Getting an energy bill that’s higher than you expect, or that you simply don’t understand, can be a nasty shock. Worse still, having to pay it can affect your cash flow and profit, and have a negative impact on your reputation.
Here are three ways to help you avoid such surprises:
Knowing the length of your energy contract is one thing, its detailed terms another. And yet neither addresses a more basic point: is it the right deal for your business?
If you’re trying to avoid price shocks, perhaps a fixed-price contract would suit you better? This means agreeing a rate per unit of energy you use for the term of your contract- a move that can protect your business from energy price rises.
Not surprisingly, a flex contract is more flexible – and gives businesses that use larger amounts of energy the opportunity to take advantage of fluctuations in market prices. To manage this properly, it’s best to have a dedicated resource – either in-house or via your energy partner – that understands the energy market and can trade efficiently and effectively.
If you’re unsure how much electricity you’re using each month, consider installing an Automated Meter Reader (AMR) or Smart meter. These metering devices constantly monitor and record your consumption, which ensures your bills accurately reflect your consumption – so you only pay for what you use.
AMRs and Smart meters eliminate the estimated bills that suppliers have to issue if they can’t take a reading, or if you don’t provide one.
This means that metering technology takes away the burden of either letting a meter reader into your premises or taking the reading yourself.
If you’ve changed contract and installed a new meter but your energy expenditure still has the power to shock, then perhaps it’s time to look at how you’re consuming your energy.
For example, could you have a more efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system that would give you better control of your energy usage? Or maybe installing new lighting (e.g. motion sensors in meeting rooms) could reduce your spending?
Looking at efficiency measures, takes time – and a good knowledge of the market. Even if you have an in-house expert, it’s worth talking to your energy supplier to gain another perspective – or even to commission an energy audit.
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