Is your business paying too much for its energy?
Whether your business is big or small, you should be striving to keep your energy bills as low as possible. Any reduction you can make to your energy expenditure will provide a boost to your bottom line. So how can you be sure that you’re not overpaying for your energy?
The reality is that there are several reasons why your business might be paying more than it should be for its energy. Some of these reasons are a result of your own actions, while others may be due to a fault made by a third party (such as your supplier). The good news is that you can take action to prevent any of them from adding to your energy bills unnecessarily – and in this blog, we’ll tell you how.
Your business might be paying too much for its energy if you are…
Being charged incorrectly
Business bills can be very complex, which means it’s easy for errors to occur and difficult for your organisation to spot them unless you have significant in-house knowledge of energy rules and regulations. This is why it’s vital to carry out regular invoice validation, as by doing so you can ensure that you’re not overpaying for your energy due to a simple mistake made by your supplier.
If you haven’t been regularly checking your bills, you may have been overcharged for months or even years without realising it. The good news is that incorrect charges can be recovered up to six years later, which means that carrying out a historical check of your invoices can enable you to recover some significant savings.
Setting your available capacity level too low
If your premises are half-hourly (HH) metered, you will have an available supply capacity agreement with your District Network Operator (DNO). Your available supply capacity is the amount of electricity your DNO must make available to your site, and you are billed for the full amount regardless of how much you use. Under DCP 161, you will also face an excess capacity charge if you exceed your available supply capacity. As this charge can be over 80% higher than your standard capacity charges, it’s crucial to ensure that your available supply capacity isn’t set too low or your business will be regularly paying expensive excess capacity charges.
Whenever you waste energy, your business is paying for energy that it doesn’t actually need. Inefficiency can really add up: recent research revealed that businesses are paying around £60 million in unnecessary energy bills annually as a result of energy being wasted.
This means that focusing on boosting your energy efficiency [link to efficiency blog when published] can have a substantial impact on your energy bills. Whether you’re already prioritising energy efficiency or you’re just starting out on your efficiency journey, your consumption data will give you the information you need to plan your next steps. Analyse your energy data – are there any areas where you’re using a lot more energy than in other areas, or is there any unusual consumption outside of your usual patterns? By identifying the most pressing areas for improvement within your organisation, you’ll be able to put well-informed energy efficiency measures in place to reduce your energy bills.
Not engaging with the market
With so many energy products and suppliers in the market, businesses that regularly switch their supplier can benefit from the best deals and the cheapest prices but many organisations simply don’t engage with the energy market. Smaller businesses are the most likely to be disengaged, which means that many are paying too much for their utilities. Ofgem recently found that microbusinesses (those with less than 10 staff) pay almost twice as much for their gas and 35% more for their electricity than larger businesses.
To avoid paying more than you need to be, start shopping around for a new deal a few months, or longer, before your current energy contract runs out. This way, you should be able to secure a new, cheap contract before you’re switched onto a default tariff by your existing supplier.
Support from SystemsLink
If you’re looking to reduce your energy bills, SystemsLink’s cutting-edge software could help. The at-a-glance view of your consumption our software provides can help you to get to grips with your consumption, become more energy efficient and work out whether you should adjust your available supply capacity. Analytical tools and alarms will also highlight extraordinary usage, usage outside of normal hours or faulty equipment.
SystemsLink’s invoice validation service can also ensure that you’re not being charged incorrectly for your energy, as it can perform over 100 separate validation checks in just a few minutes and identify areas to investigate. So if you’re looking to gain total peace of mind that you’re not paying over the odds for your energy, call us on 01234 834650.