5 Insider Tips to Keep Your Utility Costs Low
How happy would you be if you could run your business for free?
It’s not really a possibility, but there are lots of things you can do to drastically reduce the amount you spend on day to day things like energy and water.
You’ll probably get to the end of this list and kick yourself for not thinking about it sooner, but don’t worry – you’re not alone.
As experts in the industry, we’ve seen it all.
Here are our top tips to keep your utility costs low:
Check your bills
“You’d honestly be surprised at how often energy bills are completely inaccurate against the tariff rate and usage.” - Head of Bureau Services
How often do you pay an energy bill without checking and validating every single aspect of it? If your answer is anything other than “never” then you’re probably overspending on the cost of your utilities.
By validating bills, we saved one of our customers from an incorrect bill that would have overcharged them by £300,000 in a single month!
Billing errors, incorrect readings, clerical mistakes and estimated bills can all add up and if you aren’t checking every bill and raising each issue you find then you risk potentially losing thousands each year to errors.
Know what’s there
“Understanding the lay of the land before you break ground can make a huge difference to the overall cost of your project.” - Head of Connections & Infrastructure
Imagine breaking ground on a new site and finding that it was going to cost you hundreds of thousands more than you anticipated. Unfortunately, this isn’t an uncommon occurrence but luckily it can be easily prevented.
A feasibility study will show you exactly what utilities are available in that location – including ones that you don’t want to be there. A study like this helped to save one of our clients over £111,000 by applying to independent network operators as well as the hosts.
Monitor your usage
“If you don’t know how much energy you’re using, or when it’s being used, you’ll never be able to effectively reduce your consumption.” - Head of Energy Efficiency and Engineering
The first aspect of any energy efficiency project is to identify where the energy is being used by setting up monitoring. We’ve seen everything from air-conditioning running 24/7 even though the site was only being used 3 days a week through to old machinery running inefficiently and driving up costs.
In one location, we found that we could reduce energy consumption by 30% just by switching over from halogen light bulbs to low-watt LED bulbs. However, without monitoring, we wouldn’t have been able to justify the cost of making this change or have shown the impact it made.
Strategic energy purchasing
“It’s not about getting the best deal, it’s about getting the best deal on the best day of the year.” - Head of Procurement
Buying your energy strategically can save your business a small fortune every year in the cost of energy, although this isn’t as easy as it sounds. At amber, we carefully monitor the market in order to find the lowest point in the market to procure your energy.
Online comparison sites and some other brokers just look at the best price on a single day, at amber, we can look up to five years in advance to predict when the best day to purchase energy will be. Due to how much energy prices can change, the potential savings through this tactic are practically endless.
Just change your water supplier
“The water market opened up in April 2017, which means that you could save money just by switching water supplier.” - Head of Water Services
So, in April 2017 the UK’s business water market opened up, meaning that you’re no longer tied to a supplier based on your location. Did you know that? No? You’re not the only one, lots of businesses are still with their legacy supplier just because they didn’t know you could switch.
Just because water is cheap, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look into it. Depending on your water use, there is a huge potential for savings just by changing who you buy your water from.
Moving from Wessex Water to Yorkshire Water, for example, could save you nearly £1 for every M3 of water you use. Over the space of a year, that could easily run into the thousands saved! You could also benefit from consolidated bills, if you have multiple locations across the country, meaning that it’s much easier to keep track of your usage and your spend.