I’ve got a great pub quiz question you should know the answer to the next time you’re at one, that is if pubs ever get back to normal again.
Can you guess when London was first seen as having a fully working sewage system? It was back in 1866 when London’s first chief engineer (the only one London ever had) Joseph Bazalgette completed his mission to get all that foul waste out of the streets and into pipes underground.
Ever since then, the city has seen developments time and time again to update and improve it’s sewers and water network, even to this day. You just have to look at the Thames Tideway Scheme to see the future of how the city will handle water. But what about those of us out there in charge of looking after the water for our businesses? How can we lower water bills when the rates always seem to be on the up?
Here are three rather clever ways you can lower water bills without needing to change anything at all.
1. Start phoning around
Every Wednesday, just before I start work, I do something I never usually would. I sit and read about price comparison for at least half an hour while sipping my first coffee. If you’re like me, you are one of the thousands who eagerly opens the weekly Money Saving Expert emails telling you how to switch the likes of your bank and phone accounts in a doddle.
I want you to apply that same eagerness to thinking about how you pay for water. People often forget the UK has an open water market for businesses, letting you pick and choose who you pay water bills to. I can’t recommend enough looking up who’s good in your area and phoning different retailers to get a good deal. You’ll be surprised just how competitive it gets. You might even get a few freebies.
One company I can’t say enough good things about are the lovely folk at Castle Water (who can find out more about here). If you were previously a Thames Water customer, there’s a good chance you’re already a customer of theirs, so give them a ring to ask about your meter. Why? Well, I’m about to explain.
2. Ask for a smart meter
See what I just said about freebies. If you’re keen to switch because your current provider isn’t up to scratch, ask your new provider if they’ll come to check your water meter and upgrade it if needed. What do I mean by an upgrade?
Businesses change location in London all the time, and many don’t stop to ask about moving from an old water meter to new digital ones. These new meters can record usage constantly and submit reading every half an hour in some cases. Why would this help a business? Imagine being able to pick up on water usage trends and then knowing when to use less water. A little analysis and looking at graphs can see you reduce consumption, and bills in the long-term. It doesn’t get better than that.
3. Get your waste sorted too
Did you know that there is roughly a 20p difference per cubic metre in charges for wastewater in Camden & Hackney than in Chelsea & Kensington (the latter being cheaper)? You could have two identical businesses creating the same amount of wastewater just a mile or so apart and end up with two completely different wastewater charges on the bills.
Again, get on the phone with your water supplier and ask if they can help you with wastewater management. If your business creates a lot, they may send a specialist round to see where reductions can be made. If you have multiple businesses, they may consider consolidating your bills so the price per cubic metre can be lowered. You’ll be surprised at the solutions they can come up with.
Now get to saving on bills!
These are just three easy ways to get those water bills lowered or under control. Even if you don’t know where to start, I highly recommend getting on the phone and chatting with your current supplier to see if there are any services you might not have known they provide.
You might be surprised at the benefits hiding in plain sight!