A Letter of Authority, abbreviated to LoA, is a legal document in which one party gives another the authority to access information and communicate to suppliers on their behalf. Business Electricity Prices will sometimes ask for an LoA to allow us to find you a bespoke business energy contract which sometimes requires communicating with electricity and gas providers to verify your energy consumption and other commercial information.
A Letter of Authority is a legal document and should never be signed unless you have read the contents carefully and understand what you agree to. You should only submit an LoA to a legitimate energy broker, and unfortunately, there are examples of them being misused. Business Electricity Prices have prepared this summary of the scope, limitations and purpose of LoAs so our customers are aware of these instruments and can seek more information if needed.
Why has Business Electricity Prices asked me for a Letter of Authority?
Business Electricity Prices are obliged to request an LoA from companies so that our energy advisors can work with your current energy suppliers, as well as correspond with potential commercial gas and electricity providers, on an agreed list of tasks. These might include accessing your business electricity and gas usage, your address or meter number or organise an appointment on your company’s behalf.
Professional energy brokers require this authorisation so that we can legally provide you with quotes and to assist you with a business energy switch if you choose to change energy supplier.
It is important to note that you remain in control of your commercial energy supply even after you have signed a Letter of Authority; Business Electricity Prices will not ask you to sign a document that permits us to authorise a contract on your behalf, only to gather the information that you can use to make a decision.
What is the difference between a Level 1 and Level 2 Letter of Authority?
Business Electricity Prices will ask you for a Level 1 Letter of Authority. This document gives us the legal right to carry out specific communication on your behalf. The tasks that we can do will be listed in the LoA and will not include agreeing to a new contract. Corresponding with suppliers allows us to find you the best commercial gas or business electricity deal on the market, which is why we request this permission.
A Level 2 Letter of Authority is different, as this document gives a third party the right to approve a new energy agreement on your behalf. Business Electricity Prices will not ask you for a Level 2 LoA. We will always need your written permission to sanction a new energy tariff.
What activities can Business Electricity Prices conduct with a Letter of Authority?
This depends a little bit on what you need. If you have contacted us to explore switching energy retailer, we will ask you to sign an LoA which gives us the right to view your billing, usage and payment information related to your energy contract. It will include a sentence which states that we cannot approve a new deal on your behalf.
If you are having an issue with your energy supply and have asked us to liaise with your electricity provider on your behalf, we may ask for an LoA that states we have the right to correspond with them for you as a third party.
How do I write a Letter of Authority?
A Letter of Authority should be written in clear, straightforward language. Because it is a legal document, there must be no room for misinterpretation or vagueness. It is also vital that the LoA sets out the limitations and timeframe that the paper will last. To assist customers, Business Electricity Prices will provide you with a template which you can use to fill in with your details depending on your needs. Your company can also offer one if you prefer.
Before you submit to us, an LoA must be printed on company headed paper. The LoA must contain your full registered company name, address and postcode. Finally, your LoA must be approved by a person with sufficient authority within your organisation so that it is legally binding.
Does a solicitor need to write or check a Letter of Authority?
No, this is not required. It is perfectly adequate to use a template, and we will check the details are correct and come back to you if there is an issue. You must read the document carefully before signing. There are stories of dishonest energy brokers defrauding customers by having them sign an LoA which gives them the right to authorise a new contract without their consent. Business Electricity Prices is a professional company and will never override your company’s autonomy.
How long will a Letter of Authority be valid?
A Letter of Authority will state the timeframe it is active. Generally, this will be no longer than a year. If you want Business Electricity Prices to manage your energy contract information over the long term, you can request this – otherwise, when you wish to renew your tariff, we may need to ask you again.
Once a Letter of Authority has been received, it will take a few days before we can get started finding you the best value energy deals available for your commercial needs.