We previously looked at five common myths surrounding business water services; this time we’re going to focus on how to break out of the cycle of simply paying invoices that come from your water services supplier(s) on the grounds that the invoiced amount is similar to the previous one.
Step 1:- Decide whether you’re going to take on Steps 2-6 yourself, or consider a review by expert consultants
Step 2:- Know how much water you are using. Actual meter readings taken at strategic points in time. Remember that not all readings shown on supplier invoices will be actual readings, and the chances are you only receive a bill quarterly anyway.
Step 3:- Know whether you’re wasting water. Construct a basic water balance model and also compare your known usage with industry benchmarks.
Step 4:- Know what proportion of the water supplied leaves your premises as domestic sewerage. Work this out taking into account any metered effluent, significant evaporation, tankered sewage or other measureable moisture loss.
Step 5:- Know in detail how storm water is collected and routed away from your premises. Drainage plans from the archive or a surveyors report required for this.
Step 6:- Use what you now know to critically assess your water costs. Ensure that you are not being billed for redundant services, that the correct tariffs have been applied, and that you’ve been granted any applicable allowances. Identify steps to reduce wasteful consumption and implement those steps.
Of course there is a cost to you of assembling the information to acquire the knowledge in steps 2-5, as there is also the management effort required in taking the supplier(s) to task and taking corrective action in step 6, but significant cost reductions and rebates can result from going through exactly this process. There is another step after Step 6, which isn’t really a step. That is once you have got a grip on the costs, keep a grip on them, i.e. actively manage those costs going forward to ensure all the hard-won savings don’t start leaking away once more….