The Financial Ombudsman Service has been advised by its landlords to budget for a 150 per cent to 200 per cent increase on its energy bills over the coming 18 months.
According to a Freedom of Information request from the Fos, submitted by FTAdviser, in Q1 2022, the ombudsman had an energy charge of £64,780 for its London offices in the Exchange Tower and £6,372 for its Friargate offices in Coventry.
In Q2, this went up to £69,875 in London, an 8 per cent increase on the previous quarter and to £49,430 in Coventry, up 675 per cent on Q1.
The Fos said: “In relation to our 'anticipated' costs of energy bills, the Fos is a tenant at our London and Coventry offices, we rely on our landlord and managing agents to secure energy for the office space we lease.
“In light of the current external climate around rising energy costs, our landlords have advised us to budget for between a 150 per cent and 200 per cent increase over the coming 18 months.”
The below table shows the energy charges for the Fos across 2021, broken down by quarters.
The Fos said as a not for profit organisation, its funding comes from industry.
“When there are shortfalls between what has been budgeted and the actual costs we incur we use our reserves to cover the additional costs,” it said.
FTAdviser also asked the Financial Conduct Authority for its anticipated figures but the regulator said it was unable to provide estimated expenditure costs.
“The FCA’s three offices, Edinburgh, Leeds and London are on different types of energy tariffs,” it said.
“Those on a lengthy fixed term tariff will not experience a change in costs; whereas offices either not on a fixed term tariff or a fixed term tariff has recently expired will experience a change in costs; we expect these to move in-line with market rates.”
The table below demonstrates the FCA’s annual consumption and total cost for energy across 2021/2022, compared to previous years.
Source: FCA’s 2021/22 Annual Report and Account
The City watchdog said the relative increase from 2020/21 to 2021/22 was mainly driven due to changes to the FCA estate and FCA staff return to the offices post-pandemic.
“The FCA is funded by fees from industry, including our operational costs," the regulator added. "Our commercial arrangements however do seek to deliver value for money.”
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