About to renew with your energy supplier? Read this first…
Did your business pay too much for energy last year? Are you struggling to reduce consumption? We explain how to save your business time and money by asking these questions of your supplier, so you can boost your profits and competitiveness this year…
1 How can you help me reduce my energy consumption?
To truly drive down your energy bill you need to stop using so much. Is your supplier giving you the advice and help to do this?
2 Can you show me my daily energy use?
If you can see how much you are using day-by-day or hour-by-hour you can uncover ways to seriously lower your bills. One of the key questions is how much are you using when the business is closed.
3 How often will you be in touch?
You want a supplier that is going to be in regular contact and that you know will be available to answer any questions you have.
4 How many prices should I get?
The problem with going direct to an energy supplier for prices is that you now need to contact multiple suppliers to get a true spread of prices.
5 Can you tell me about the laws I have to comply with?
Is your supplier informing you about directives and laws that could hit your business in the pocket if you don’t comply? Ask them about the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), Display Energy Certificates (DEC), Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and ISO 50001.
6 Do you offer energy and water audits?
Audits can give your business insight into what you’re using, helping you to reduce consumption by 33% in terms of energy and 45% for water. Air conditioning inspections are also a legal requirement. Can your energy supplier deliver all of these?
7 Will you help me switch water supplier?
In Scotland you can already switch water suppliers – it’s helped businesses there save 20% on their bills. Now many firms can do the same in England. Has your energy supplier told you whether you’re one of them?
8 Can I have all my bills in the same time period?
It’s hard to budget when your utility bills arrive at different times. Can your energy supplier streamline them to suit your needs?
9 Our deal is restrictive – can you be more flexible?
Negotiating the right contract terms and package is a minefield. Are you confident you can secure the right one for your business from your current supplier? Is it offering multiple bespoke deals?
10 Is my electricity and gas bills correct?
Many businesses are paying too much for their energy, sometimes because they don’t understand their bills or they’re on the wrong tariff. Do you have time to check every bill down to the last penny?
How Utilitywise can help
The easiest way to get the right answer to these questions is not by spending time chasing energy suppliers but by going to one place: Utilitywise.
For small firms, we can save you time analysing your power and water bills (to see what’s hidden) and take the hassle of trying to contact energy suppliers. Large businesses can benefit from our strategic approach to procurement and our expertise in areas where in-house they may not have a subject covered.
We can give any business total insight into power, gas and water consumption and put it in the palm of your hand with our utility insight app.
Whatever the size of your operation, we can help manage the entire portfolio energy procurement process, secure the right contract and manage the switch. By tracking your renewal dates, we can contact you with a new tariff at renewal so you don’t fall out of contract.
We found bingo hall operator Shipley Brothers the right contract and helped it save around £56,000 against budget for electricity, and it can now switch strategy to suit market conditions during it.
Our consultant team can inspect all your air conditioning systems – we contributed to the original TM44 Air Conditioning Inspections, so there’s little we don’t know about air con inspections and compliance. Our water audits and energy audits deliver impressive reductions in consumption.
The energy market is complex. No single energy manager can know everything. We have the expertise in-house at Utilitywise to understand energy, your position in the market and how to manage risk.
On top of this, we have a Utility Management Plan that can help you control your utilities once and for all, helping you reduce energy and water costs so you can concentrate on what you do best: running your business.
Krispy Kreme, the global doughnut experts, saved £84,000 thanks to a Strategic Utility Management Plan.
Let us answer all your questions and use our expertise to tailor a Utility Management Plan for you. Contact us today.
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?
Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.
Is Biofuel Green?
One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.
Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?
Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.
Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.
Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.
Benefits Of Biomass
The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.
Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.
After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:
One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.
While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.
Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies
Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.
The Ability To Work Remotely
It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.
Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.
Unlimited Time Off
This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.
A Full Pantry
Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.
Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!