The three of us need to talk; What Ofgem has not told you about British Gas’ fine.

Reading time: 4 mins
Outcome: cheaper, more accurate bills  


£4.5m. Could your business deal with that fine?


The Low Down
Last month British Gas Business agreed were penalised £4.5 million for failing to deliver smart meters to their large business customers. I could tell you the differences between meters and about the art meters have inspired. However, worrying about that kind of information is only necessary for my team at The Procurement Group and me. Although, we do not focus on art! Plus, I promised I would keep the reading time to 4 minutes.


What does the penalty mean for your business?
Now to the juicy parts. Ofgem did not tell you what we often forget about our providers. Instead, we think about the huge bills our suppliers just sent and how much they charged you last quarter.


It is easy to overlook that, like you and I, they have growth targets, profit goals and infrastructure plans to meet. Penalties hit those plans. Therefore, the fundamental question to ask is ‘why did British Gas not install the smart meters?’.


The answer; to get more money from their business customers. If you do not have a smart meter, you will receive estimated bills. Suppliers overestimate, and you lose out because your business has to pay the providers more than your usage. Without smart meters, you pay more on every bill, for every site.



How does this affect your business?
Think about how much the estimated bills increase your business costs every month. Now multiply that by 12, and consider how much money you are wasting on your providers every year. Ask yourself, what could your business do with that amount of money? You could employ efficient new colleagues, fit out new sites, present improved profits to the board. However, you cannot. The suppliers have that money because they have not installed smart meters.


Are you angry? Good. Keep on reading.


How can you protect your business?
Install smart meters and get exact bills! No more estimations and no more suppliers celebrating their profits, while your business loses out. Additionally, to get smart meters in every site, just ask your supplier. The responsibility to fit the meter is on them. It will not cost you a thing.


Hang on a minute. You have almost finished this article, and you still do not know who’s having the conversation?


Smart meters have a sim that talks with a data collector and the supplier; thus, providing precise bills based on usage. It is the meter, data collector, and the supplier that must communicate with each other. To receive precise bills, the three of them must talk to each other. Naturally, providers do not want your bills to be exact. Therefore, this conversation happening is a problem our customers regularly face. So make sure they are talking by checking that your bills are accurate, not estimated.


Let’s go back to that money your business is wasting because of estimated bills. Now, let’s install smart meters at every site and ensure the communication channels are active on each smart meter.


What did you say your business could do with the money wasted? Let’s do it.


Simon Unger is the MD of The Procurement Group, specialising in saving your business money. If your business is spending too much, let us help you save.


Email Simon | 0800 019 3244

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How to Navigate Business Telecoms Like a Pro.

According to the OECD, Britain has one of the most expensive digital networks for businesses to use. We also have one of the most comprehensive, albeit with some black spots. So, what can you do about it?


  1. Use a price comparison website.
Opera singers, pole dancing builders or meerkats… what a choice! These websites are great at comparing different deals from the main suppliers. But hang on… can you use these websites for your business? Well, no. No price comparison website we’ve seen does business telecoms. So, it’s a good job that we do! No opera, pole dancing or meerkats; just comparisons presented to you simply.
  1. Check this map
Is your business operational in any of the weak signal areas? If so, it might be worth checking which suppliers offer the best service in that area. However, the maps might not tell the whole story and do you really want to find that your CEO lives in a black spot after the contract is signed? We have proven, tried and tested ways to ensure that you are 100% clear about coverage in key areas before signing your contract; it’s just another component of our Intelligent Cost Reduction plans.
  1. Achieve Fair Market Value
You need to make sure that you are not sacrificing your business’ telecom’s customer service, voice/data quality and payment terms to get the cheapest deal. For business telecoms, alongside the price, we recommend listing the:
  • billing cycle
  • payment terms
  • contract length
  • call connection charges
  • online billing access
  • account management
  • broadband upload/download speed
That way you can ensure your business achieves Fair Market Value. At The Procurement Group, our purpose is to help our customers achieve Fair Market Value. Our Intelligent Cost Control plans are not just about price; the plans are enshrined in a commitment not to  compromise service, product quality and payment terms.
That’s it! Simple, right? Now you can navigate business telecoms like a good ‘un. However, is that enough for your business? If you want to be a pro, why don’t you navigate your telecoms as a Procurement Group client? Call Simon Unger today on 0800 019 3244 to have your free 15-minute telecoms review. Or e-mail him now!