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Business Energy Questions – Is saving money important to your business?

April 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Is saving money important to your business?

It would appear that not all businesses are actually keen to save! Astonishing really. They are too busy in their pursuit to ‘make’ money, yet sweep under the carpet their business overheads until it’s often too late to make decent savings. Those niggly bills that come around but once a year, requiring time and effort in dealing with them. We concur, we empathise with you. They are a nuisance, it does take time to find the best deals, however, given a little time and effort, you can make substantial savings. Don’t sweep this overhead under the carpet, face up to it and act now!

Of course in my line of work I would say this. I am an energy broker, or intermediary if you like, helping to facilitate the process of attaining the best energy rates possible. If you aren’t prepared to do it then I will take on board the role of your energy manager. Not only this, but I will make sure of the following:

  • Prevent you from rolling onto ‘out-of-contract’ rates at renewal time.
  • Find out what your current contract situation is (if indeed you’re in a contract).
  • Find out current tariff rates and annual consumptions.
  • If you don’t know who your supplier is, I can find this out.
  • Help with the process of installing a new meter (even a Smart or Half Hourly meter).
  • Resolve issues with your energy supplier.
  • Put you in contact with associated partners, who can help review and improve your energy efficiency, the aim being to lower your consumption and ultimately your expenditure.
  • Provide communications throughout to keep you informed and up to date.

Yes, we do undertake these tasks for our clients where and when required. Many simply don’t have the time or knowledge to deal with it and would rather outsource to someone such as myself, who will take the hassle away from them, yet work for them and with them.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you know how much energy your business consumes per year?
  2. Do you know how much you spend per year?
  3. Do you know how to reduce your energy consumption?

If you answered ‘NO’ to any of these questions, then our response would be ‘we can find this out, let us help you’. This is what we do, this is what we are here for. Don’t waste your precious time calling your energy supplier, hanging on the telephone for half an hour or more, only to then be passed on to another department. We can get direct to the appropriate person.

When renewing your energy contracts, what’s important for you and your business in terms of your energy supplier requirements?

  • Price
  • Quality of service
  • Fixed prices, fixed term
  • Budgeting
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • A managed service
  • Speed of processing

I suspect that for many, the top priority is price. The lowest price possible, I know that’s what I would certainly want. I also suspect that quality of service would be a distant second…perhaps. If you’ve previously had bad experience of a particular supplier, then you’ll want to switch away from them, making sure that you review customer ratings of the other energy suppliers, for their customer satisfaction levels. But how about considering the other requirements too.

A specialist in this area, such as myself, can assist with these requirements for you. Arranging fixed price, fixed term contracts so that you know exactly what you should be paying over the duration of that fixed term period, which will help with your budgeting. Nowadays with energy prices only ever seeming to rise, we should be reviewing our consumption habits and considering ways by which we can  improve energy efficiency and reduce our consumption, ultimately reducing your expenditure. Our managed service will help to keep you on top of your energy expenses. If you’re a multi-site business, could we align renewal dates to a single date – yes. If you are a property management company dealing with multi-meters (communal block) on a single site, we can review and align these. We can help with smart metering, extremely beneficial for multi-sited businesses, that require meter readings to be taken on a regular basis. With smart meters, you don’t need to visit each site. You simply log on to your computer, open up the online facility and review your energy consumption for each and every smart meter you have. You’ll have the ability to break it down to half hourly data. The speed of processing is due to you taking advantage of our service and being able to navigate to the appropriate people in a timely fashion and letting us address issues on your behalf.

We will challenge the existence of the costs and whether they are necessary. Our aim is to reduce your costs wherever possible, to the lowest prices. We will re-negotiate with your existing supplier as well as other suppliers for best rates.

One of our new services for tendering, is to provide you with a ‘Reverse Auction’ bidding process. We will submit your business energy details and renewal offers (if applicable) to several energy suppliers, who will then bid for your business, by attempting to offer the lowest rates possible, bettering the other suppliers. This is a fairly new approach to procuring your energy rates, but one in which:

  • will produce lowest rates
  • A large range of suppliers tendering
  • transparency of associated costs

All businesses need assistance in some form or other. Not everything in your business can be performed by you, which is why you seek out the expertise of others.

  • Does a builder do ALL the work themself? No, they will bring in experts – plumbers, carpenters, electricians etc.
  • Corporations will bring in auditors, contractors, project managers, I.T. firms etc.

It should be the same for one of your businesses largest expenses – your energy bill. Businesses focus predominantly on increasing turnover and making profit. But what about reducing overheads? Will this not increase your turnover?

Do you use an accountant, gardener, cleaner, restaurant or local take-away? All cater for tasks that you could do yourself , however, you don’t have the time to spend doing, the time to understand what to do, so you use these services. Throw in our service to this list. We have the time, the knowledge and expertise to undertake your energy procurement & energy management requirements. 

Businesses focus predominantly on increasing turnover and making profit. But what about reducing overheads? Will this not increase your profit?

We will work ‘WITH YOU’ & ‘FOR YOU’.

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Energy bills update: Should you switch?

April 28, 2011 Leave a comment

As we emerge from the coldest time of the year, when energy use peaks, prices are stable. Unfortunately, they’re also higher than they were before the cold weather set in.

However, things may be about to change in the energy market. Ofgem has announced a huge overhaul of energy market rules that will do away with the many of the tariffs currently available, simplfy pricing and make suppliers more accountable.

Experts are predicting price rises across the market as continuing unrest in the Middle East pushes up wholesale energy costs.

‘The best tariffs, particularly low-cost fixed rates, are filling up fast and once they are oversubscribed, providers pull them,’ says Mark Todd, managing director at switching service energyhelpline.com.

‘If you’re looking to switch, you must act fast as prices are likely to start to rise by late summer.’

Npower’s Go Fix 5 tariff is fixed until May 2012 and costs £963 a year, based on the benchmark usage quoted above.

EDF is offering Fixed Price 2012, also a one-year fixed tariff, at £1,009 a year. ScottishPower has a three-year fix at £1,081. But these deals won’t be around for long.

The typical dual-fuel tariff for standard energy deals is £1,150 a year, according to Energyhelpline.

Consumers pay a premium to fix their bills, but with prices set to rise the gamble could pay off, particularly over three or four years. Of course, if energy prices fall then you will be paying over the odds.

Gas oven

How to get cheaper bills If you’ve never hunted down the best deal you are likely to be on a standard tariff.

Anyone interested in paying the least possible for energy should have little interest in standard tariffs. They should watch the ‘online’ tariffs, where you apply over the internet. Online tariffs are traditionally cheaper than standard tariffs.

Energy switching: The background

If you have never switched suppliers, or haven’t switched for an extended period of time, then now is the time to do it. Suppliers offer their cheapest rates via online tariffs so if you’re ready to switch, it will certainly pay to do so.

Suppliers tend to charge more for electricity to those customers who live in their ‘home’ region – the areas where they enjoyed a monopoly before energy deregulation. So switching away will almost always save you money.

Prices are different all over the country and the cheapest supplier for you will depend where you live. You only need to be interested in the tariff that is going to be cheapest where you live, so do your own comparison to find the best price.

Which suppliers have the best record on prices?

Customers hoping to single out one consistently competitive energy supplier, to avoid switching every year, face a difficult task.

gas bill

There are a dizzying number of options facing customers when they come to choose a new supplier and comparing like-with-like on energy is difficult.

For a period a few years ago, Scottish & Southern Energy (which also trades as Southern or Atlantic) could be relied upon to consistently be one of the cheapest on ‘standard tariff’ energy. These are the prices which the majority of customers pay because these are the prices for those customers who have never switched supplier, simply becoming a customer of the incumbent energy supplier in their area after deregulation of the energy market.

In the past three years, British Gas has stepped up efforts to compete on standard tariff prices and for a while was consistently the cheapest provider.

However, looking at standard tariffs is a false picture. If you are looking to switch to a cheaper supplier, it makes the most sense to opt for an ‘online’ tariff. The energy is exactly the same, but customers forego quarterly paper bills, they pay by direct debit and deal with the supplier online only.

Online tariffs are cheaper than standard tariff and suppliers launch and withdraw online offers almosty constantly, so the cheapest supplier will change every few months.

Energy rates will continue to rise, what can we do?

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

With energy rates currently on the rise, it all seems like doom and gloom. Not necessarily!

We should be shopping around for the best deal, as we do for insurance. By doing this, we can obtain better rates than simply staying with the existing supplier.

By allowing specialist brokers to work for you, your time is freed up to concentrate on your main business where you will be more productive. We can navigate around the problems that are all too common, time-consuming and confusing.

What else can be done to keep our costs down? Quite simply, we need to manage and adjust our energy usage habits. Often these can be fairly basic practices, U-GET can advise with this.

Monitoring your energy usage, pin-pointing trends and anomalies and acting on this is the way forward. Smart meters are being introduced with the perception that this will cure our ineffective routine and reduce bills – not if we do nothing with our data. A simple and effective procedure is to use an Energy Monitor, clipping the transmitter to our meter and sending information to the monitor, with the data able to be viewed on your pc.

We can do something to help reduce our costs, in business and at home, even in a rising market. However, we need to take a pro-active approach to it.

Practical energy management

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Reducing energy use makes perfect business sense; it saves money, enhances corporate reputation and helps everyone in the fight against climate change.

The Carbon Trust provides simple, effective advice to
help businesses and public sector organisations take action
to reduce carbon emissions, and the simplest way to do
this is to use energy more efficiently.

This management overview provides practical advice
to businesses on how to identify energy waste and
implement savings. This will ensure long-term benefits
for people, the business and the environment.

Although many organisations believe energy is a fixed overhead,
it actually represents one of the best opportunities for saving money.

For a copy of this guide or any others, please email:

info@u-getconsultancy.co.uk

Energy — it’s much more manageable than you think

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Energy is not an unmanageable overhead — it is one of the largest controllable costs in most organisations.

Cutting energy costs through improved energy
efficiency goes straight to the bottom line, making
your organisation immediately more competitive.
And saving energy doesn’t need massive investment in
time or money. At minimal cost you could save up to
20% on your energy bills — which could be equal to a
5% sales increase.

The Carbon Trust fact sheet can help you to begin in cutting your energy costs. Email now to receive your free copy:

info@u-getconsultancy.co.uk

For your FREE energy bill review, contact us today

If you had a power cut, would you know who to contact?

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

How many of you would call your energy provider?

I bet the majority of people reading this article are probably saying to themself, ‘well of course I would call my provider…wouldn’t I’? Now the doubt has been sown in your mind, hasn’t it?

As you may have gathered, no you don’t call your energy supplier when you have a power cut.  Your network distributor is who you should contact.

Who? I hear you say. The distributors are responsible for maintaining and operating the network (all the cabling/piping and infrastructure). Your energy provider will be sourcing the energy for you, but they won’t necessarily be responsible for making sure it makes it to your home. With gas, there is a single operator and number that you contact. With electricity, the network distribution is broken up.

There are currently 14 distributors in the UK. Take a look at this link that shows the distributor map. The gas is quite straight forward to understand. To work out who your electricity distributor is, use the map and table that is directly beneath it.

So how does it work? As an example, if you live in London, simply locate this on the map, which we can see is number 12. Move along to the table, look up number 12 and we can see: that the distributor is EDF Energy Networks and you should contact 0800 028 0247.

It would be extremely useful to print this out and keep in a safe and easily accessible place, for reference when you do have a power cut. Energy Emergency Contacts download.

How to use less water – Kitchen water savers

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Fix dripping taps

Broken taps can waste 12 to 20 litres of water a day. New washers cost only a few pence but will save you money if your water is metered.

  • Saving A dripping tap can waste 12 to 20 litres of water a day – that’s around 2-4p* worth of water

Drink from a jug

Jug of waterCut wastage by chilling water in the fridge.

If you want cold drinking water, fill a jug from the tap and put it in the fridge to chill. This would save 10 litres of water a day compared to running the tap until it turns cold each time.

  • Saving 10 litres (2p) per day

Only boil what you need

Save water as well as energy by using the minimum amount of water required when you boil water in saucepans and kettles.

  • Saving Around 10 litres (2p) a day

Turn off the tap

Don’t rinse dishes under a running tap – use a bowl of water instead. Try also to use a bowl when washing vegetables and the leftover water can then be used for watering house plants.

  • Saving 20 litres (4p) a day

Fill the washing machine

Clean full loads of washing to save water.Loading washing machine

Make sure your washing machine has a full load before you switch it on. Those labelled A for energy efficiency tend to be water efficient, too.

  • Saving Five to 10 litres (around 1-2p) every wash

Use the dishwasher more efficiently

If you own a dishwasher, fill it up fully before you use it and always use its eco program setting, which uses less water.

  • Saving Five to 10 litres a cycle (around 1-2p)
* ‘Money saved’ figures refer to water meter customers on an average tariff charging 0.19p per litre.
Article:- Which? Consumer Magazine.
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