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Volatile Energy Market? How Care Providers Can Come Out On Top


13th February 2024    
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Event Type

David Woodward from Focus Energy Services discussed strategies for care providers to effectively manage energy costs in a volatile market. He underscored current trends and global events contributing to energy uncertainty and instability, and highlighted solutions to mitigate costs.

David highlighted why a competent energy broker, that really takes the time to understand needs and requirements will reduce your costs and advise on key considerations and the necessary information to secure optimal energy deals. He emphasised the importance of audits and regular service reviews in identifying and rectifying overcharges and billing errors.

As an Energy Advisor for Care England, David has played a pivotal role in securing the lowest possible energy costs for the care sector 100% of the time and has successfully reclaimed over £5m in overcharges through rigorous audit processes.

Drawing from his experience working with Care England, David shared valuable insights and practical tips for care providers to optimise their energy arrangements and recover any incorrect charges. This webinar promises to provide actionable strategies to navigate the complexities of energy management and minimise costs for care providers.

A recording of this webinar can be found here:


An FAQ Sheet can be found in the drop down menu here:


1) How do I know if my broker is overcharging me? How much should they charge?

We consider that the maximum a broker should charge for arranging an energy contract is 0.5p a kWh

2) How do I know if my quotes cover the whole market? And I’m not being pointed to the highest commission paying energy company?

It’s very difficult as brokers use quoting platforms, which don’t include all energy suppliers. Energy suppliers are rightly cautious about which brokers they will allow to deal directly with them. If a brokers doesn’t have direct access to the suppliers that don’t appear on quoting platforms then they can’t quote from the whole market.
Getting quotes from another broker/consultant if obtained at the same time may show different suppliers quoting. Providers should question why a broker wouldn’t be open and transparent with their fees and ensure they were made clear on every quote.

3) Is it better to have gas and electricity with the same supplier?

No financial advantage exists in having both supplies with the same supplier.

4) How long would you renew an energy supply for if you were a care provider?

Great question, with prices today I would lock in gas prices for 2 -3 years, 2 years if renewal is 9 months away. Electricity isn’t so easy, whilst electricity prices are less volatile than gas they have been 8 times the current price, the UK will have to do more to ensure energy security, so 1 -2 years, unless your renewal is October to March when I would move my renewal to June July, so a 15 -20 or 27-32 month contract

5) Care England have recently mentioned energy audits, but we have changed suppliers on a regular basis, can you look at our previous suppliers?

In England and Wales you we can audit and recover overcharging going back 6 years (Scotland 5 years), so changing suppliers isn’t an issue.
If the overcharge is by a previous supplier the process takes longer to obtain the refund and if it’s VAT then HMRC need to be approached for the refund, which is slow.

6) Is Solar power suitable for the care sector? What do you think the payback period is approximately for Solar?

Each care home is different and in many cases not financially viable. We suggest anyone considering it obtains quotes from reputable sources that have visited the site and provided full details of what they propose, how much electricity it should generate and their idea of the payback period.
We are happy to go through the proposal without charge for Care England tender members (no charge to register your interest)

7) As a charity we need to produce budgets a long way ahead, is there anything we can do to make them more accurate?

For gas we can break down your annual cost by month (with a normal years weather) .
Quotes can be obtained up to a year in advance of contract renewal which will give you a guide, but prices could change if a contract not locked in.

8) What should our target unit rate be for gas and power for 2024/25 at current predictions levels? Also, will power transmission costs return to pre pandemic levels?

Quotes are based on a number of factors , but a general guide today gas quotes are around 3.8 to 4.1p a kWh and Electricity 19p to 21p. But care has to be taken as standing charges vary considerably and a £5 a day standing charge often cheaper than 30p a day in overall costs.
We don’t expect the non commodity (the wholesale gas and electricity price) to fall back to pre-pandemic levels

9) Why is it important to ensure you have the right meter?

Electricity meters should be ones that enable you to obtain the most competitive energy prices, so non Half Hour meters being changed to Half Hour meters can help. Many care providers have a mix of domestic and commercial meters.
An experienced broker/consultant will be able to establish if using a different supplier for each type is more beneficial than one that will quote for al the meters as a single contract.

10) Can you get weekend/night rates on a flex?

Yes if the meters are half hour meters