Codes of Practice
- Paying for your energy
Your Payment Options
We believe that 'paying for your energy’, is about more than just paying bills. So, while you will find information about the ways you can pay for your energy below, we thought we would include an explanation about what goes into these services too.
We understand that paying for energy bills can be difficult. If you are having difficulty, you can visit any of the organisations listed at the bottom of this page for independent help. Alternatively, please call 01962 891 195 to speak to our Customer Budgeting Team. We can help find a payment plan that will suit you. We offer several ways for you to pay for your energy and will find a solution that will take your circumstances into consideration.
1. Ways to Pay
Monthly Fixed Direct Debit
There are many ways to pay for your energy usage, but we think the best way is to set up a monthly fixed Direct Debit which allows you to split the cost of your yearly energy charges equally over a period of 12 months.
A monthly fixed Direct Debit is calculated to cover your expected energy usage for the year. If available, we use your previous year’s usage. When it isn’t, we use details we have about your premises, to estimate your usage. We calculate your total energy costs (including any account balance, if applicable) for the coming year - then simply divide it by 12 to give you a monthly figure.
We spread your payments evenly over the year, so no need to worry about frequent changes to your monthly outgoings. You will receive an annual Direct Debit review – and rest assured we continue to monitor your usage to make sure it’s in line with your payments.
If you build up a large credit balance on your account, you can request all or part of this back at any time. When considering refunding your credit back to you, we will assess your circumstances and may take into account the time of year to determine whether it is reasonable to do so bearing in mind that your Direct Debit payments may increase.
We will always comply with the Direct Debit guarantee.
The Direct Debit Guarantee
The Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits
If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit, Utilita Energy Ltd will notify you (normally 10 working days) in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request Utilita Energy Ltd to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request
If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit by Utilita Energy Ltd or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society. If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when we ask you to
You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simply contacting your bank or building society. Written confirmation may be required. Please also notify Utilita Energy Ltd
Variable Direct Debit
A variable Direct Debit is suitable for customers who want to pay for exactly what they use during that month. This payment option would be preferable for businesses who may be impacted on a seasonal trend.
As the Direct Debit is taken within 14 days of the date of the bill, this would mean you would need to ensure there are sufficient funds available. Your bill amounts will vary month to month depending on your energy usage.
We will always comply with the Direct Debit guarantee.
Payment on receipt of bill (not available to new customers)
Like the variable Direct Debit option, this is preferred by customers who want to pay for exactly what they use. Your bill amounts will vary month to month depending on your energy usage. We will issue a bill each month, and request that you pay this within 14 days of the date of the bill.
You will need to ensure that your payment reaches us before the due date. You can make a payment by:
- Bank Transfer (BACS)
- Through My Utilita Business
- Debit card
- Credit card
- Postal order
If required, our bank details are included below.
Utilita Energy Ltd
Sort Code – 09-02-22
Bank Account Number – 10470356
Please make sure to include your 12-digit payment reference shown on your bills to help allocate the payment to your records.
BillPay: Alternatively, with a BillPay card number, you will be able to make payments to your Utilita account directly through our App or online portal, at a PayPoint, via our website at www.utilita.co.uk/top-up or through our automated payment line 0330 0537 657. If you don’t have a BillPay card, you can request one free of charge by visiting utilita.co.uk/newcard
Pay-as-you-go Meter (not available to new customers)
Pay-as-you-go meters, or prepayment meters, offer a pay-as-you-go service, useful for budgeting finances and energy conscious businesses. The meter requires payments, known as top-ups, in advance of the energy being used. If the credit runs down to below £0, then the meter may shut off supply to the premise. This is not a desirable payment option for businesses that rely on a continuous supply of energy to remain profitable.
The prepayment meter will offer £15 emergency credit as an emergency buffer in case it is not immediately convenient to top up straight away, and we offer friendly credit hours – meaning you wont ever lose power during the evenings, weekends and bank holidays. You make payments via a top-up card (one for each of your meters). You can top-up online, via SMS, over the automated phone line, through PayPoint outlets or via a Direct Debit.
2. Bills and Statements
The frequency and format of your bill will depend on the method by which you chose to pay for your usage. We have outlined when you can expect a bill below:
- If you have chosen to pay on receipt of a bill, you will receive a bill every month which will break down your energy usage and specify whether this is based on actual or estimated reads. You can choose to pay for this via a variable Direct Debit or manually using the ways to pay described above.
- Direct Debit customers will receive a monthly statement to show what they have paid and whether they have covered the cost of the energy they have used.
- Pay As You Go customers pay for all their energy up front, eliminating the need for a monthly bill.
- If you have a Green Deal premises, you will also receive a Green Deal Annual Statement (for every 12-month period you are with us). This may be provided alongside your gas and/or your electricity Annual Statement.
You may qualify for a reduced VAT rate of 5% if your business has a daily gas usage not more than an average rate of 145kWh per day (4,397kWh per month) of piped gas to any one of your premises (if you have more than one site). For electricity customers, you must not consume more than an average rate of 33kWh per day (1,000kWh per month). If you consume less than 53,764 kWh of gas per annum and less than 12,000 kWh of electricity per annum, we will apply a VAT rate of 5% automatically.
If you disagree with an estimated bill (where your consumption has been based on estimated meter readings), you can choose to submit your own meter readings. Any meter readings provided will be considered and adjustments to your bill will be made accordingly. We always try to accept your first meter reading provided that it is reasonable, but we reserve the right to send our own representative to validate the information provided.
In the event of a billing dispute, we request that you pay the amount that is not in dispute and we will investigate the issues. Where we have carried out our investigation, we will present you with the outcome. If you continue to dispute the outcome, you may have the right to refer your case to the Ombudsman. More information on making a complaint can be found on our complaints page.
If you think that your bills are being affected by a faulty meter, then we may ask you to keep a record of your energy usage for a few days as a preliminary investigation. If you ask us to send an engineer out and there is nothing wrong with your meter(s), we may charge you for the visit and this debt will be added to your bill or Pay As You Go meter.
As a supplier, we want to make sure you receive accurate energy bills in a timely manner. If we make a mistake and fail to send you a bill for over 12 months, we will make sure you are only charged for the last 12 months of energy consumption. Any energy used outside of those 12 months will not need to be repaid.
To keep your bills accurate, we will use your smart meter to provide us with regular remote readings. If you do not have smart meter installed or your smart meter is unable to provide a remote reading, you will need to provide us with up-to-date meter readings.
We will try to use at least one actual meter reading every 12 months, if we are unable to do this, we will only charge you for the last 12 months of energy consumption. Please note, this does not apply if we have made reasonable attempts to read your meter and we have been denied access to it.
Where you have deliberately prevented us from being able to issue you with a bill for more than 12 months of usage, or you’ve prevented us from being able to bill you based on actual meter readings, we will not apply this back-billing principle. We will explain the reasons why.
3. Overdue Payments
If you fall behind with payments, then we will write to you and let you know how much is outstanding. We will discuss the options available to you in order that you can clear any outstanding debt. We may agree a reasonable payment plan and if you do not miss any payments under this plan, you will not be liable for any further action.
We reserve the right to charge the Payment Administration Fee which would be a fee based on passing through to you all the reasonable administration and other costs that we would incur.
Under certain circumstances, we may ask you to switch to a Pay As You Go method in order to recover any outstanding debt. We may switch one or all of your meters, and we may add the outstanding amount to your pay-as-you-go meter to repay as a percentage of future top ups. More information about prepayment meters can be found in section one. Where you have more than one pay-as-you-go meter, we reserve the right to move your debt between the meters, to ensure the debt is reduced as quickly as possible.
In extreme circumstances, where a Pay-as-you-go meter is not suitable, we may stop your supply remotely, or apply for a warrant to disconnect or de-energise your meter. This will mean that your energy supply will be cut off until you are able to pay us the full amount owed, plus any disconnection and reconnection charges that we may have incurred as a result of recovering the overdue amount.
Where we undertake revenue protection activities this may result in charges being made to your account including (but not limited to) the cost of any investigation, warrants and associated costs, and the costs of any subsequent court case.
We do not wish to take any of the above actions, and we do so only in severe cases of non-payment. Where you engage with us early, we can stop any further debt recovery action and work with you to help you through any difficulties you may have. We can offer assistance or point you to sources of independent advice if you wish.
If we take any of the actions described above, we will write to you to tell you what to expect. Wherever possible, please let us know your circumstances, so that we can make any reasonable adjustments.
4. Moving Premise
You need to ensure that you take final meter readings on the day you move out of your business premises, and take start reads on the day you move into a new business premise. This will ensure that you only ever pay for your own electricity and gas and that any final bill or statement that we send you is accurate. You can do this by completing and sending us a Change of Tenancy form available at our downloads centre.
If you are leaving the premise before a fixed term contract has ended, you can avoid the termination fee by taking your energy contract with you to your new premise. Please give us a call to discuss this option.
5. Energy Efficiency Advice
6. Useful contact details
We’ll do everything we can to help you but if you would like impartial advice on a consumer related issue the following independent organisations can offer free and confidential advice.
- Gas Safety and Emergencies
The most important thing to remember is your safety. There are a number of precautions that you can take in order to ensure that you are not exposed to any danger from your gas or electricity supply.
Using Gas Safely
If you smell gas, follow this advice from the National Gas Emergency Service:
- Do not smoke
- Do not use naked flames
- Do not use doorbells, mobile phones or turn any other electrical switches on or off
- Turn off the gas mains supply at the meter
- Open doors and windows to ventilate the house
National Gas Emergency Service number - 0800 111 999
(Do not phone from a mobile phone as this may ignite a spark)
If your meter is NOT in a basement, cellar or confined area, turn off the gas supply at the emergency control valve handle. The valve can be found near to the meter. Turn the handle through 90 degrees so that it is at a right angle to the pipe.
Now follow the basic safety advice below.
If the meter is in a basement, cellar or confined area do not enter the area to turn off the supply; follow the steps below.
Basic Safety Advice
- Turn off all gas appliances, if safe to do so
- Extinguish all naked flames, do not smoke, use matches or any naked flames
- Do not operate anything electrical/battery operated i.e. mobile phones, light switches or radios
- Open all doors and windows to ventilate the premises
- Evacuate the premises - Warn others i.e. multi-occupancy properties / neighbours
- Leave the door open if there is a electric operated door bell entry system
Carbon monoxide is a very dangerous gas. It is colourless and has no taste or smell. If your business gas appliances are faulty, or there is not enough ventilation in the room, carbon monoxide may be produced.
To keep your household safe you can:
- Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm (it should be marked to EN 50291 and also have the British Standards' Kitemark or another European approval organisation's mark on it.)
- Service your appliances
- Don’t block ventilation ducts or vents
- Know the signs
Orange or yellow gas flames. Gas flames should be blue.
Sooty stains or discolouration on or by the appliance.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include: headaches, drowsiness, sickness, giddiness or stomach pains.
Many of the symptoms are similar to those of flu, food poisoning, viral infections, or simple tiredness. Other warning signs that suggest carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- Symptoms only occur when you are at your business premises
- Symptoms disappear or get better when you leave your business premises and come back when you return
- Other people on the premises are experiencing similar symptoms
- Symptoms tend to be seasonal – e.g. headaches during the winter when the heating system is used more often
- If these symptoms are experienced, the person should seek immediate medical advice from their GP, call NHS Direct on 111 - or if it is urgent, call 999 for an ambulance
Using Electricity Safely
Electricity is safe if you use it responsibly, but carelessness can lead to accidents. When using electricity, make sure you take the following precautions:
- Check all flexes and fittings regularly. Short flexes are best, and they should never be placed over the top of work surfaces
- Ensure that all plugs are correctly wired. New electrical appliances will always have a fitted plug that you cannot rewire. If the plug is damaged you should cut it off and throw it away. A new plug should be fitted following the correct procedure
- Try to use only one plug per socket. If this is not possible, use a reliable adaptor
- Make sure the fuse is the right size by checking the label
- Wiring should be checked every 5 years by a member of the National Inspection Council for Electrical Insulation (NICEIC). Approved contractors are listed in your local yellow pages
- Never hang anything on a fan, convector or radiant heater or block air grilles
- Never handle plugs, switches or electrical appliances with wet hands
- Never fit timeswitches to electric fires or heaters
- Arrangements for Site Access
The purpose of our visits
There are several reasons why a Utilita representative may call at your business premises:
- An engineer may need to come and fix or fit your meters
- On occasion, we may need to send someone to read your meters
- Under extreme circumstances, a debt recovery agent may have to be sent to your premises for debt purposes
- A third party intermediary/broker might attend your premises to offer you information about our services
Direct employees or contractors working on our behalf to attend to your business premises through arranging appointment slot. We ask for someone over the age of 18 to remain in the premises for the duration of the arranged time slot. As a customer, you can decline a proposed visit and reschedule it for a more convenient time.
If for any reason we miss you, we may leave a card to let you know that we’ve called. We can’t guarantee that we can get back to you on the same day, but if you call our Business Customer Services team, we will reschedule the appointment as quickly as possible.
Other planned visits may include attending the premises in relation to faulty meters or revenue protection activities. Our disclaimer for planned visits regarding access to your premises is outlined here below.
Disclaimer - for planned visits to your business premises
When our engineer attends your business premises for a planned visit, you should be aware of the following:
If the engineer attends the property between the times we specify and that you have agreed to, and they are unable to gain access to your premises or the meters, you may be liable for a missed appointment charge.
All our charges are available on our website in the Guaranteed Standards of Performance.
The installation of our smart meters typically takes between 1-2 hours. The power in your premises will need to be turned off for a short time during this period, so we can safely carry out the exchange of your electricity meter.
You will need to ensure the area around your meter(s) is clear, by removing any obstructions and safe. If your meter(s) is hidden, please ensure all fascias are removed so it is accessible before the engineer is due to attend.
If we fail to attend in the timed appointment slot we specify and that you have agreed to, you may be entitled to £30 compensation. The time specified is the time the engineer should arrive on site by and not the time the job should be completed by.
If the engineer attends and finds either your gas or electricity supply to be unsafe, where possible, they will complete the install of the new meter(s) but leave the affected supply(s) disconnected. It would then need to be made safe by a third party, usually a Distribution Network Operator or Gas Transporter, before your supply can be reconnected safely.
If the engineer attends but is unable to complete the install, a secondary visit will be required to carry out a site survey before we can carry out the safe installation of your meter(s).
On occasion, we may send our staff or contractors to attend your premises to undertake several activities. If you have any doubts regarding whether the attendant is a genuine Utilita representative, please do not grant access to your business premises. All staff and contractors working on our behalf will carry identity cards.
Each of our representatives will wear a valid photo ID badge, but not necessarily with the Utilita logo on it. This is because, to deliver the best service possible, we sometimes outsource engineering work or meter reading to external Meter Operating Companies. These representatives will always be trained to meet our high standards of practice, but do not be alarmed if they are not wearing Utilita uniform as they are still working on our behalf.
You should always check the identity and business of any person before letting them into your business premises. All visiting representatives have an identity card that they will show you without being asked. They will also confirm the exact reason they are calling.
You should check the card thoroughly; it should contain the following information:
- Our name - Utilita or the name of the Network Operating Company, Meter Operating Company
- The name of the representative
- A colour photograph of the representative
- An expiry date (all cards are handed back on expiry or when a representative leaves the company)
- A telephone number that you can call to check their identity
- Their Agent ID Reference
The person who lets the engineer in must be over 18. Whether they are coming to fix your meters, or fit your property with new smart meters, their identity can be verified by any member of our Customer Care Team. If in doubt, call us on 03330 156 662.
Utilita supplies your electricity and/or gas but does not own the pipes and wires used to transport these around the country. These are provided by national or local grid and pipeline companies (‘Network Operator Companies’ NOC’s). These Network Operator Companies carry out the same duties for Utilita as any other national utility supplier under the terms of their licences.
Occasionally a Network Operator Company might need to work on the pipes and wires that connect to your home, we will always try to give you advance warning of this, but in case of an emergency they may let you know directly. These Network Operating Engineers will rarely need to come into your property, as it is up to us as your supplier to maintain your meter.
Once you are installed with smart meters, we can read them remotely. In the lead up to this, we may have to send someone to read your meters manually. Like many suppliers, we sometimes use an external Meter Operating Company to ensure that all of our customers are billed accurately. You are by no means obliged to let anybody into your house and in most situations we can supply you with a meter reading card for you to fill in yourself.
Debt Recovery Agents
If we have been unable to obtain any sort of payment, we may resort to using debt recovery agents. We are reluctant to do this and will help you avoid this eventuality as best we can, so please contact us if you fall into debt and feel that you cannot cope. There are strict rules governing debt recovery agents and you can learn all about your consumer rights by calling the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or checking their website. Their contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.
Where we can make a prior arrangement and time for a visit we will. Our appointments are divided into four time slots, ‘am’ and ‘pm’.
- 8am – 12pm
- 9am – 1pm
- 12pm – 4pm
- 1pm – 5pm
All appointments are specified to a 4-hour period. This does not mean the installation will take the indicated time period. You can decline a proposed visit and reschedule if it presents an inconvenience to the business schedule. Charges may be applicable where appointments are rescheduled in less than 24-hours prior to the appointment date and time. We will not be able to guarantee appointments that are outside working days and working hours.
In the case that we are unable to make the appointment, we will contact you in advance to make prior arrangements for this. Regulatory conditions may be applicable to instances where compensation is awarded for breaches.*
- Energy Efficiency
One way to manage your spending is to improve the efficiency of your business premises. All our Business Customer Services Advisors are trained to offer you advice on saving energy and will send you out an energy efficiency pack on request. Smart metering also helps you to monitor and control your usage and carbon emissions, helping you to implement greener business practices and save you money.
Energy Efficiency Guidance
This guide shows how to identify measures where energy and cost savings can be easily made with little or no cost. It is designed for use by anyone new to carbon saving (especially in smaller businesses) and recognises that not everyone has the time or resources to undertake a full carbon management programme!
Carrying out an Energy walk round!
The need to identify where energy saving can be made is essential to start!
By looking at Conducting a walk round with a checklist will identify:
- What is happening on the ground
- Wasteful energy use
The areas to look at on a walk round are heating, lighting, office equipment and, if applicable, factory and warehouse equipment.
Overheating is often the result of heating areas that do not need to be warmed (such as storage areas or corridors) to the same temperature as those that do, such as occupied areas. Overheating can also be the result of poor control of heating systems.
When were the heaters or boilers last serviced?
Heating costs can increase by 30% or more if the boiler is poorly operated or maintained.
Is there evidence of use of portable heaters?
Portable electric heaters are expensive to run. If portable heaters have to be used, install a simple time switch so they turn themselves off after a designated period, for instance 30 minutes.
Are there heaters and air conditioning units operating simultaneously in the same space?
Simultaneous heating and cooling of a space is commonplace and wastes a lot of money. Set a ‘dead band’ of 5°C between heating and cooling, to avoid this happening.
What type of fluorescent tubes are in use?
Slimline fluorescent tubes (26mm diameter) use 10% less electricity and are cheaper to buy than the older 38mm tubes.
Are standard (tungsten) light bulbs still being used?
Is there an opportunity to use LEDs?
LED lighting can provide substantial energy savings. LEDs typically have a long lifetime and will need less frequent replacement than many other lighting types.
Is the exterior lighting always switched off when it is not needed?
Are lights switched off when the premises are not occupied?
In the office
Apart from heating and lighting savings, energy consumption in offices can be reduced by looking at the way equipment is used. In an air conditioned office, it can take half as much energy again to remove the heat generated by office equipment as it takes to run the equipment in the first place.Have the computers got in-built energy saving features?
Are computers left on overnight?
Are photocopiers located in air-conditioned areas?
Factory or Warehouse
Is equipment left running when it is not being used?
Are Higher Efficiency Motors fitted?
Are Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) fitted to equipment?
Are the seals on refrigerated areas/equipment in good condition?
Make sure that doors to refrigerated areas are being kept closed?
Is the refrigeration equipment well maintained?
Step 1: Make someone responsible!
Step 2 Plan and organise!
Step 3: Involve the staff!
- Complaints View our complaints page.
- Guaranteed Standards of Performance
As your supplier, we want to always offer you the highest standards of service possible. In order to do this we aim to meet the following standards of performance to make your experience with us as your supplier, the best possible.
Making and keeping appointments
If you request an appointment or we need to visit your business premises, we will offer you an appointment within a reasonable timeframe and a maximum four hour time slot, during working hours, or if acceptable to you, a morning appointment up until 1pm or afternoon appointment after 12pm.
We will not rearrange an appointment less than 1 working day before the date of the appointment, without obtaining agreement from you to rearrange. We must also keep a written record of your agreement to rearrange.
If we fail to meet these standards you may be entitled to a payment of £30.
We may be asked by electricity distribution companies or gas transporters to pay compensation to you in some circumstances where you have lost supply.
The network company will let us know who is due compensation and how much. If you are identified as a customer who is due a payment we will let you know of this and make payment to you within 10 working days of us receiving the payment.
If we fail to meet these standards you may be entitled to £30.
Suppliers Payment Obligations
If we fail to meet any individual Standards of Performance, set out here and where payment applicable, we must for each failure, make a payment of £30 to you the customer, within 10 working days.
If we fail to make the payment we must for each payment, pay you a further £30 within 10 working days.
This also applies to failure to make the above ‘Distributed Payments’ (where a payment is applicable).
- Fuel Mix Disclosure
Fuel Mix Disclosure
Based on the Residual Fuel Mix Table for Tax Year 2020/211
Fuel Type Utilita Fuel Mix2 UK Average Fuel Mix3 Coal 4% 3% Natural Gas 54% 38% Nuclear 7% 16% Renewables 30% 40% Other 4% 3%
1 The disclosure period is from 01/04/20 to 31/03/21
2 This data relates to the total amount of electricity purchased for supply by Utilita.
3 Ofgem regulations state values must be rounded to the nearest whole percent if >1% so values may not add up to 100% as a consequence.
Grams of Carbon Dioxide Emitted per kWh of Electricity:
Radioactive Waste Produced per kWh of Electricity:
- Contact details
Business Customer Service Team: 03330 156 662
8:00am - 6:00pm Mon - Fri
Moving Business premises: 03330 156 662
9:00am - 6:00pm Mon - Fri
Automated Top-Up Line: 03452 068 333
8:00am - 8:00pm Mon - Fri
Emergency Line: 03452 068 999
8:00am - 10:00pm everyday
Meter Reading Line: 03452 093 750
24 hours everyday
What to do if you smell gas:
- Do not turn any electrical switches on or off
- Do not use matches or naked flames
- Open doors and windows to get rid of the gas
- If possible turn off the gas supply to the meter
- Do not use mobile phones
If in doubt, always call the National Gas Emergency Number: 0800 111 999
Electricity Emergencies – Distribution Network Operators
- East Midlands - Central Networks: 0800 056 8090
- Eastern Region - EDF Distribution: 0800 783 8838
- London - EDF Distribution: 0800 028 0247
- Manweb - ScottishPower: 0845 272 7999
- Midlands - Central Networks: 0800 328 1111
- Northern Electric - NEDL: 0800 668 877
- Norweb - United Utilities: 0800 195 4141
- Scottish Power - ScottishPower: 0845 272 7999
- Scottish Hydro-Electric - S&SE: 0800 300 999
- Seeboard - EDF Distribution: 0800 783 8866
- Southern Electric - S&SE: 08457 708 090
- South Wales - Western Power Distribution: 0800 052 0400
- South West - Western Power Distribution: 0800 365 900
- Yorkshire Electricity - YEDL: 0800 375 675
If you need to get in touch
Lost supply? - please call our Emergency Line on 03452 068 999 so we can get you back on supply quickly!
This number is reserved for loss of supply enquiries only (Open 8am - 10pm, 7 days a week)
03 numbers are UK wide numbers that are charged in the same way as 01 and 02 numbers.