retailers, banks and leisure providers, believes complete transparency is needed on the fees brokers earn for arranging energy deals.

“We believe it is time customers got full transparency on exactly what fees are being paid for the energy deals they are signing up to,” said Utilyx’s managing director Jo Butlin. “Together with direct regulation of brokers, that is the best way to improve the market, drive more competition and ultimately ensure customers are getting the best possible deal on their energy.” Unless TPIs are able to demonstrate they have carried out a comprehensive market comparison and presented a range of offers to customers, any commission paid to them by suppliers should be revealed, the firm says. It also believes direct regulation of the sector with stringent penalties for bad behaviour is vital to protect customers.

Here at MDG Energy, we fully support this view and believe more needs to be done to protect customers from hidden fees. As consultants, we do not take commission from the supplier. Instead we adopt the view that we should only be paid based on how much we can save you, meaning you are cash positive from the outset if savings are achieved.

Read the full article from Luke Nicholls at Edie Energy.


We are delighted to announce that we are sponsoring the Growth Business of the Year category at The Courier Business Awards 2014.

This event provides the perfect platform to recognise local businesses who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in their industry. None are more deserving of this recognition than the Growth Business of the Year category. These businesses have shown resilience in the face of adversity due to the recent economic downturn. Not only have they managed to significantly increase turnover, they have also created more jobs in their local area due to an expanding workforce.

Following on from the huge success of their inaugural event, this year promises to be even bigger and better. What is truly special about this event is that it caters for businesses from every sector of industry, and encourages participation from every size of business. The awards are key in promoting stronger links between businesses across Courier Country, leading to an increase in local procurement which results in a stronger local economy.

Entries are now open and free of charge at


The following article caught our attention this week as it highlights in a clear and concise way, the benefits of reviewing your business’s energy consumption.

Following a recent survey carried out by one of the leading energy suppliers, statistics show that good energy management practice can result in cost savings of between 5 and 25% per year. One of the easiest ways to reduce your business’s energy consumption is to change the way your employees view energy use. Most of us are guilty of leaving lights, monitors and switches on overnight, but appointing an ‘energy champion’ in the workplace can act as an efficient way to change employee behaviour.

Check out the article for ideas on how your business could embrace business growth opportunities offered by good energy efficiency practice.

“In a challenging business environment, SMEs would be well advised to take a close look at their business practices to see where potential savings could be made.”


A major energy supplier has been ordered to pay £5.6 million in fines and compensation after Ofgem found the company wrongly blocked businesses from moving suppliers.

Ofgem said that this company also failed to notify around 1,200 businesses that their contract was due to end.

We see this situation all too often when customers approach us. The benefit of having an energy consultant like MDG Energy is that we will settle these disputes with suppliers on your behalf, leaving you to focus on your core business activities. When a Notice of Termination is rejected erroneously by the supplier, we will pick up on this before it is too late. Additionally, we will always check that your supply is on track to transfer on your renewal date, to ensure you are not charged out of contract rates due to an error on the part of the supplier.

Between 2007 and 2012, Ofgem found around 5.6% of the objections made by the supplier to non-domestic customers wanting to switch suppliers were invalid – caused by errors in the firm’s computer systems.

The company also failed to give specific reasons as to why businesses were being prevented from switching and there were no details for customers on how the issues could be resolved.

If you want to avoid situations like these, trust us to manage your contracts from start to finish, making the switching process seamless and stress-free.


The following two articles highlight the benefits that can be seen by simply switching your halogen bulbs to LED lights. Energy efficiency is on the agenda for London Mayor Boris Johnson and Hull City Council, with each city opting to exchange the traditional orange sodium lamps for more reliable, longer life LED lamps.

London’s road lighting project aims to reduce energy consumption by more than 40% by 2016, with the added benefit of reducing associated carbon emissions at the same time.

If your business is seeking to become more energy efficient and benefit from savings for years to come, we can conduct a free energy saving survey to find out how best to tailor your efficiency project. Get in touch today to speak to one of our experienced advisors about your energy efficiency requirements.

Solar PV


Take a look at this interesting article, detailing how bakery giant Greggs has approached their energy management and made significant carbon and energy savings. The firm’s decision to install photovoltaic panels at 10 of their sites will result in reducing their carbon emissions by 25% by 2015.

The move will boost the company’s sustainability credentials, with recent emphasis on organisations to adopt energy efficiency programs in line with their corporate social responsibility plans.


The Renewal Process

The biggest obstacle facing businesses with regards to their energy portfolio is the renewal process. Each energy supplier will notify you of a Termination Date, whereby you can terminate your current contract in order to try and access lower prices from other suppliers. If you do not terminate your supply within this window of opportunity, you will automatically be rolled into renewal rates, some of which can be a 120% increase on your current rates. Assuming you have budgeted a certain amount per year for your energy contracts, missing a termination date can have significant consequences to your accounts.

Energy consultants like MDG Energy manage the renewal process from start to finish, taking away the stress of this time consuming procedure, ensuring that you receive the best prices available for your business. One of our clients expressed that her favourite part of having an energy consultant was that she did not have to phone energy suppliers, ever! Instead of waiting in a queue on hold, we deal with all communications with the supply company so that you don’t have to.

Billing Errors

Often is the case that incorrect rates have been applied to the new contracts when the supply is transferred. This could mean that you are being over charged, and are therefore due a rebate. We monitor all invoices from our clients and check that there are no discrepancies. In the case that there has been an error, again, you do not need to stress. We will take the lead in settling the dispute with the energy supplier on your behalf, saving you time and hassle and leaving you to manage other important aspects of the business.

Transfer Problems

It is important to check that the supply has gone live with your new supplier. If for whatever reason it hasn’t, you will be charged out of contracts rates which are incredibly expensive. The sooner an issue is picked up, the sooner it can be rectified.

We check that a supply is on course to transfer two weeks before the transfer date, in order to establish if there are any obstacles such as credit checks, or administrative faults on the supplier’s part. We have detected problems and have had enough time to rectify these ensuring that our clients are not charged out of contract rates. Failing to do so would result in high costs as well as high stress. Leaving it to experienced consultants ensures neither of these situations arise.


In the current market climate, more and more businesses are using energy brokers or energy consultants as part of their energy purchasing strategy. The main reason for this is to reduce expenditure on utilities.

But what is the difference between a broker and a consultant?

Simply put, the differences come down to pricing structure and the service you receive.

Brokers work on a commission basis, whereby they receive a fee from the energy supplier for introducing your custom, or there is a commission built into the price per kWh that you are quoted. Not all brokers will disclose this commission and therefore, there are sometimes hidden fees. This means that you will not know exactly how much you have paid for using the broker’s services.

Consultants tend to work on a pre-determined fee basis, either flat rate or based on the savings made. Here at MDG, transparency is key to everything we do and our fees are performance based. If we don’t save you money, you owe us nothing! In this way, you can be safe in the knowledge that we are always working with your best interests at heart, and will save you money wherever possible.

The energy procurement process is also different: Energy brokers will likely not review the whole market. If they are working on commission from specific suppliers, or if they receive more commission from certain suppliers, be wary that you will most likely not be getting the best deal for your energy contracts.

On the other hand, energy consultants carry out a full review of the market and will advise on the best tariffs and contracts for your business needs. No business is exactly the same and therefore, tailor made procurement strategies are essential.

Consultants like MDG Energy will manage your energy portfolio and offer a full service; ongoing bill validation; market monitoring and risk strategy; dedicated account manager; dispute resolution. Here at MDG, we also provide our clients with advice on how to reduce their consumption and become more energy efficient. We are in the position to manage an energy efficiency review and offer full project management for those committed to reducing their consumption, saving valuable revenue in the process.