We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Electricity and other services

In the locations where showers, laundry facilities or electric charging points are available, you will need to purchase a pre-payment card from the shop.

Card readers attached to the electricity supply or equipment you want to use will generally be branded ‘RAM’ (formerly Ampy). There are some exceptions, notably in London where you will need a ‘Rolec’ card. If you're in doubt about the type of card you want, contact Customer Services, telling them the location of the facility you want to use. And if you're out and about, they will be able to point you in the direction of the nearest supplier for the card you need.

Buying electricity from the Canal & River Trust

The Canal & River Trust is a re-seller of electricity to boaters (mainly those on our long term mooring sites), and is subject to government regulations set by Ofgem, the electricity regulator. The information on this page is published to comply with these regulations.

The Trust re-sells electricity in two ways:

  • By metered supply
  • By pre-payment cards (which can also be used to obtain other services from us such as pump out).

We comply with Ofgem guidance for both of these. The essence of their instruction is that re-sellers may not mark up the unit price of electricity to make a profit.

We purchase electricity through a national energy broker and currently have a fixed price contract that runs from 1 November 2013 to 31 October 2015. 

It is a tariff which varies between different locations, and for different annual consumption levels. Most of the locations where we re-sell electricity to boaters are small sites, meaning annual consumption of less than 100kW. At large sites (e.g. marinas) electricity is sold via individual metered supplies. In these cases the meters are calibrated to the exact tariff that the Trust pays for that site. No climate change levy is passed on to the customer.

How is the price set for electricity supplied via pre-payment cards?

We calculate the price per kW for pre-payment cards as follows:

  • Multiply the anticipated total consumption at each site by the prevailing price for the site, as set by our supplier’s tariff to give the total annual cost for the site
  • Add in the standing charges
  • Sum these across all sites to give total annual cost
  • Divide by the sum of anticipated total consumption to give the average unit cost per site
  • Deduct the Climate Change Levy, as this cannot be passed on
  • The result of this formula is currently 11.92 pence per kwh unit of electricity, which becomes 12.52 pence when VAT at 5% is added.

How is the price of the pre-payment card calculated?

We are entitled to make a reasonable charge for the service of providing the pre-payment facility. The price charged for the card is made up of the following:

  • The cost of providing the service. Where the card is used for services other than electricity supply (e.g. pump out), if the cost is less than the amount charged via the card, any surplus is used to help fund the maintenance and improvement of the waterways
  • Each credit unit on an Ampy pre-payment card delivers 5kwh of electricity. The number of units required for a pump out or other services may change from time to time. Units on a Rolec card (used predominantly in the London region) directly relate to kwh, therefore a 50 kwh hour card delivers 50kwh of electricity
  • An amount to cover our costs in making the pre-payment service available to you , including production of the card itself, distribution costs including discounts to wholesalers to make the cards easily available to customers
  • A composite VAT rate reflecting the average proportions of card units sold for electricity (reduced VAT rate) and supply of standard rated services (including the supply of the card itself). The current composite rate approved by HMRC is 13.5%

Last date edited: 8 July 2015