Controlling costs has always been good business, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now more important than ever.
With turnover having taken a hit in so many different sectors, the ability to manage overheads could make all the difference to a business’s survival or demise.
Government initiatives like the furlough scheme have helped employers keep wage costs down but what can be done to protect against energy costs?
Spiralling energy costs can sap the life out of a company, so it is important to put a cost-control plan in place and get the power back in your hands, so to speak, wherever possible.
Controlling energy costs can be done through better energy procurement, by introducing a range of energy efficiency measures and by leveraging government help.
The price of gas and electricity nosedived during the first U.K lockdown as industry ground to a halt and demand plummeted. But once industry started to open up again and people realised the end of the world wasn’t nigh, prices rallied significantly.
Currently, market conditions are favourable to securing contracts early but, in a volatile energy market such as they one we are currently experiencing, a flexible approach shouldn’t be ruled out when formulating your energy procurement strategy.
Business energy deals offer a wide procurement window for tendering contracts and are more flexible than those available to domestic users in that they can be fixed for anything up to four years.
While it is not possible to forecast prices changes with a 100% degree of accuracy, the best business energy consultants are able to offer informed and impartial advice about the type of contract best aligned to your business’s needs.
COVID-19 has changed the way we conduct business, with home-working and Zoom conference calls now the norm.
Companies have reduced their carbon footprint as a result of less road and air miles being used to get to and from meetings, while energy consumption has dramatically fallen as premises remain empty or part-empty.
A greener way of living and working has been one of the few positive spin-offs of COVID-19 and there is an opportunity to build on this once the worst of the pandemic has passed. After all, the cheapest unit of energy is the one you never use.
European Regional Development Funding is still available to SMEs for energy efficiency measures, despite our withdrawal from the European Union.
We would advise businesses to check with their local Chamber of Commerce to see what level of support is being offered as these vary from region to region.
As experienced practitioners in the handling of Climate Change Agreement applications, we continue to help companies maximise the Climate Change Levy (CCL) discounts available to them.
Companies have been asked to monitor their energy performance against a 2018 baseline instead of the old 2008 baseline and the data is then used by the Environment Agency to set targets for TP5 (Target Period 5, 2021-22).
As well as providing this information in a timely fashion, contact details for the appointed authorised and admin CCA personnel need to be kept up to date, too.
Failure to do so could result in discount notification emails going unread because they’ve been directed to the wrong member of staff or to someone who has either retired or moved on.
The Metallurgical Exemption is another aspect of the CCA that can benefit certain industry sectors.
As a point of good housekeeping, multiple site operators who use different suppliers should ensure they resubmit the relevant forms if they ever change one of those suppliers. Otherwise, they could run the risk of missing out financially.
To coin a phrase, ‘if you take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves.’
If you would like to speak to one of our business energy consultants about managing your nergy costs better, please get in touch by calling us on 01225-867722.
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