Managing your energy can be a time-consuming and complex task for any business. But for an organisation with a large portfolio, getting your energy strategy right is critical to ensuring you don’t run into significant overspend. Consumers that have multiple site locations should make sure they are purchasing their energy correctly using a risk-managed strategy, but your energy strategy shouldn’t stop there. Here we discuss five ways to help make energy management easier for multisite organisations.
1. Secure tolerant contracts
Energy-intensive businesses with a single site might use the same amount of energy as a multisite consumer, but the needs of a retailer with multiple sites are very different to those of a single factory. You need to make sure you’re on the right contract that allows tolerance, including the removal and addition of sites without it affecting your overall rate.
2. Understand your consumption
Those mandated by Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting will already understand how having clear consumption data on hand can make your life easier, but as a multisite energy manager, you’re faced with added complexity when monitoring consumption.
For a retailer or restaurant chain, your energy use might be split over a thousand sites, consumption dependent on a range of different variables such as number of sales, customer traffic and staff behaviour. By understanding the average consumption across your entire estate, your utility consultant can tailor your procurement strategy, adjusting procurement to cover any site changes that occur.
Profile alerts can also give you an extra level of insight and help you to reduce your overall energy spend. The intuitive system highlights unusual patterns of consumption, alerting your staff so that any inefficiencies can be addressed immediately.
3. Review your Agreed Supply Capacity level
Making sure that you have the correct level of capacity is important and we would recommend a regular assessment of your Agreed Supply Capacity (ASC) to ensure that what you’re paying on your invoices is in line with what you’re using at a particular on site. If you’re a multisite energy user, you will need to check that every meter across your portfolio is set at the right capacity level to make sure you’re not overpaying.
Following Ofgem’s Targeted Charging Review (TCR), there is an added urgency for large energy consumers to ensure their capacity level is set correctly, as your ASC level could directly affect the way you are charged for your electricity. Forward-thinking energy consumers will be smart with their ASC review and use it as an opportunity to reduce the impact of the TCR on their business. Find out how to mitigate the effects of the Targeted Charging Review.
4. Make sure you have coterminous end dates
It’s also important to ensure that your supply contracts are in a common agreement with a common end date. Coterminous end dates will make everyday life easier from a purchasing perspective, plus, it makes it much easier to spot a problem when receiving invoices.
5. Clean your estate records
For a large business, where you’re likely to be moving into and exiting sites, estate management can soon get messy and the life of an energy manager will be made much easier if the estate has clean records.
Suppliers are making it more and more difficult in the way they process a change of tenancy; they will often ask for details such as a lease agreement or legal proof of ownership/responsibility from your solicitor, and a change of tenancy can take up to three months. With the correct forward planning, your utility consultant can take care of all this for you ahead of your move date, ensuring a smooth transition and that your records are up to date and correct.
With growing estates, we’ve also seen cases where a meter has been removed from a site but the supplier has not been informed, so the customer is being billed on a non-existent meter. Having someone project manage your move can ensure that errors like this don’t occur and your portfolio records are kept clean. Once your account is corrected, a bill validation service can help to ensure your bills remain accurate and that any refunds you’re due are recovered.
For help managing your portfolio, call us today on 01772 689 250.