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Herts County Council logoSupply Contracts & Billing

The Energy Management Team procures Hertfordshire’s corporate contracts for gas, electricity and liquid fuels (e.g. heating oil). We run the contract on a day to day basis paying invoices, dealing with school and supplier queries, helping arrange new supplies.

The information given below is to assist schools e.g. best practice, viewing billing, accruals.

Best Practice

  • Keep a log of where meters are located
  • Regularly note down your meter reads
  • Check your meter reads to the invoices viewable on line via the Systems Link website – if any problems let us know
  • Keep a note of Emergency contacts
  • Check on Grid for Learning for updates
  • Notify Energy Management Team of any issues, changes to metering or supplies. This helps us ensure your billing and contracts are up to date and to avoid un-necessary charges.
  • Keep all energy information in one place e.g.
    • Signed SLA (contract details)
    • Pricing generally (sent out late annually October/November)
    • System Link sign in
    • Gaps mailing (sent out annually late February/March)

Viewing Bills Online

Since 2011 schools billing has been paperless. Schools are able to view their billing online via the Systems Link website.

Below is a link to the user guide to help access various areas of the site.

Web Energy Reporting User Guide

If, after reading the guidance notes, you have any problems logging in or are not sure how to check your invoices on the system, can you please email the team on energy.management@hertfordshire.gov.uk including your school name and number and a brief description of the problem.

 

Gas Calculator

To assist schools in calculating accruals for gas billing we have created the gas calculator. It reflects how gas invoices are calculated including Climate Change Levy. It does NOT include Standing Charge which must be added to the consumption figures from the gas calculator to obtain accurate figures. You must also ensure you use the correct calculator for your meter is Imperial or Metric. The type of meter is generally printed on the meter as ft3 (imperial) or m3 (metric).

 

Energy Update

Service information
SLA

We are pleased to advise that following a review that the monthly SLA charges, which cover the costs of the Energy Management Team service, will not be increasing. The next review will be completed in 2018 for charges from 1st October 2018.

Systems Link

We have been aware that some schools have had difficulty in logging in to view their invoices, check meter readings etc. Following some discussion with the providers it was suggested that we change the user logins and passwords. E-mails were sent to schools in July explaining this and giving the new passwords. We re-sent the passwords in September too as an extra reminder. We trust these new logins have helped but if you do still have any issues please do get in touch.

Things to watch out for:

November 2018 – LASER have confirmed the new prices which apply 1st October 2018 – 30th September 2019. We are completing some checks and are in the process of sending the details out to each school by e-mail to the head@ e-mail addresses. We expect all the pricing to be with schools by the end of November.

 

Industry Updates

There are a number of changes happening in the gas and electricity markets which may affect pricing. At this stage we cannot be sure of exactly how this will play out for schools as these are all new or changed systems with details yet to be confirmed. However we would like to share what information we have at the moment.

How your electricity charges are made up and how you can influence pricing

The unit rate you are charged for electricity is made up of a number of different elements. Almost 50% of the unit price is purely for the energy use. The remainder is made up of various industry charges, which are set costs, however there is one area where the customer can have an influence. This relates to charges known as DUoS and TUOS (Distribution Use of System and Transmission Network Use of System). These costs are based on the previous year’s consumption during the peak times of 16.00 to 19.00. Sites with high usage during these times will typically have higher unit rates than those with lower usage. In effect if you are able to lower your usage 16.00 to 19.00 this year then you may be able to influence your unit prices for 18/19.

The DUoS and TUOS costs will increase considerably as a percentage of the bill (and actual costs) over the next few years so it is definitely worth considering ways to reduce consumption during these peak hours.

As with all energy savings following basic good practice will help such as turning off lights when not needed but there may be other things you can do to help e.g. Could cleaning work be completed in the morning rather than the evening Could technology e.g. tablets be charged outside this time The Energy Savings Trust may also be able to offer some support in reducing your energy consumption:

Carbon Reduction Commitment

2010 saw the start of the government scheme known as Carbon Reduction Commitment. For compliance Hertfordshire County Council has to prepare and report on gas and electricity consumption (reported as carbon). In addition a payment is made to the Environment Agency for each tonne of carbon. For the initial couple of years schools were included in the scheme with Hertfordshire reporting on their behalf. In April 2014 Phase 2 of the scheme was released in which schools were no longer included. The whole scheme is ending 31st March 2019.

From April 2019 it is being replaced by an increase in the Climate Change Levy (CCL). Where schools pay CCL they will see an increase in costs. Please see the table below which shows the CCL rates from April 2016. As you can see each year it has increased slightly with a more significant jump due 1st April 2019 when these changes come in to effect.

Fuel

Rate from 1 April 2016

Rate from 1 April 2017

Rate from 1 April 2018

Rate from 1 April 2019

Electricity (£ per KWh)

0.00559

0.00568

0.00583

0.00847

Gas (£ per KWh)

0.00195

0.00198

0.00203

0.00339

Available Capacity Charge

Those of you with Half Hourly electricity meters will be familiar with this charge which is only applied to larger (half-hourly) supplies. The charge is made up of a rate and an agreed capacity level set in the annual pricing. Until now the same unit rate is applied for all usage including that above the agreed capacity. However this will change soon with a higher rate being charged for any usage over and above the agreed figure.

For example (note this is not actual costs but approximate figures used for the example)

Current Level, cost and charge if consumption is kept to the contracted level

A

Agreed Level

200

B

Amount Used

200

C

Rate

0.96

= B x C

Cost £

£192.00

Current Level, cost and charge if contracted level is exceeded

A

Agreed Level

200

B

Amount Used

300

C

Amount over agreed level

100

D

Rate

0.96

E

Rate for over above usage

0.96

= (A x D) + (C x E)

Cost £

£288.00

Current Level, cost and charge if contracted level is exceeded under the new methodology * this rate is given as an example the actual rate will be different

A

Agreed Level

200

B

Amount Used

300

C

Amount over agreed level

100

D

Rate

0.96

E

Rate for over above usage

1.22

= (A x D) + (C x E)

Cost £

£314.00

Difference in cost is an increase of £26.00

To this end it may be that your available capacity level will need to be reviewed to ensure the school is not charged excessively. Each supply would need to be reviewed on an individual basis to ensure the set-up is correct and appropriate for the site. We will be carrying out some work around reviewing the Available Capacity and establishing a process to, if necessary, change the capacity. This will require input from affected sites. We will advise further in due course.