Powering Savings: Your Energy Plan Check-Up for 2024
People trying to lower their energy bills can often look at the market and be taken aback by the extreme conditions commonplace in this complex industry.
Trying to make sense of all the various elements is a time-consuming process that can cause a great level of frustration.
A key first step to protect yourself from the constant fluctuations of the energy market is to look at your energy plan at the start of the year. This can help future-proof your business against any sudden changes and protect you from higher energy bills.
Read on to see our definitive checklist for your energy plan check-up:
1. Review Current Energy Consumption
Analyse your energy bills from the past year to understand your consumption patterns.
By looking at your energy consumption, you can identify peak usage times and areas where energy consumption is high.
While looking at your energy consumption, take note of Time of Use (ToU) charges. ToU charges are a pricing strategy designed to encourage energy customers to use power during off-peak times, when energy is typically cheaper. These charges provide consumers with flexible billing tied to supply and demand.
In general, energy is more expensive during peak periods when demand is high. By shifting your energy usage to off-peak times, you can take advantage of energy rates that are up to 40 percent cheaper. With planning, and if your business uses a lot of power, you could make substantial savings by taking advantage of lower off-peak rates.
2. Assess Contract Terms
When it comes to managing your energy costs effectively, understanding the terms and conditions of your current energy contract is crucial.
Begin by finding out when your current energy contract is set to expire. This date is pivotal, as it provides an opportunity for you to reassess your energy needs and potentially explore more cost-effective options.
Pay particular attention to any penalties for early termination or contract renewal options. Some contracts may automatically renew if not cancelled within a specific timeframe. Knowing your renewal options helps you stay in control of your energy plan, allowing you to negotiate better terms or explore alternatives if necessary.
3. Compare Rates and Traffic
Managing your energy costs effectively also involves staying informed about current market rates and tariffs.
This means researching current market rates and comparing the benefits of fixed-rate plans for budget stability, or variable-rate plans for potential market savings. Look at additional tariffs and incentives while factoring in the duration of the contracts.
This comprehensive approach empowers you to make informed decisions that align with your financial goals and energy consumption preferences.
Sounds time-consuming or daunting? Consider speaking to our energy experts or advisors for personalised recommendations based on your specific needs and goals.
4. Evaluate Energy Efficiency
Conducting a full energy audit can establish areas where energy efficiency can be improved. Monitor your energy use and harness this data to reduce energy costs.
An energy audit can serve as a short, medium, and long-term energy reduction plan. This provides a prioritised list of opportunities to reduce demand. Many of these, including ensuring all appliances are turned off, involve operational or behavioural changes that cost nothing to implement!
5. Explore Renewable Energy Options
Investigate the feasibility of incorporating renewable energy sources into your office or business. This may include installing solar panels or getting involved in community solar programs. While the upfront costs may vary, the long-term savings and potential environmental benefits can contribute to a more sustainable and cost-effective energy plan.
6. Incentives and Rebates
On this note, make sure to research available government incentives, rebates, or tax credits for energy-efficient upgrades. Taking advantage of programs that you may be eligible for will maximise cost savings.
7. Negotiate with suppliers
Use a strategic approach with your energy contracts. Contact your current energy supplier to negotiate better rates or explore new offerings.
Pro tip: Leverage your energy usage data as a bargaining tool for more favourable terms. Note peak demand periods, times of low consumption, and any noticeable trends. Understanding when you use the most energy allows you to tailor your negotiation strategy based on your unique requirements.
8. Consider Energy Storage Solutions
Consider energy storage solutions, such as batteries, to manage peak demand and reduce costs. Look at scalability and assess whether piloting a small-scale programme may be better before fully committing to large-scale deployment.
9. Monitor and adjust
Implementing a system to regularly monitor your energy usage is a proactive strategy that, when coupled with staying informed about market trends, can help optimise savings. Explore different energy procurement strategies, such as fixed-rate contracts or flexible purchasing options. Market trends can influence the competitiveness of these strategies, so staying informed allows you to choose the approach that aligns with your financial goals.
10. Seek Professional Advice
Engage with energy consultants or advisors who specialise in market trends and energy procurement. Their expertise can provide tailored recommendations based on your specific needs and market conditions.
Ready to get started?
If you have any further questions about business energy contracts or if you want to identify opportunities to save energy, visit our service page or give us a call at +44 (0)3 300 300 800.
Download our Energy Plan Check-Up Checklist for a Detailed Assessment of Your Current Energy Plan: [Link to Download]