Running a business, especially in the start-up days, takes a lot of energy – not just your own blood, sweat and tears, but also the energy powering your new premises.
And when your business is just starting out there are a wealth of things to get sorted.
The list can seem endless, particularly for a fledgling small-to-medium enterprise, with employees’ wages and rent on your premises two of the high-priority items on your running costs.
All your outgoings affect profits – it stands to reason that lowering those outgoings leads to better profit margins, crucial in a small business’ initial trading periods.
And one thing that each and every business has to pay for is its energy use.
Your utility bills might not be top of your priorities right now. You use gas and electric and you pay for it, often monthly and almost always by direct debit – it’s just something we all do, right?
But consider if, in the early stages of your business, you could make small changes that add up to big differences to your profits. There are always savings to be made and costs to be cut, regardless of your company’s age, size and sector.
Also consider whether you took advice from an energy broker, consultant or intermediary when you found – or were directed to – what you thought was a bumper deal for your energy supply. If you have ever used a broker with expertise in the industry, believing they would find the best deal for you and your business, you may be shocked by the true cost of your utilities.
Not all of these third-party intermediaries (TPIs) are guilty of mis-selling energy deals, we wouldn’t suggest it goes right across the board, but think back to when you were arranging your power providers and consulted an energy broker.
- Make misleading statements about how they get paid or fail to disclose their commission?
- Seem particularly keen on recommending certain energy companies?
- Push for your business to enter into a long-term contract, claiming that the market prices were sure to increase?
- Fail to demonstrate complete transparency during the selling of your business energy contract?
From our experiences in investigating mis-sold business energy contracts there are, of course, many TPIs who work ethically and with transparency for their clients. But the vast majority of cases involved at least one instance of mis-selling.
We can help.
Our legal team are experts in examining every aspect of the sale of your business energy, and working out if you have a case to claim compensation. If your broker or TPI was not open about what they were earning from your buying of utilities then you have a claim to make.
If you want to know more, contact Barings Law for a free, no-obligation conversation. Speak to one of our advisors on 0161 200 9960 or click the handy webchat icon at the bottom-right corner of this page.
Whatever your situation, whether you’re a consumer or a corporate client, Barings Law have the best solicitors available to fight your corner.
Reducing your business energy usage - top 10 tips
While we at Barings can examine the details of your business energy sale and uncover where a case of mis-selling has taken place, there are, of course, several things you can do to help cut down what you’re paying out in utility bills.
It’s worth considering making small changes such as the ones listed below that can add up to a big difference in your workplace while we’re preparing your mis-sold business energy compensation claim.
- Get your energy use audited
This may not sound like a good thing, and certainly isn’t the most glamorous task for business leaders, but if you carry out monthly energy audits you should get a better idea of where your money is going each month and what you can do to make savings on your business energy.
- Make better use of the ‘off’ button
Sure, it’s an obvious one, but consider the energy being drained by your firm’s computers, monitors, printers, phones, servers and so on. Make it a daily habit to go round the building at the close of play start employing sleep mode for the idle pieces of equipment, or simply switch the culprits off overnight. This can be made quick and easy with the use of a single power strip, which allows you to power them all down in one fell swoop.
- Make the most of daylight
Let the sunshine into your workspace whenever possible, and be sure to take advantage of skylights and all the natural light sources available during the days. Take the time to check whether there are areas that are overly bright and can stand to have some lights turned off or removed.
- Install energy-efficient bulbs
Using lower-wattage bulbs is an example of small changes adding up to big savings.
Lighting accounts for up to two-fifths of commercial premises’ electric use and replacing each 60-watt bulb with an 18-watt energy-efficient bulb can add up to significant savings for business owners. These savings also extend beyond the electricity used but also their extended life.
- Use lighting only when it is needed
Consider installing motion detectors in hallways to trigger lights in your premises’ hallways and corridors, as well as the infrequently-used rooms and spaces. Dimmers can also help, adjusting your light levels accordingly.
- Plan ahead with programming
A programmable thermostat in your business allows you to adjust the temperature and timings of you heating and cooling systems. Set your air-conditioning or heating to turn on half an hour before your staff start work and off an hour before they depart. Your thermostat should also be set to a temperature that suits all your employees – though what that number would be is a debate for you to ponder.
- Update your windows
Inefficient windows can cost your business money in lost heat, but there are quick and easy fixes that can help. Weather strips, caulk or foam edging can reduce draughts and save energy. Bear in mind, though, that windows also allow the light and heat in when warmer weather is about. Solar screen shades, awnings and reflective window films can work wonders during the summer months.
- Equip your office efficiently
Just as your old and battered air-con or heating devices use unnecessarily high amounts of electricity, if your computers, monitors, printers and other office equipment aren’t rated highly for energy efficiency they may be costing you money even when they’re not in use. Replacing your old equipment may appear costly but there are savings to be made in the long run.
- Choose greener power
Clean energy sources – such as solar energy panels and storage – for commercial premises can help you make significant savings over time, and you’ll also be able to work happier, knowing you are reducing your SME’s impact on the environment.
- Inspect your gadgets
Ensure you are maintaining the filters on all of your heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. Regular inspecting and cleaning of the units is a must, as is leaving the areas in front of the vents clear of other office sundries.
While there are undoubtedly a wealth of savings to be made when it comes to your business energy supply, your company may be eligible to make a claim for compensation due to mis-selling.
If you used a broker to arrange your utilities deal, contact Barings Law’s team of legal experts, who can examine the sale and whether you have a case of mis-sold business energy.
Speak to one of our advisors TODAY on 0161 200 9960 or click the webchat icon at the bottom-right of this page.
Barings Law offer a no-win no-fee service, meaning you have nothing to lose, there is no risk to you and you could receive a substantial injection of money from a successful claim.