At HJS Accountants we can provide businesses in the Southampton area with help and advice on finance and on a wide range of business issues. Here is a checklist for reducing your utility bills…

Almost every business pays more than it needs to in utility bills. Conducting a utility audit might seem like a time consuming distraction but you could be pleasantly surprised by how much it adds to your bottom line.

Use the checklist below to identify potential savings for your business:

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Have a member of staff responsible for checking all utility bills – Make sure they know how the bills are calculated, what tariffs are available, etc.
Carry out your own readings of all energy and water meters each month – Use the information to plot patterns of use
Check that all utility bills are accurate and that any estimates are reasonable – Even the largest utility companies make mistakes
Annually review the tariffs you use – Not only do your usage patterns change, your suppliers also change the deals they offer
Monitor overnight energy usage – Check if it is being used by essential equipment and if so that you have the best overnight tariff
Make the best use of cheap rate electricity – If you can arrange usage by water heaters etc so that 15% of total electricity usage occurs during off–peak hours, you might benefit from switching to a day/night tariff
If you are on a Maximum Demand tariff, review your supply capacity – If your declared supply capacity is more than 15% higher than your highest Maximum Demand, contact your supplier to have it lowered
Find ways to reduce usage during peak hours – Try rescheduling non–essential loads
If you are on a monthly tariff, check your power factor – Check that you are not being penalised for a poor power factor
Shop around for a cheaper electricity and/or gas supplier – Find out more at http://www.ukenergywatch.org/
If your site has more than one gas meter, make sure they are aggregated for billing purposes – This can reduce both standing and unit charges and could lead to a better rate
Make sure your water meter is the right size – Standing charges are calculated according to meter size – don't pay for an unnecessarily large one

If you are in the Southampton area and are looking for professional advice from an experienced team of accountants, contact HJS Accountants.

Southampton Office

12-14 Carlton Place
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2EA

Tel: 02380 234 222

Winchester Office

6 Charlecote Mews
Staple Gardens
Winchester
SO23 8SR

Tel: 01962 842000

Reading Office

3 Richfield Place
Richfield Avenue
Reading, Berkshire
RG1 8EQ

Tel: 0118 9511 115

London Office

90 Long Acre
Covent Garden
London
WC2E 9RZ

Tel: 0203 470 0777