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BES Metering Services celebrate smart meter milestone

BES Metering Services has reached a significant milestone after successfully completing their first commercial installation of latest generation smart meters.

Formed in the summer of 2019, BES Metering Services is a North West based metering and asset management company, which is committed to delivering smart metering solutions to domestic customers, small businesses and energy suppliers nationwide.

As well as installing their first SMETS2 smart meter – the latest generation – for an established commercial supplier, they have also supported them in becoming a DCC live user.

The Data Communications Company (DCC) is the organisation tasked with establishing and maintaining the network that connects household smart meters to suppliers and network operators.

All SMETS2 meters use the DCC network to communicate with energy suppliers, which should solve the problem of some meters no longer automatically sending usage data if a customer switches energy supplier.

With almost 30 years’ experience in the industry, Meter Fitter, Brian Vare, was involved BES Metering Services’ first installation.

“Having installed smart meters previously, I was astounded by how quickly the meter connected to the network and linked to the supplier during this first installation – it was instantaneous, which benefits engineers, suppliers and customers alike,” said Brian.

Andy Pilley, owner and Director of BES Metering Services, said:

“The significant investment that BES Metering Services has made in systems, training and infrastructure shows true commitment to supporting the government’s initiative to install more than 53 million smart meters in homes and businesses by the end of 2024.

“We are looking forward to supporting energy suppliers in meeting their obligations and the significant year of growth 2020 brings.

“Our team of engineers have been perfecting their skills in our state-of-the-art training academy in Manchester, and it’s an exciting time for us all as the team get out on the road and start getting meters on the walls.”

BES Metering Services is already receiving positive customer feedback about their service, and will continue with their national commercial rollout following the success of their first installation in Manchester.

Their team of fully qualified dual fuel Smart Meter Engineers are committed to the UK government’s Smart Metering Implementation Programme (SMIP), an energy-industry led initiative to rollout approximately 53 million smart meters to domestic properties and non-domestic sites in Great Britain by 2024.

BES Metering Services also provide a day hire only service for both traditional and smart meter requirements. With a nationwide footprint, they can react, submit and deploy fully industry compliant engineers within a 3-5 working day period.

Click here for more information about BES Metering Services.

Please contact your energy supplier if you would like a smart meter fitting at your home or business.

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Matchday experience transformed through innovative payment technology

Fleetwood Town have revolutionised their fan experience by teaming up with Card Saver to install innovative point of sale technology throughout Highbury Stadium and Poolfoot Farm.

Card Saver, one of the UK’s fastest-growing card payment processing providers and the club’s official Back of Shirt Sponsor, recently partnered with Bleep UK PLC, so they can provide their customers with unrivalled choice and the latest in payment technology. 

After receiving positive feedback from customers using the new Bleep technology, Card Saver thought it would be a great opportunity for Fleetwood Town to update their payment technology and improve their customer experience, and they have project managed and delivered the install from start to finish. 

Bleep UK PLC are the EPOS experts when it comes to stadia and entertainment environments, with a proven track record deploying easy to use, intuitive and reliable EPOS solutions that really make a difference. 

Card Saver has installed Bleep’s award-winning EPOS systems across the entire retail, catering and hospitality areas, and as well as increasing speed of service, reducing queues and improving the match day transactional experience, the terminals display customer facing videos on which the club can run special offers, news and engaging content at the point of sale. 

Card Saver have provided Fleetwood Town with a payment solution for use during hospitality in the Parkside Suite. Designed to be carried by waiting staff at all times, bills can be produced immediately, printed and fully itemised for the customer to view at the table, as well as having the ability to process the card payment there and then.

The club will also benefit from an advanced cloud-based back office software, Web Back Office (W-BO), which enables real-time sales reporting and stock control. W-BO allows for fast and efficient price and product changes and the ability to view in-depth metrics and analytics, with a full suite of reporting, in addition to the matchday stock control function and cash offices features. 

The club shop’s EPOS system has been linked with the eCommerce store, which means that all online sales and stock levels for the club shop report into W-BO, giving management a full, clear and accurate picture of exactly what’s going on at all times. 

Andy Pilley, Chairman and owner of Fleetwood Town, said: “We’re always looking for ways to improve our service, and the new technology installed by Card Saver has transformed the match day experience.  It’s really pleasing that the feedback from both customers and staff has been fantastic.” 

“The turnaround was so quick at the last home game,” commented Phil Davies, Facilities and Operations Director at the club, who is highly impressed with the new technology. 

“Often there can be lengthy queues at the kiosks within the concourse area, but I’ve never seen them so low, and I’m sure it’s down to the transaction speed of the new tills.” 

Gordon Bolton, Managing Director of Bleep UK PLC, said: “One of the biggest frustrations for football fans up and down the country is queuing for food and beverages on a matchday – something Bleep’s innovative point of sale technology is already helping to reduce at Highbury.

“Our stadium solution also improves service and increases spend per head, whilst driving revenue across concourse, hospitality and retail areas. 

“We are delighted to be working with this ambitious, forward thinking club and this is just the beginning of an exciting partnership between Fleetwood Town FC and Bleep.”

If you’re interested in transforming your business through the latest payment technology, click here

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BES helps businesses go green with new renewable electricity

In a bid to tackle climate change and help businesses reduce their carbon footprint, BES Utilities is thrilled to launch its new renewable electricity product.

Renewable electricity is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, namely the sun, water or wind, and using green energy has huge health and environmental benefits.

BES’ renewable electricity is affordable and available to everyone, whether you’re a new customer or an existing customer, you can switch at any time. Customers will even receive a personalised certificate which can be used to verify their green energy credentials and commitment to sustainable values.

Andy Pilley, Owner and Director of BES, said:

“We’re delighted to launch BES’ renewable electricity product, which provides our new and existing business customers an affordable way to buy their energy from totally green sources.  The impact of climate change has never been more topical, and we are committed to helping our customers reduce their carbon footprint.”

Click here for more information about BES’ renewable electricity.

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Jobs boost as the BES Group expands into Manchester

The BES Group, comprising BES Utilities and BES Metering Services, is delighted to announce further expansion as they open new offices in Manchester and secure jobs for up to 30 new employees.

Following the recent demise of energy supplier Eversmart, Co-owner and Director of BES, Andy Pilley, saw the opportunity to expand BES’ workforce and offered jobs to around 30 people, who have expertise in all areas of supply and metering.

As these members of staff were previously based in Manchester, BES has opened new Trafford Park offices to save its new employees from having to relocate, and adding to its existing north west locations. The new team members will provide support to BES Metering Services as the business continues to go from strength to strength.

“As one of the first truly independent energy suppliers, I am thrilled to announce our expansion into Manchester,” said Andy. “It’s a really exciting time for BES as the business is continually growing and becoming more successful, cementing our place in this highly competitive sector.

“When we heard the sad news about Eversmart, we wanted to all we could to help those who had lost their jobs, so we immediately made contact and quickly arranged interviews. I’m delighted we have been able to offer roles to the majority of staff.

“When we heard the sad news about Eversmart, we wanted to all we could to help those who had lost their jobs, so we immediately made contact and quickly arranged interviews. I’m delighted we have been able to offer roles to the majority of staff.

“Thanks to our new metering division, we can now provide an end to end service to our customers without having to rely so heavily on external agents, so we can continue to provide unparalleled service.”

Luke Gannon, who has joined BES as an Engineer Support Lead, said: “It was a worrying time when the company I worked for went bust, so I’m over the moon to have been offered a new role with BES Metering Services. Andy Pilley came to talk to us about the BES Group and it sounds like a really exciting business to work for – I can’t wait to start.”

“I’m thrilled about the opportunity to join a business which is expanding here in the UK and internationally,” added Metering Administrator Joe Chimeura. “I’m really grateful for the chance I’ve been given and I’m looking forward to my next chapter with BES Metering Services.”

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Pitch perfect setting for BES staff briefing

This morning, almost 200 members of staff from BES Utilities gathered on the pitch to listen to business updates from company Directors, Andy and Michelle.

Andy Pilley and Michelle Davidson, Co-owners and Directors of BES, hold regular briefing sessions to keep staff up to date with what’s been happening in the business and what’s coming up.

In today’s briefing they discussed opportunities for progression within the company, the new training and development e-learning programme they’ve invested in, and they provided an update about BES Metering Services Ltd, their most recent acquisition.

“We hold regular staff briefings as I think it’s so important to keep them in the loop with all the exciting things happening within the business,” said Andy. “It really helps with staff engagement and morale across the teams and it’s something we’ll continue to do.

“The venue for the briefing changed last minute as it was such a glorious morning, so it was an extra treat for staff as the pitch is usually out of bounds during the season!”

As well as being official sponsors of Fleetwood Town Football Club, BES Utilities’ Head Office is based at their ground, and the company is proud to employ over 200 members of staff, many of whom are from the local community.

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BES Utilities pledges support for The Samaritans ‘Pay for a Day’ campaign

BES Utilities is backing a campaign to help raise funds for a vital community support service. 
 

The commercial energy supplier has pledged its support to The Samaritans ‘Pay for a Day’ campaign which was launched to help meet the charity’s day-to-day running costs. 

The Samaritans’ Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre branch deals with more than 2,000 calls a month from people who require emotional support or are in distress. 
 

Although the branch has a dedicated group of 70-plus volunteers the charity relies solely on donations from the public to pay its £147 a day running costs. 

BES Utilities, which is owned by Fleetwood entrepreneur Andy Pilley, has pledged its support to ‘Pay for a Day’ after the campaign was brought to its attention by the company’s Learning and Development Trainer Alex Dodd, who is a Samaritans volunteer in her spare time. 
 

Alex said: “The work The Samaritans does is so vital, they help so many people at times of real hardship and distress. 
 

“Every day the Fylde coast branch answers, on average, 80 phone calls, emails and text messages, and is there for anyone who calls or visits for a face-to-face chat.   
 

“It really is a lifeline for so many people and I’m so delighted and proud BES Utilities is supporting such a fantastic charity in this way.”     
 

The Samaritans’ Fylde coast branch, situated on Edward Street, Blackpool, was set up in 1978 and operates 24-hours-a-day, 365 days a year. 
 

Branch director Angie Pascoe said she was delighted local companies like BES Utilities were supporting the ‘Pay for a Day’ campaign.  

Angie said: “At the heart of The Samaritans are our volunteers who do such amazing, selfless work. But like any charity we need funds to pay for basic things like lighting, heating, phones and rent. 

“It costs £147 to run and maintain our branch and shop each day, which includes training for all our volunteers and paying for our Freecall phone service 116 123. 

“As a charity we rely solely on the generosity of the public. Local businesses often ask us how they can help and getting involved with ‘Pay for a Day’ is perfect. 

“Im really delighted BES Utilities has decided to sponsor the branch. It means a lot and helps our volunteers to continue to provide such a vital service.” 

If you would like to get involved with ‘Pay for a Day’ or get more information about the work of The Samaritans please email blackpool.fundraising@samaritans.org 

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BES Utilities wins contract to help public sector cut energy costs

BES Utilities has won a major contract which will help local authorities, the NHS, schools and emergency services drive down their energy costs.

ESPO – one of the UK’s largest public sector buying organisations – has set up a new fixed-price purchase framework that will allow public sector bodies to source gas and electricity at lower prices than they would otherwise be able to negotiate themselves.

And ESPO has confirmed it has selected BES Utilities as one of its three suppliers for the new framework.

The contract – which is worth an estimated £600m over two years – allows BES to supply a range of public sector bodies across the UK including:

  • Local authorities
  • Educational establishments (including Academies)
  • Central Government Departments and agencies
  • Police, Fire and Rescue and Coastguard emergency services
  • NHS and Health and Social Care (HSC) bodies, including Ambulance Services
  • Registered charities
  • Registered social landlords

Michelle Davidson, co-owner and director of BES Utilities, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to supply gas and electricity to ESPO’s customers through this new framework. This is a major development for BES and opens a new market to us.

“We always pride ourselves on developing innovative products which help our private sector customers drive down their energy bills. We now look forward to bringing this dedication and expertise to the public sector.

“We are committed to working with ESPO and their customers, who range from schools, councils, the emergency services and charities, to deliver unrivalled service and real value for money.”

Lancashire-based BES Utilities is joined by Corona Energy and Total Gas and Power as the framework’s suppliers.

All three were assessed during the procurement process on their financial stability, track record, experience, technical and professional ability and regulatory status.

Declan McAlister, ESPO Category Manager (Energy), said: “We are proud to bring to market our brand-new Fixed Price Energy framework which will give excellent value and service to the public sector and will provide greater budgetary certainty.

“We are delighted to have a choice of suppliers on the framework that have all been rigorously assessed during our procurement process to ensure our customers receive the highest of standards from the ESPO they know and trust.

“In particular, the suppliers impressed us with their commitment to social responsibility and transparency, a key principle of this procurement process.”

BES Utilities is committed to social responsibility and helping customers in tough trading times through the company’s ground-breaking hardship fund and its partnership with the charity Business Debtline.

In 2018 alone, the BES Fund gave assistance to customers who had collectively run up energy debts of almost £500,000. Through pro-active intervention, BES and Business Debtline were able to provide clear pathways and viable solutions for businesses allowing them to continue trading.

ESPO, which is jointly owned by the county councils of Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk and Peterborough City Council, has more than 30 years of experience in public sector procurement.

As a large purchaser, it can take an aggregated and risk-managed approach to negotiations and so return greater value to customers amid often volatile energy market prices.

The new framework can secure pre-agreed, fixed prices for Half Hour (HH), Non-Half-Hourly (NHH) and Unmetered Supplies (UMS). This will, in turn, provide budget certainty for customers.

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BES Utilities launches specialist metering division following acquisition of Access Install

Commercial energy supplier BES Utilities is delighted to today announce the launch of its very own specialist metering services division.

This follows the acquisition of Liverpool-based metering, asset and management company Access Install, for an undisclosed sum, with a further planned seven figure investment in the operation over the next 12 months.

The business will now trade as BES Metering Services with all 80 Access Install employees – including a nationwide network of metering engineers – transferring to the Lancashire-based BES Group with immediate effect.

BES co-founder and chairman Andy Pilley said the development is great news for customers while also securing jobs. BES is also looking to create at least 20 new jobs by expanding the number of metering engineers employed.

Andy said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of BES Metering Services which is a very important development for both the company and our customers.

“Through this acquisition we now have our very own dedicated metering installation and servicing company and the importance of this cannot be over-stated.

“By combining this new internal capability with the services of our existing trusted partners we will improve the speed and reliability of metering appointments as well as access to the latest metering technologies and that is great news for customers.

“On top of this, having our own metering business demonstrates our commitment towards meeting the Government’s smart meter rollout target.

“We are delighted to welcome a new 80-strong workforce to BES and we look forward to expanding this dedicated team very soon by increasing the number of meter engineers employed. These are truly exciting times for BES as we continue to expand our business and improve services for our customers.”

BES was formed in 2002 and supplies gas and electricity to non-domestic customers across the UK. It recently bucked the national trend by slashing electricity bills for thousands of businesses by an average of 10.28%.

The group of companies now employs around 800 staff across all its businesses which include BES Utilities, Card Saver and Fleetwood Town Football Club.

Founded in 2016, Access Install provides Meter Operator Provider (MoP), Meter Asset Manager (MAM) and Meter Asset Provider (MAP) services. Operations and staff will continue to be based at Liverpool International Business Park following the sale to BES.

The Government has targeted the installation of more than 53 million ‘Smart Meters’ in homes and businesses by the end of 2020.

Smart meters enable customers to receive accurate and up-to-date information about their energy consumption which can assist in helping reduce bills and improve energy efficiency.

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Fleetwood Town launches International Football Academy in global search for talent

Fleetwood Town is today proud to announce the launch of its very own International Football Academy (FTIFA).

Based at the English Football League (EFL) club’s £10m Poolfoot Farm training base, the academy is open to aspiring players from around the world.

Through a series of structured four, 12 and 24-week residential courses, FTIFA provides players with an unrivalled platform to help realise their dreams of making it as a professional footballer.

Players not only receive expert UEFA-qualified coaching, bespoke training programmes – all tailored to their individual skills and development needs – but the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of scouts representing clubs in the UK and abroad.

The first players enrolled at FTIFA – who hail from as far afield as America, Africa, India and the Middle East – are already experiencing the full range of benefits this unique academy has to offer.

Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley said: “Football is a global game and we know there is a huge amount of untapped talent out there.

“Our sensational training facilities here at Poolfoot Farm are among the best in the UK and so we want to open our doors to aspiring players, wherever they live, and give them the opportunity to learn from our top coaches.

“They will not only get the chance to train alongside our pro players and experience Premier League-standard facilities, but they will be able to showcase their talents to not only us but clubs here in the UK and around the world.

“Fleetwood Town is perhaps most famous internationally as the place where Jamie Vardy cut his teeth before becoming the Premier League star he is today. Who knows where FTIFA will lead us, maybe we’ll discover the next Jamie Vardy!

“This is a very exciting development for Fleetwood Town and the Fylde coast – it’s a true global search for football talent and we cannot wait to see what we discover.”

FTIFA is now being marketed around the world and academy managers have just returned from a promotional trip to Europe where they have been in talks with clubs and agents.

Mick Horsfall, FTIFA Head of Operations, said: “What makes this academy unique, compared to others in the UK, is that it is based within a professional football club.

“Every player that comes here will be treated like a pro footballer and get a true pro football experience. They will train alongside our first team, development and academy squads and be coached and mentored by FTFC’s elite academy coaches.

“They all get access to our stunning state-of-the art facilities which include top class FIFA-grade training pitches, gym and physiotherapy suite, classrooms and they eat in the same restaurant as the first team.

“Individual development is key. Players will be constantly assessed and evaluated, and their progress will be discussed with them throughout. Through bespoke training programmes and in-depth analysis we can clearly track their development and improvement.

“The aim is to make them better players, and be better equipped to make it. Their time at the academy really could be the start of these players’ pro careers.”

Among the first to join FTIFA is 24-year-old Godswill Erbahor from Nigeria, he added: “It’s extraordinary here. The facilities are amazing, the pitches, the physios, the gym it has all been amazing.

“The coaches work with us individually to look at our specific traits, our weaknesses and strengths. They really care about us footballers. The football is high quality. To see the elite players train here every day inspires you to be like them. I can learn so much from them.”

Jaylan White, 22, from New York followed up by saying: “Every day is a new experience and you are always learning. The coaches are always trying to better you as a player and that is what you need. This is one of the best facilities I’ve ever seen and I’m living my football dream here!”

To find out more information about the training packages available at Fleetwood Town International Football Academy (FTIFA) visit www.ftifa.co.uk or call 01253 208440.

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Card Saver Teams Up With Blackpool FC To Give Fans Hassle-Free Payment Options

Card Saver is today delighted to announce it is Blackpool Football Club’s new payment technology provider – a partnership which will allow fans to buy tickets and merchandise via a range of hassle-free methods.

The Blackpool-based payment solutions company – set up and led by Lancashire entrepreneur Andy Pilley – will now provide all cashless payment services at the League One club.

This will enable fans who want to buy tickets, merchandise or food and drink at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road stadium the opportunity to do so through quick, easy and secure payments via either debit and credit cards, or Apple and Google Pay.

Thousands of Seasiders’ fans are expected to return to Bloomfield Road for this Saturday’s home League game with Southend. This has already led to large queues outside the club’s ticket office.

Andy Pilley, who is chairman of the Seasiders’ League One rivals Fleetwood Town, said: “Myself and Card Saver are delighted to be the new payment technology providers for Blackpool Football Club.

“Blackpool FC and Fleetwood Town are rivals on the pitch for 180 minutes every season, but we are also Fylde coast neighbours and so I’m delighted my company is partnering with the Seasiders in this way.

“You can clearly see from the crowds that have already been queuing up to get tickets there is huge excitement building ahead of Saturday’s game.

“The new board at Blackpool contacted me to say they needed a new card services and contactless payments provider and asked whether we could help.

“We have now installed 25 payment terminals covering all areas of the club, from the ticket office, club shop and in the hospitality and food and beverage areas.

“I am delighted Card Saver is able to provide payment solutions for this proud and historic football club as they and their fans enter a new era.”

Card Saver was set up in 2015 and has thousands of business customers across the UK. Together with many high street stores, SME businesses and charities it works with several football clubs, including Fleetwood Town and Premier League Burnley FC.

Ben Hatton, Blackpool FC’s Executive and Managing Director, said: “We are extremely grateful to Andy Pilley, and to everyone at Card Saver for coming in at short notice and pulling out all the stops in order to get us up and running for the game this Saturday.

“These new payment terminals will make a huge difference, particularly at the kiosks in the stadium. With contactless payments available to all supporters it should significantly speed up the time taken to serve people.

“It has been heart-warming to experience the swell of support for the club in the last week or so, and the fact Andy, the chairman of a neighbouring rival League One club, has been so helpful is a fantastic example of the football family pulling together.”

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