In a previous post we’ve already looked at the steps required to take charge of your business water services costs, but we also emphasised the need to actively manage those costs from that point forward. According to the results of a recent survey of over 120 business leaders undertaken by leading business magazine Management Today, strategic cost management is only practised by around 30% of organisations…..
Once all the fixed water services charges have been examined and if possible lowered, the manageable aspect of your water bills is that related to metered consumption. We’ve stressed the need for regular water meter readings, but what if your meter pit is inaccessible, flooded, or lies beneath a heavy iron cover that makes it impractical or unsafe to read on a regular basis?
Water bills for some businesses come only twice a year, quarterly for the majority, and with a highest frequency of once a month if your business is a larger user of water. Even at these low frequencies, there is a risk that the invoices are bounded by at least one estimate and sometimes both the start and end readings are estimated. As these estimates will have been based on historical consumption levels, the total amount on the bill will have been made to look to be in keeping with those previously authorised for payment.
But what lies behind the total number of cubic metres (maybe estimated) for which you are now being charged for the supply and waste? How much wasteful consumption is being masked? If an underground leak had developed, how would you know about it?
One way of truly getting on top of these sorts of questions is to consider an AMR (automated meter reading) logger system linked to a web interface that enables a close-up analysis of water usage, and with a water meter reading being taken as frequently as every 15 minutes. The output then gives an insight into the peaks and troughs of water demand, trends in consumption, and can be configured to issue alert messages if flow-rate breaches a pre-defined threshold. Thus an AMR system can also act as an insurance against leakage into the future and can be a particularly attractive solution if you’ve got multiple sites geographically spread out.