However, if you can find the time to look back and review how legislation has affected your business, it can be extremely valuable. By evaluating the impact that industry changes have on your energy bills and usage, you may be able to identify areas for improvement, or missed opportunities.
With this in mind, we’re taking a look at what has happened in the year since the non-domestic water market opened and P272 legislation came into force on April 1st 2017.
If your business is one of over 100,000 organisations affected by P272, you’ll probably have noticed some significant changes to your energy bills over the past year.
Whether you have had a half-hourly (HH) meter for a few years now, or you were only switched to HH metering in April 2017, your supplier will have collected around 17,520 meter reads from each meter you have in the past year. With this increased level of consumption detail, your supplier will have been able to provide you with much more accurate, but also more complex energy bills.
Within these bills, you may also have noticed that you are now being charged for the collection of this data, as well as the meter operator that every HH meter requires. If you haven’t already, we’d recommend shopping around to find the best metering contract for your business, as your supplier will typically put you on a default tariff. We found that doing this could save you up to £600 per meter point every year, so it pays to spend some time finding the right deal!
If you’re on a HH meter, you may also have been exposed to new charges based on the times at which you use electricity. Businesses that use a lot of energy during periods of peak demand may have seen significant increases in their distribution and transmission network charges – and these costs will have been even higher between November and February, when the Capacity Market levy came into effect.
The changes brought about by P272 won’t have been detrimental for all businesses – in fact, if you have been savvy with your energy strategy, you could have benefitted from P272 over the past 12 months. Having improved consumption data at your disposal gives you the opportunity to analyse and review your energy usage and use this information to inform your energy management strategy. With a better understanding of your consumption profile, you may have also found it easier to participate in demand side response schemes.
If you’re yet to see the benefits of P272, or if you have been struggling with increasing costs as a result of the changes, talk to one of our experts about how you can optimise your strategy.
The deregulation of the non-domestic water market has been heralded as the biggest change in the sector since privatisation, and the effects of this change have certainly been felt by water wholesalers and the new water retailers. However, it seems that as a customer, you may not have noticed any positive impact of the newly opened market quite as much.
Newly released figures by Ofwat have revealed that since businesses in England were given the power to switch their water supplier in April 2017, 35,000 customers have chosen to do so. With around 1.2 million customers eligible to make the switch, this means that only around 2.9% of the market has chosen to switch so far. Around 25,000 customers told Ofwat that they have looked into switching but decided to remain with their current supplier, while 10,000 have negotiated a new deal with their existing supplier, and a further 15,000 are actively considering switching.
It’s encouraging that businesses are engaging with the market, but questions have been raised around switching awareness – do businesses know they’re eligible, and if so, have the benefits been clearly communicated? There are concerns over smaller businesses in particular, as a survey by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) in February 2018 found that only 38% of small and medium-sized businesses asked were aware that they could switch supplier.
Have you considered switching your business water supplier, or have you negotiated a new contract with your current supplier? We’re encouraging all businesses to engage with the open water market, as there can be some real benefits to doing so. If you’re a multi-site business, for example, you could find managing your water account much easier if you consolidate all of your sites under a single supplier. Although from a pure price discount perspective the margins may not be substantial at this stage, the softer benefits of consolidation, e-billing and agreed payment terms signify a vast improvement on previous approaches.
As the market is still in its infancy, some customers have reported that comparing water suppliers is far from straightforward. Inenco’s water team are here to help – from optimising your water strategy to helping you to switch, their experience is invaluable.
The year ahead
If you’re looking to make the most of the changes to the water market and P272 in the coming months, our industry expertise can help to ensure you have the optimum energy strategy going forward – call us today on 08451 46 36 26 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.