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Over 20% of businesses don’t know how much energy they’re using. Is yours one of them?

Are you in the dark about how much electricity your lights use? Or poorly equipped to know your equipment’s electricity consumption? Perhaps you’re left cold by the thought of your heating usage?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, your business is likely to be an example of the one-in-five that doesn’t know enough about its energy. This is one of the shocking findings uncovered by the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) research* we commissioned.

We wanted to learn more about how UK businesses view energy. For example, we asked respondents to place their estimated annual consumption within one of seven ranges (from less than 50,000 kWh to more than 15 GWh). The most popular choices were the 150,001 to 250,000 kWh category (21%) and the 250,001 to 500,000 kWh bracket (24%). However, a further 21% of UK businesses responded “Don’t know”.

Going into the unknown

We’re concerned that a fifth of the country’s firms have no idea about their yearly energy consumption – and want to understand why.
We recognise that many organisations believe billing is befuddling! We also know businesses see this as another industry complexity that encourages their disengagement; they want to focus on their core business.

While understanding this view, we believe that you can sharpen this focus by incorporating a better appreciation of your energy usage and expenditure. This is particularly true while energy costs are rising – a trend we predict to carry on for several years yet. This is because we expect continuing increases to the Third Party Costs (TPCs) that constitute over 60% of your total bill.

Engaging with energy

In addition to helping you get to grips with TPCs, your energy supplier should offer other support too. And even if you’re within the 79% of businesses capable of estimating your annual consumption, you’ll benefit from a better partnership.

The ICS research found that businesses often rate their energy supplier’s service as “bad” or “inadequate” – a result that’s simply not good enough. At Haven Power, service excellence is something we take seriously and constantly strive to improve. Even as winner of the Energy Awards’ Supplier of the Year category in both 2014 and 2016, we’re not complacent about this issue – as you’ll see from our Customer Fairness Charter.

Seizing the prize of closer ties

It makes sense for you and your energy supplier to improve your relationship, and start planning the practical measures you can take.
One way is to ask your supplier to perform an energy audit, so you can truly understand your consumption patterns and identify areas for concern. With a deeper understanding of your business, your provider’s energy experts may also be able to suggest ways to improve your energy efficiency and help you save money.

For example, it may make sense to have an Automated Meter Reader (AMR) or smart meter installed. By constantly monitoring and recording your consumption, these devices eliminate the need for estimated bills – so you only pay for what you use. Another benefit is that they remove the burden of either letting a meter reader into your premises or taking the reading yourself – so you can focus on running your business.

The range of energy efficiency solutions available to you will depend on your circumstances and consumption – and the expertise of your energy auditor and supplier.

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*ICS report “Haven Power – Sustainability and customer service research”, October 2017. 21% of the 220 businesses responding via online and phone interviews don’t know how much energy they use annually.

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