I think it is a fair assumption at this point of the year to say that most businesses in the UK have had a tough time of it with everything 2020 has thrown at us. Now more than ever, it helps in any way at all to curb costs and keep bills in check. One area that is either overlooked or really not given any thought at all until bills spike up, is the humble water bill.
Let’s be honest. We take water for granted every day in work and at home, and only really notice it when we’re surprised by a burst main nearby which shuts the water off for a few hours. So why is it that most UK businesses don’t pay attention to their water bills and associated costs, in the same manner, they might do with electric, broadband, or pretty much any other basic utility?
Well, there are a good few reasons why, and thanks to the experts at Castle Water, who have become the UK’s most-rated business water retailer on Trustpilot, here are some key points every business should be made aware of when it comes to the cost of your water bills.
Know exactly what you pay for
Do you know to the penny what your water bill pays for? Does your bill break down trade effluent charges or highlight where leakage allowance has been factored in? No one likes looking at bills, but if you take a few minutes to understand everything in your water bill and look back to check for trends or sudden spikes, you can quickly get an idea of whether what you’re paying lines up with what you’re expecting.
If it doesn’t, contact your supplier and ask them to explain your bill in detail. They should be happy to go through everything to clear fees up. If they aren’t, then it may be time to start looking elsewhere.
Always shop around
I’m writing this in the midst of Black Friday fever. It seems like every shop in the country has a sale on promising the best deals around. But you won’t know that unless you actively shop around. You have every right to do so. You can get in touch with different business water suppliers in your area to get an idea of what tariffs they could give your business, and if they can assist with additional water services (if you don’t know about what additional services your current suppliers offers, find out right away).
Even if you get a rough idea of what the prices out there are like, you could get in touch with your supplier and see if they’ll bring your tariffs down to match, as you have the right to go with whoever you like.
Understand the switching process
The big stickler for most businesses, regardless of size, is the assumption that switching water company is going to make things grind to a halt. It happens when you switch broadband provider at home, so it must be the same for water in a business, right?
Well actually not at all. The water market in England, and to a lesser degree the rest of the UK, will always be operated by a local authority and NOT your business water supplier/retailer. They take on the cost of the water and act on your behalf. That means that if you decide you want to switch water supplier, your existing retailer can’t stop the water being shut off or hinder your supply. Any good water retailer will take care of the switch on your behalf to help avoid problems or you getting annoyed with your soon to be old supplier dragging their heels.
Ask your supplier to get a specialist in
One final point. Your business water supplier isn’t always someone just watching the meter. They should be able to provide or recommend water network specialists to come and check your water system from top to bottom. A good specialist will highlight wastage you may not have noticed, recommend internal changes, and pinpoint where wastewater is costing too much.
It’s all about the little steps you can take towards long-term improvements. Think of it less as the pennies looking after the pounds, and more like the droplets looking after the big spills.