5 Tips to Avoid Shocking Energy Bills

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.

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1. Consider changing your contract

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.

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.

2.Consider when purchasing your contract

Typically Improving your purchasing strategy and hitting the market right might save some percentage points off your unit costs. Not allowing your contract to fall on to variable or deemed rates is a must and giving yourself time to properly navigate the renewal of your contract will help you not make any rushed decisions.

3. Think about adopting new metering technology

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.

4. Look at other energy efficiency measures

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.

5. Generate your own power

Energy can be a major expense for some businesses, but huge savings could be available thanks to onsite generation.

Reduce your dependency on the grid with solutions including Combined Heat and Power (CHP), solar and biomass plants. The more you self-generate, the less you need to buy from a supplier and has the potential to reduce costs drastically.