This is not a rhetorical question. The level of cost within a business is fundamental; change no other element than reducing costs and instantly you have an improved profit position. Most business managers at some point have wished they could turn the clock back, not spend that money because actually they didn’t have to, hindsight is a wonderful thing. Most would say you can’t go back but actually when it comes to water utilities you can.
It is not common knowledge but the majority of commercial water bills are incorrect. Statistically 75% in fact are wrong. Water charges can be incorrect because of errors on cubic and volumetric charging or simply a leak.
Water bills, particularly for multi-site operations can be very complicated. It can simply be too difficult to understand what rates you are paying and how do you compare with what is normal? Most companies simply end up signing the bill off, after all they are tied to the supplier so what can they do? Companies are aware they can change their gas and electricity suppliers but water is a different matter. Businesses using a lot of water in their daily operations carry a significant cost burden. Leisure, education, food and manufacturing are particularly affected.
So how do I get money back?
The reality is that you can get help to understand your water usage and it won’t cost you a penny. Water consultants will audit your current water usage and go back over several years to understand your charging structure. They will carry out investigations on multiple sites, considering water consumption against the facilities operated and carrying out water leak detection.
None of this activity will cost you unless the water consultant establishes savings. The water audit company will undertake all negotiations with the water supplier, effecting repair if a leak is detected and proving the overcharging period by period.
The result is generally a revised charging structure and agreement of a refund amount. The water consultant is recompensed by a pre-agreed percentage of the saving and refund amount. No savings – no fee and the water audit company has done all the hard work!
High water usage organisations can find themselves with a sizeable cheque. Refunds over £50,000 are commonplace with the business in question enjoying the benefit of ongoing savings for years to come. It can literally mean the difference between a business in the black and a business in the red.
- License: Image author owned
Understanding your water usage written by Karen James, Founder of two businesses and prolific writer for business and marketing sectors