5 Things Every Micro-Business Should Know About Switching Water Supplier
5 Things Every Micro-Business Should Know About Switching Water Supplier – According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as well as the Office for National Statistics, a micro-business is classified as one that has 9 or fewer employees. It includes new startups, as well as smaller established businesses such as a family-owned plumbing company or restaurant.
Micro-businesses are often founded without any external loans, investment, or other capital. This means that money can often be tight, especially in the beginning. Being efficient is much more important than it is for larger companies, because every pound counts, and represents a more significant portion of the business’ funds.
Reducing water expenses is one way that a micro-business can cut costs, leaving more funds available to invest in inventory or equipment. When it comes to switching water supplier, Ofwat (the economic regulator of the water sector in England and Wales) has put special protections in place for micro-businesses.
Extra protections available
Some of the protections available for micro-businesses apply only to them, but it is also worth being aware of others that apply to all businesses. Below are some things that micro-businesses should keep in mind when dealing with their water supplier.
Cooling off period
Micro-businesses are entitled to a seven day cooling off period when it comes to signing up for new water and waste water services. That means if you change your mind during this period, you can cancel your contract and get a full refund, no questions asked.
No automatic roll-overs
An automatic contract roll-over is when you reach the end of a contract term and your supplier renews the contract for another set period of time. Water suppliers are no longer allowed to do this without the micro-business providing written consent. This means you can’t get “locked in” to another unwanted contract simply because you weren’t keeping track of when your current contract was set to end.
Final billing requirements
Your water supplier is required to issue a final bill to your micro-business within no more than six weeks after the contract ends or from the date you switch providers. Managing cash flow is critical to the operation of a micro-business, and this helps prevent bills for old charges from showing up on your desk months later.
Since money is tight for a micro-business, receiving a backdated water bill can be that one additional expense that pushes your business into the red. Water retailers are required to offer a reasonable payment plan, so your company doesn’t need to choose between financial hardship and having your water services cut off.
Your water supplier must supply your micro-business with information related to your billing in easy-to-understand terms. This includes any tariffs, the type of contract and how long it will last for, the frequency of bills and how you can pay, as well as any additional charges you may be liable for if you terminate the contract early.
Don’t Pay More Than Necessary
An expert water consultant can help assess the water usage of your business and find areas to cut water costs. H2O Building Services can perform a water bill validation to ensure that your bill is free from errors or overcharging. For over 30 years, we have been helping clients of all sizes to minimise their water costs. Contact us today to find out more about switching water supplier.