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SME's missing opportunities to reduce operating costs

A survey conducted by the Close Brothers Business Barometer has found that more than half of small and medium sized businesses are feeling the pressure of rising operating costs. Meanwhile, a separate report conducted by energy supplier Opus Energy has found that a large proportion of SMEs are repeatedly missing out on opportunities to shrink their energy bills. A survey of 500 small and medium sized firms in the UK has revealed that 59% of SMEs have experienced increased operating costs. Of this group, two-fifths cite rising energy bills as their chief concern going forward. Leaders of small and medium sized businesses know that in order to secure future growth, they first need to get to grips with their cashflow. One simple way of ensuring this is by using less energy, and paying less for it. While it might sound like common sense, the Opus Energy Business Boost Report 2014 found that a large proportion of smaller businesses fail to capitalise on opportunities to reduce energy bills.

Missed opportunities

  • Significant numbers of businesses on poorly-performing contracts
  • Failing to shop around and negotiate better deals
  • Failing to use technology to reduce consumption

24% of SMEs are being charged expensive out-of-contract rates for energy

Out-of-contract rates are notoriously expensive. When businesses fail to negotiate a fair renewal price before their energy contract expires, they are normally put on ‘rollover’ contracts which are around 80% more expensive than regularly negotiated contracts. These contracts are particularly problematic for smaller firms, because busy owners often simply forget when their contract is due for renewal.

81% of SMEs do not shop around for the right deal

The report also found that a huge proportion of small and medium firms fail to shop around the various suppliers when renewing a contract. The concern is that many firms seem to be sleepwalking into the first deal they find, without negotiating terms or any favourable rates.

SMEs miss opportunity to reduce energy consumption by using technology

Smart technology has huge potential to help small and medium firms reduce their energy consumption, and overall operating costs. The Opus report found that small business leaders were failing to make use of smart meters to help manage their bills. While more than half of the small businesses had installed smart meters, many owners reported not knowing how to use the data to moderate consumption – or even how to obtain this data. Smart meters, as well as other technologies like energy efficient light bulbs, have huge potential to help businesses save money and reduce their emissions. The problem is that owners do not know how to use them effectively. With the proper advice, businesses can better secure their cashflow by using less energy, and paying less for the energy they do use. Our team of market experts are always on hand to guide customers through the pitfalls of the energy market Speak to a team member today to find out how to secure your energy future. Call: 0800 043 0423

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