Increase water efficiency – Decrease money spent on water, save money on your energy bill and reduce pollution in the environment.

by 24 May 2019

Turning your tap off is not the only way to save money on your business water bills. There are a plethora of ways to reduce your water consumption, decrease expenses through water and energy bills and drastically save money overall.

You pay for all the water that passes through your meter, so obviously saving water means saving money. As a company with ongoing and ever-increasing overheads, you need to think about ways that your expenses can be reduced.  Many people think that water usage is not a frontrunner in the race to saving money and helping the environment. As a result, they don’t investigate and review how to make savings in this area. But it is a part of their businesses expenses that can potentially lead to massive savings.

Easy measures / Overall checks

Surprisingly there are small changes which can have a significant impact on your financial forecast.  Here are five easily identifiable checks which you need to consider:

  1. Leaks: Check taps, toilets and urinals for leaks.
  2. Identify: Identify all other equipment which uses water: Check efficiency, for possible upgrades and potential leaks.
  3. Promote: Promote water efficiency in the workplace- Put up signage, email staff and communicate the message effectively.
  4. Rates: Check that you are getting the best rates on your water, switch supplier and get advice from energy experts Utility Team to provide you with all of your options.
  5. Push controls: Making sure the running time of push controls isn’t too long.

By conducting the above measures, companies will have taken ownership of any savings that could be made, thus reducing their outlay to the provider. Many companies could benefit from a designated ‘water champion’ a member of staff who ensures all of the above tips are adhered to.

Bill based measures

You may think your business water bill is just that, charges for water used. But it is made up of a variety of charges, which can seem complicated and this is why people do not know of the potential savings.

Your standard business water bill includes your actual water usage, waste- sewage allowance charge, property or surface drainage, road or highway drainage as well as a possible charge for Trade Effluent (covering everything other than water and waste i.e. chemical disposal). But to cut a long story short the main areas the majority of businesses can actually save money on is water usage, the waste- sewage allowance charge and property/surface drainage charge.

        – Waste- Sewage Allowance Charge

A company may qualify for a reduction in their sewage allowance charge or a potential refund, if the water from their property does not actually reach the sewage system.

The emphasis is on the company to provide the necessary evidence that not all their surface water enters the public sewer. It may for example be being collected and used for alternative uses or if your land doesn’t actually have drains e.g. farmland. You have a soakaway and/or the water drains to a reservoir. If this is relevant to your business property then there is evidence available.

It should be noted that this is only available if you have a metered water supply and is not applicable for unmetered supplies.

       – Property or Surface Water Drainage

A substantial saving can be made on the surface water drainage charge.

Mistakes can happen and the water company may have miscalculated the size of your site. In some instances, this could mean the charges set are too high.  It is worth considering that the areas that drain naturally should not be included in the calculation. This can be rectified by a review of the charging band.  This could result in significant savings when challenged.

The bill can only be reduced if the usage is charged on a site area and not calculated on the rateable value of the property.
Further details about the Surface water drainage can be found on the Ofwat website here.

Regular checks on water equipment should be carried out by all companies to ensure they are not missing any potential water consuming faults, are being charged correctly and not overusing water.

At Utility Team we have a dedicated water team with extensive experience in the water industry available to advise you of your options. They are here to explain the details of this article to you and how they could impact your organisation. Call us on 02475 095185 or email water@utilityteam.co.uk to discuss your options.

 

Article written by: Gemma Kingsley, Water Consultant