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How to save money on energy for your care facility

Energy usage can’t be avoided for those in care facilities, but the costs can be reduced, and here is how:

Tariffs and contracts

Selecting the appropriate tariffs is vital to ensure that you’re paying for what is suited best to your business. They’re many tariffs to choose from such as standard, fixed energy, dual fuel and pre-payment, to name a few.

It’s also essential that you don’t end up on out of contract rates which are rates you have to pay when you haven’t signed a contract with your energy supplier. This can happen when you have told your supplier that you wish to terminate your contract but haven’t arranged another supplier for when the current deal ends. It can also happen if you’re trying to switch supplier and it takes longer than you had expected, meaning that your contract ends before you’ve been able to move over to a new supplier.

Heating your care facility

Making a switch to central gas heating from electric heaters can save you a lot. An electric heater can cost two-three times more per unit of heat than just one unit of heat from one of your radiators. Thermostatic radiator valves are devices which are fitted to the radiators and reduce the amount of water which passes through the radiator, enabling you to choose what temperature you want for each room.

Maintaining your care facility building

Keeping up on the maintenance of your care facility building such as ensuring the roof is well insulated. An uninsulated roof can lose a quarter of heat, by keeping on top of it can save you over £100 a year. Included in the maintenance of your care facility is taps. By having just one dripping cold tap fixed can save you as much as £100 on your water bill, and even more for a hot tap.

Also, ensuring the windows are closed, leaving open a window overnight can waste as much energy as a small car driving 35 miles.

Lighting around your care facility

Switch to LED lights. LED lights have a long lifespan, are energy-efficient, operate at full brightness the minute they’re turned on and have many more advantages. Changing to motion sensor lights will save money as it avoids the possibility of lights being left on when people have left a room.

Solar panels

Another option which can save you money is solar panels. Flame UK is in partnership with Amelio Solar Energy which means we can provide you with solar panels to help reduce your electricity bill. A reduction in your electricity bill isn’t the only advantage to solar panels; they are a renewable energy source and have low maintenance costs.

For any help and advice on the information in the blog, contact a helpful member of our team on 0115896 5460 or visit our website flameuk.co.uk

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Watt you can do to reduce your energy costs.

Did you read our blog – How can you save energy and water?

Now, we’re going to focus on energy and give you a few tips to how you can reduce your energy costs.

One of the easiest ways is to switch energy provider. It sounds like it will be a lot of hassle, but by using Flame UK, we will make sure that the process is easy and as hassle-free as possible. You can even get your energy comparison quote in under 90 seconds by clicking here.

Energy comparison quote

Energy comparison quote

Understand your business, and it’s requirements, Flame UK will look at a cost reduction plan in line with your future business aspirations. And you will be provided with an account manager so that you will have full support through your ongoing requirements.

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Account manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allow and encourage staff to layer up in winter. In a three bedroom semi-detached house, turning down the heating just by one degree can save £85 – £90 a year, imagine what it would be in a place of work!

Thermostat

Thermostat

Do you clean your air conditioning filters? Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower the energy used by your air conditioning, by between 5% – 15%.

Air conditioning unit

Air conditioning unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A final tip is to spend some time educating your employees on how to save energy. Encourage them to turn off appliances when they aren’t in use and explain the benefits of energy-saving.

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Choosing the Right Energy Contract

What type of energy contract should I have?

Energy is a necessity, and everyone must have it to operate their business.  It can be a big chunk of a business’s spend normally ranking within the top 3 expenses and needs to be reviewed effectively to ensure the business is not only on a competitive rate but also the right type of contract.

There are many types of businesses, consumptions, meters etc. across the industry which can contribute to how a decision is made and what contract is best. There are many factors to take into account like budgets, requirements, systems, and even political unrest i.e. Brexit for when a contract is agreed.

It is difficult to know what type of contract to go with due to the uncertainty of the market, however, if you can make informed decisions that are right for your business it helps to make the procurement process a lot easier.

The contract types are below and how they tend to work;

Fully Fixed

This is the most common and suits all business types looking for security and will have their prices fixed throughout the duration of their contract regardless of how long the contract length.  The suppliers build in an element of risk into the overall unit rates to ensure the rates are viable and sustainable.

This type of contract will protect you against any mid-contract price increases and provide full budget certainty for the duration of your contract. This does not necessarily mean your monthly payments will be fixed as this is determined by the kilowatts used.

Fixed (Partial Pass Through)

This works in a similar way to the fully fixed option however, the prices can be changed at any point if a certain threshold is met or there are extreme bullish movements within the wholesale markets. The thresholds/ terms will be set by a supplier as to when the prices change and any increased is passed on to you.  It is always recommended to get a firm understanding of exactly what has been set which can include any number of the third party charges and varies from supplier to supplier.

 

Pass-Through

Pass through contracts differ from the fully fixed/fixed options as it is only the duration and the wholesale commodity cost of the energy that is fixed with the remainder of the price (third party costs) being passed through to the end user at cost rather than the fully fixed contract as these charges are higher as there is a risk factor built in to them. With the pass-through contracts, the third-party charges as variable and can change at any time so there is only a commodity cost budget certainty for the business.

The passed through / third party are listed below and can vary from supplier to supplier;

  • AAHEDC – Assistance for areas with High Electricity Distribution Costs
  • BSUoS – Balancing Use of System charges
  • CM – Capacity Market
  • CfD FIT – Contracts for Difference Feed-In Tariff
  • DUoS – Distribution Use of System Capacity
  • DUoS – Distribution Use of System Excess Capacity
  • DUoS – Distribution Use of Systems Fixed
  • DUoS – Distribution Use of System Reactive Power
  • DUoS – Distribution Use of System Unit
  • FIT – Feed InTariff
  • Meter Rental
  • Metering & Meter Reading
  • RO – Renewables Obligation
  • TNUoS – Transmission Network Use of System

Flexible

Flexible contracts have become a more popular tool to manage risk in electricity purchasing.

Compared to a fixed contract which has the cost essentials locked in for the contract, including the commodity cost, a flexi contract doesn’t have the energy part included when the contract is signed.

Non-Commodity Costs can be Fixed or Pass-Through in a Flexible energy contract, but the energy pricing is done throughout the duration of the contract – you will always be supplied energy and you have the ability to set the price of your energy through trading. You can buy at times the market is looking favorable according to your knowledge/expertise.

This is typically for businesses on a very large scale who usually have a dedicated employee/department overlooking the whole operation.

There are many factors before agreeing on a flexi contract, the main ones you’ll need to decide are;

  • Duration
  • Portfolio management – you can add and remove meters.
  • Energy purchasing – Exactly how you are going to buy the energy
  • Non-energy costs – Fixed or Variable?
  • Billing

There are also deemed contracts/variable contracts or ultimately no contract in place at all which means typically you’ll be paying above market average prices for your energy and need to be looking to agree one of the above which will depend on your business type and energy purchasing strategy and adversity to risk.

Within each contract type, each supplier offers multiple variations and options, so it is important to have a strong knowledge of each suppliers’ products as you are unable to make an apple for apple decision without this.

Whatever the contract, our experts can help you – just call 0115 896 5460.