Energy News 16/06/2017
Michael Gove is appointed energy secretary, suppliers continue to fall short on digital offerings and global e...Read More
For larger businesses, triad charges are a fact of life. If you are on half hourly metering – not to be confused with having a smart meter – you will pay triad charges. But what are they? And why are they so expensive?
If you’re a small business, you can look away now – you’re not getting charged for triad periods. If you are eligible for triad charges, they’ll be covered by the ‘fixed charges’ section of your bill. Triad charges are aimed at large and industrial users of energy, the point being that if you make energy really expensive at times when the national grid is under stress, businesses will stop using as much energy and demand will drop.
Triad periods are half hourly periods of peak usage which occur between November and February each year. There have to be ten days between each triad period, meaning that the triad periods may not cover all periods of highest demand.
Triad periods have been in use since the early 90’s, and are generally well received. Whilst charges are forecast to rise, and you’ll pay a fortune if you use a lot of energy in a triad period – over £20 for boiling a kettle – suppliers are pretty good at predicting when they’ll be. By concentrating peak energy charges to just three occasions, businesses pay a lot less than if they were charged a premium every time energy demand spiked.
Triad periods are never confirmed in advance, however suppliers do attempt to forecast them. If you’re eligible for triad charges you’ll probably receive warning notices from your supplier, which are preceded by a notice of ‘tight demand’ from the National Grid. These periods tend to happen when times of peak business energy usage coincide with spikes in domestic demand. Usually, this will be during a particularly cold snap – but it doesn’t have to be, and milder winters make triad periods harder to predict. As high business energy use and high domestic use need to coincide for a triad period to occur, almost all triads happen in the late afternoon on weekdays.
Ironically, triad warnings can help to avoid triad periods themselves – if energy usage drops enough then demand is lower and the triad period doesn’t occur.
Some businesses reduce their usage up to 30 times over the winter period, by cutting down the amount of energy they use or switching to backup generators, in an effort to avoid triad charges. Nothing can guarantee avoidance of the charges, but businesses who use less energy usage will see lower bills regardless.
The National Grid releases dates of the latest triad periods on or around 24th March each year.
Ofgem is currently consulting on charging arrangements for embedded generation – where certain energy generators are incentivised to feed energy into the grid during periods of high demand, in March the energy regulator cut the amount of incentives paid to small businesses, claiming that they were being over-rewarded. Depending on the results of this consultation, triads could be a thing of the past.
Last year’s triad periods were as follows:
5th December 2016
5th January 2017
23rd January 2017
"Very easy. Bea Luseni very efficient & knowledgeable."This review was posted by Alan Duffy on the 31st of March 2017
Super helpful and easy to work with
"Recommend this company in a heartbeat - Nicole Borneuf was super easy to talk to, was not pushy in the slightest, very helpful and replied with all my questions very professionally and did all she could to help. I had to deal with a few companies to sort my business energy out, all but Nicole were too pushy for my liking and I refused to follow through with them. Thank Nicole - you are a credit to your company, thank you for making the stressful energy change so easy."This review was posted by Mia Drew on the 29th of March 2017
An Extremely Competent Company
"Switch my business has not only helped my SME secure a good energy deal for the second year running but Jessica swiftly found a alternative supplier for me when I was let down on the day of switching by the new contractual provider I had chosen some 4 months previously. Being suddenly out of contract and without provider is everyone's energy nightmare. Greatest thanks."This review was posted by S McMillan on the 29th of March 2017
Helpful, friendly and we saved lots of money!
"Jessica Purnell was helpful and friendly, she made the whole process easy and simple AND we saved lots of money thanks Jess"This review was posted by Melanie Baker on the 23rd of March 2017
Quick & Easy
"Kabibi was very helpful and the whole process was very efficient. The one small reservation I had was that I was phoned up by Kabibi almost immediately having received my online quote - which wasn't enough time for me to finish reading the quotes! Fortunately she was able to assist me in a greater savings on both Gas & Electricity, and so as long as the switchover is seamless I will remain very happy with the service."This review was posted by Amanda Brown on the 21st of March 2017