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Stories page

The price is right!

A local building company first approached UCSM for help with a particular job a full 6 months after the local Distribution Network Operator (DNO) had given them a quote for over £17k for installing the electricity supplies to 8 new industrial units.
The quote was not in fact the issue, what was the issue was the fact that, when they asked for the quote to be amended to reflect an increased capacity in two of the eight supplies, the quote jumped to over £47k!
With time of the essence, the larger quote was reluctantly accepted and the scheme progressed. The magnitude of the difference in the 2 quotes nevertheless left a lasting impression, as 6 months later the details of the scheme were related to UCSM.
The magnitude of the step change certainly appeared disproportionate and it was agreed that UCSM would undertake the work acting on behalf of the builder.
The first approach to the local DNO returned a response stating that an error had occurred on the original scheme and that this was the main cause for the high difference between the two proposals. Further investigations with the DNO revealed that the error related to the omission of a feeder pillar on the original scheme which was in fact required. The DNO went on further (after an exchange of letters) to explain that the item of equipment in question amounted to some £10k.
It doesn’t take rocket science to be able to work out that £17k plus £10k does not equal £47k. The sums simply do not add up.
Months went by, and much correspondence was exchanged. Energy Watch became involved and the local DNO stood firm in its stance, introducing a number of other factors, but again re-emphasised that the main reason for the difference was the feeder pillar.
In fact, it was 5 months later that the DNO finally announced that the scheme had again been looked at and that a refund of some £14k was due.
It was a full 12 months after paying the original sum that the builder eventually received a refund of over £14k and the matter was brought to a conclusion.
It would be fair to say, that the price which is originally offered is not always the best, nor can it be necessarily assumed to be correct – as is evident from the above example, sometimes it can take a great deal of time and effort to get the right price!



The price of gas!

A local builder who had by the time UCSM had become involved had planning permission to develop 37 new houses on a site in the Forest of Dean with commencement on site imminent.
The builder approached UCSM simply to see if we could bring about an improvement in the terms they had been offered for gas supplies to the site – a quote in excess of £18k was already on the table from the local gas network operator.
Time was clearly not on our side and a number of other suitable contractors were contacted with a view to obtaining alternative quotations – the first one was delivered just over a week later for a zero charge which could be further reduced to a credit of £1k if they were allowed to appoint the suppliers.
The builder had little commercial choose than to accept the new quote and add £18k to his bottom line!



It’s tough when you first start.

A person new to building recently approached UCSM for us to obtain the quotes for the installation and diversion of utilities on his new site of 6 dwellings.
The builder took advantage of UCSM’s introductory charge and paid a total of £210 for us to obtain all the quotes for him.
Some 4 months after being commissioned and having already received all the quotes with recommendations from UCSM, the builder received a cheque for £160 which UCSM had recovered from the utilities as compensation for underperformance hence, our service cost this new builder just £50.



Can I claim or not?

A local home owner was doing some redevelopment work on his property which required his electrical service to be relocated. He attempted to agree this with the local Regional Electricity Company (REC) but after several weeks of not being able to obtain any satisfaction he approached UCSM for help.
Within a matter of weeks a formal quote was obtained and step by step guidance given to the Customer on how to progress the scheme to completion.
Behind the scenes, representations were made to the REC about under performance and this was declined by the REC. The matter was later referred to EnergyWatch who in turn obtained guidance from Ofgem. Ofgem have since indicated that they feel the Customer was not treated within the standards expected and that compensation is due.
After almost 2 months of consideration the REC agreed with Ofgem and made a compensation payment



However long is this going to take?

A local builder purchased a plot of land with a view to building 2 new dwellings. Unfortunately, one disadvantage with the plot was that is had a low voltage overhead line crossing it which inevitably, for safety reasons needed to be attended to.
The builder made representations to the Regional Electricity Company (REC) over a period of 7 months with very little response and eventually turned to UCSM to see what we could do.
The day after the builder met UCSM on site a representative from the REC was dispatched to site to discuss the safety aspects, 2 days later the builder was given permission to proceed with construction work with certain safety related constraints.
19 days after UCSM met the builder on site, he had the formal quotes from the REC for both the diversion of the overhead line and the new supplies to the dwellings.
UCSM continued its efforts after the job was complete and managed to recover a 25% refund for the Customer.



The job is too awkward for us!

Whilst handling the installation of new water supplies in a busy urban area the local water company made a mistake and tried it's upmost to pursued the Customer to re-do all the work he had already done for the new water services. We stepped in and argued the point such that after "detailed consideration" within the water company, they agreed and effectively maintained their committment to provide the service they had agreed too.
Unsightly overhead lines.

A local supplier of landscape products relocated his shop and office to a derelict petrol station which had the added benefit of unsightly overhead lines crossing the site.
He approached UCSM to see what we could do for him about removing the overhead lines and was pleasantly surprises when we said we could arranged this without him having to pay for the line to be diverted.
The local Regional Electricity Company have agreed a plan for removing the equipment and are currently negotiating with other landowners to relocate it at no costs to our Customer.



For each new water supply, it’s expensive.

A builder approached UCSM to see what we could do on a project he had to convert an existing house into flats. One of his main concerns was the availability of water services and the fact that he was reluctant to incur the large expense likely in bring the water services into the rear of the property.
Upon viewing the arrangements on site, suggestions were put forward and accepted which meant that he was able to avoid any excavations at the rear of the property and apply for one less water service than he expected, saving money on both counts.



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