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05/17/2013 10:46 AM ET   
News from: ENER-G CMR Consultants

Take Action on Rising Water Bills for Your Business

Businesses are set to see a rise in overhead costs, after regulator, Ofwat,
announced an average increase of 3.5% in water prices, taking the average
household bill to £388 a year. 

With the UK on triple-dip recession alert, this is bad news for individuals and businesses alike. 

Price Increases across the Board

Customers of Thames Water are facing the largest hike in water bills, with a 5.5% increase, but Wessex Water takes the gold for highest prices, with the average bill reaching a massive £478 a year.

The only company that's due to drop charges by 7.3% is South West Water, and this is largely due to a subsidy from the government, as living prices are
disproportionately high in this area; this expense  reduction amounts to a welcome £40 off the average water bill. 

Why Are Water Bills Rising? 

The water companies argue that inflation is driving these increases, but with a forecasted 50% increase in water prices by 2016, costs are due to escalate further.

Ofwat says that the price increases are necessary to support £25 billion of investment in the water network, so with these new rates set to hit companies this April, what should corporations do to soften the blow? 

How Should Your Business Take Action? 

Currently most businesses have no choice over water suppliers, therefore companies are being advised to review their water consumption, in light of these price increases. This means a tariff review, checking for any overcharges on the books and a proactive approach to monitoring water costs.

A desktop audit of your water bills can often highlight any overpayments, both current and historic.  However with a complex charging structure, including charges for wastewater and surface water discharges, this can often be a daunting task. 

Many water consultancies offer ‘shared savings' agreements, where they
don't charge for the service, but take a proportion of the savings they
generate for you.

Desktop audits can also highlight efficiency issues across your business and it is wise to ask a water consultant to carry out a water efficiency survey to check for leaks and recommend improvements to your current system, such as methods to recycle water.  Simple changes can significantly reduce your
consumption and therefore overhead costs. 

Implement an environmentally-friendly approach to water usage throughout your organisation and encourage employees to abide by green principles while at work. Reward your staff when targets are met to positively reinforce eco-friendly behaviour. 

To prepare your business for further water price increases in the future, it's prudent to invest in water reduction technologies, such as urinal cistern controls and investigate any natural groundwater sources, such as boreholes. Small modifications can often lead to significant savings over a number of years.

Larger water consumers, such as manufacturers or leisure centres, can find substantial savings from a detailed site survey, as they often have water towers, swimming pools, or use water in their manufacturing processes.  A
detailed site survey should be undertaken to highlight savings and from this a
strategy can be created to specify projects, timeframes, accountability and
return on investment. From this projects can be prioritised based on budget and resource availability. 


Produced on behalf of ENER-G CMR Consultants who are energy consultants presenting opinions and advice on the latest changes within the industry.

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