FAQs

We understand you can make us future savings, but can you save us money on bills we paid a couple of years ago?

Yes. M&C Energy Group has designed and developed its own suite of sophisticated and powerful IT systems, enabling our analysts to conduct retrospective analysis and cost auditing exercises. This analysis identifies discrepancies quickly and allows us to pursue refund opportunities without delay. We have a very thorough approach to all billing activity - our team physically checks invoices and supplier downloads for errors or discrepancies, allowing us to actively pursue overcharges, which can be backdated on behalf of our customers.

There are many different companies offering similar services, how do M&C Energy Group differ?

We really are different from the other companies, in a range of ways which you'll find beneficial. We are an independent consultancy firm, so we are not influenced by suppliers. By constantly monitoring the world markets, our global data analysis ensures that we only work with the suppliers who give us the best prices, which we can pass onto our clients.

These are just a few of the ways that we differ from our competitors, for a more comprehensive list of our differences, look at our Why Choose Us page.

Can I choose my water supplier?

In England and Wales, customers using more than 50,000m³ of water per annum at a single set of premises have been eligible to choose their water service provider since 1st December 2005.  However, switching provider does not affect the supply of water to a property, and service changes are limited to the retail functions such as meter reading, billing, payments etc.  Since retail costs represent only a fraction of water company prices there is little, if any, financial incentive for even the largest of the 2,200 or so qualifying customers to make the transition.  The lack of an effective competitive market is currently under review by Ofwat and the government, but no major changes are anticipated before 2014.

In Scotland, by contrast, it has been possible for all of the estimated 130,000 business customers to choose their retail services provider since 1 April.  Scottish Water continue to act as the sole wholesaler, but customers are able to negotiate discounts from a selection of alternative retail options

I have heard that some companies opt for flexible electricity or gas contracts. What are these and can M&C Energy Group negotiate and manage them?

Yes. M&C Energy Group can manage this type of contract in the relevant markets. Flexible contracts allow customers to be responsive to market opportunities and reduce the risk of contracting at market peaks – focusing your purchasing on the underlying 'negotiable' energy components and providing complete price transparency.

Providing copy utility invoices for M&C Energy Group's analysis can be time consuming. Why do you need them?

As frustrating as it can be, some suppliers will not provide copies directly to consultancies like M&C. But without them, we cannot analyse your charging arrangements and ensuring accuracy becomes difficult. They are vital, but we will be happy to arrange a delivery method that is as convenient and hassle-free as possible.

We have to tender for our electricity and gas contracts via the European Journal (OJEC). Can M&C Energy Group assist with this?

Yes. M&C Energy Group has ample experience of conducting tenders via OJEC and can arrange and manage the whole process on your behalf. This allows you to meet your tender obligations, while ensuring you still benefit from full, independent negotiations carried out by industry experts. By taking advantage of M&C Energy Group's market knowledge and experience, you can be confident that the contract(s) you ultimately accept are the most appropriate and competitive options available.

M&C Energy Group builds up a detailed consumption history for all our supply sites. Can we access this information ourselves?

Yes. M&C Energy Group has developed a bespoke online reporting tool which can be made available to our clients.  This online reporting system allows clients to view consumption and cost data for each site, along with meter data when applicable.  You can also compare the consumption and cost data of different sites.  The data can be viewed in text or graphical format.  Contact us today to discuss how access to better information can help your business.

What happens when suppliers want to increase prices during an agreed contract?

If the markets are increasing dramatically, suppliers have it written into the contract that they can add on surcharges. These are supposed to then be removed when the market reverses. With our market knowledge, we are ideally placed to see if the increase is justified and if we can negotiate a reduction - and to see when the market has readjusted and surcharges should be removed.

We have an overseas sister company, can M&C Energy Group use their expertise there?

Our national teams within Europe, Asia and America are at the core of our organisation and their innate understanding of local issues is invaluable. This localised knowledge, combined with our global network of data collection and monitoring systems is used by all of our analytical staff to interpret data and make informed decisions on behalf of clients.

So, the answer is: Yes - no problem.

What is a 'UBS', and how does it work?

UBS is a data processing service tailored to meet individual client requirements. This allows the streamlining of accounts payable, as well as simplifying the budgeting process. Our Data Processing (DP) team requests and processes the data relating to the energy and utility costs of our clients. There is real value in this service for our clients, as our team scrutinise bills for any discrepancies, identifying any anomalies that may exist. The work of the DP team uses our unique in-house systems designed to tackle any element of billing structures in all the countries we cover. This operation requires high levels of accuracy and attention to detail in a pressurised and demanding environment.

Our Company likes to move swiftly to make savings. How does M&C Energy Group handle market changes, and how quickly can changes be implemented?

Constant market monitoring has always been a core activity for M&C Energy Group because timing is so crucial when it comes to purchasing energy. Our information systems, used in connection with our experience, enable our analysts to monitor and react to developments in real time. 

We don't claim to predict the future. However, our system allows our team to respond to geopolitical events affecting the markets immediately, as well as providing us with the historic data and graphical tools necessary to analyse the markets and identify trends within it. Our analysts are equipped with the necessary tools to monitor energy prices on an hourly, daily and weekly basis, according to the requirements of our clients.

Once M&C Energy Group has looked at the bills we've paid, and hopefully made us savings, is that the end of the project?

Our involvement spans the whole life of the project, and can go much further. With a wide variety of services on offer, we can work together for a long as you want us to.

M&C’s services are designed to deliver ongoing, genuine value to your bottom line, continually seeking savings. We can work with you for as long as you are receiving benefits from our work.

Do water companies automatically apply the correct tariff structures and allowances to their customers' accounts?

Not automatically, no.  In fact, we secure major savings by identifying more appropriate water tariffs for our customers all the time.

Much of the billing information used by water companies was inherited from the local authorities following privatisation and as such is now out of date.  Furthermore, water companies generally apply standard tariff structures against properties by default, placing the responsibility for ensuring that the most cost effective rates are being applied firmly in the hands of the customer.  With supplier pricing and policy changes not made readily available to the consumer it is therefore common practice for them not to be benefitting from the discounts to which they are entitled.  Ask us to check your water bills and we’ll let you know if you can save money.

Do water companies refund overcharges for the entire period during which the error occurred?

Not necessarily, but M&C can help to maximise your benefit. Supplier policies vary and procedural demands can be stringent, so it’s essential that billing errors are identified and dealt with quickly and expertly.

Water companies in England and Wales generally limit their refunds to a maximum period of 6 years in line with the Limitation Act 1980.  In Scotland refunds are limited to 5 years as per the Prescription and Limitation Act (Scotland) 1973.  Where we are able to clearly demonstrate that the overcharge was the sole responsibility of the water company, refunds in excess of 5 and 6 years can occasionally be secured. However, supplier policy differs greatly and in many cases errors will only be corrected from 1 April of the charging year in which they are notified, or from the date of notification itself.

What is the purpose of a water survey and what does it entail?

Because water charges are linked to physical supply and drainage arrangements it is not possible to fully validate charges without an on site inspection.  The cost of such works precludes some sites from being visited, however, where possible M&C Energy Group undertakes in-depth surveys in order to both cross reference charging structures against site characteristics and investigate water usage and opportunities for efficiency improvements.  The surveys are always arranged in advance by M&C Energy Group engineers, and include, but are not limited to an inspection of the supply meter, water fittings, sewer connection, sample points etc.  In order to gain maximum value from the survey and comply with company health and safety requirements we generally recommend that our engineers are accompanied by site personnel during their visits, however, industry trained, CRB checked and carrying photo id they are able to conduct their surveys unaccompanied should our clients prefer.