Important news for schools that procure energy through the YPO contract

Important information regards school energy contract issues - particularly concerns regards British Gas billing and energy brokers.

Below is a copy of a letter from Bradford Council Environment & Climate Change Unit currently being sent to schools. It details information regards problems with British Gas billing and approaches from energy brokers regards energy contracts. If you are experiencing problems or issues with your energy contract or billing please email eccu@bradford.gov.uk

 

Dear Schools,

School Energy Contract Issues

I manage the council’s energy team and am writing to address any concerns you may have about utility supply through the YPO contract. In particular the British Gas (BG) section of the contract and the level of customer service they have recently been providing.  It would be fair to say that the level of BGs billing accuracy has been poor and much of my team’s time has been taken up with resolving the problems across Bradford Council's Corporate Estate.

Whilst working through the issues my team has learned that schools are experiencing many of the same problems and I am writing to you offering to help with resolving any issues you may have.

You may have experienced re-billed invoices, and multiple cancellations, incorrectly calculated meter costs, estimated bills and lack of customer service.  Your accounts may have issues you are unaware of. My Energy Officers have been dealing with these matters for some time and are now in a position to help with any incorrect bills you may have received.

If you believe that your bills are incorrect please email eccu@bradford.gov.uk.  Please title your email BG Billing Issues and then your school name.  Write with as much detail as you have and include copies of any bills you think require resolution.  We will help to identify issues and work with YPO to resolve these on your behalf.

In some cases we will be able to help co-ordinate a compensation claim to seek funds from BG to cover the additional administration costs that you have incurred resolving the incorrect bills.

In better news YPO has procured a new supplier to replace BG for the next gas supply contract starting April 2017.  I will be contacting you with more information about this in the coming weeks.  The new supplier will be Corona Energy.

I am aware that Brokers have been contacting schools to offer new contracts and energy deals.  I have been in communication with YPO to find out the process you would need to follow should you wish to leave the YPO contract.  YPO have clarified that leavers would need to give six months notice of an intent to leave on the following 31 March.  This means that notice needs to be given by 30 September for a March 2017 change of supplier.

I am conscious that Brokers have been offering deals that appear very attractive, these are not always what they seem.  Please ring ECCU on 01274 434003 or  01274 431924 if you are thinking of leaving and I, or one of my officers, will talk to you about the deal that is on the table to help you understand any hidden costs that they have not included in the quote you have received.  We benchmarked the YPO contract in 2015 with support from our procurement team and found it still represents long term value.   

YPO believe that the flexible purchasing approach is the best option in the longer term.  They are also able to offer fixed price, fixed term contracts upon request in exactly the same way a broker would do.  We are also working with YPO to improve the services we offer to schools, these include things like bill validation, contract support and soon to be introduced an online energy management toolkit.

 

Yours sincerely

Neill Morrison

Energy Project Manager

  


Information

Published: 04/07/2016
Audience: Headteachers, Finance / Business Managers
Contact: Neill Morrison

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