Energy management: the 7 'deadly sins'

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With annual energy bills entering their thousands and green credentials being key to brand reputation, not to mention the environment, energy saving is one of the most important issues facing businesses and facilities today.
In order to avoid a big dent in profit margins, savvy companies must keep their energy bills under control. With this in mind, the Energy & Environment website recently shared the Great Annual Savings Group's 'seven deadly sins' businesses must avoid if they want to prevent their energy bills from spiraling out of control:
1. Sloth
Perhaps the greatest sin of all is sitting back and doing nothing. Companies that don't shop around or stay with the same supplier out of misplaced loyalty are doing themselves out of thousands of pounds each year; so spend some time researching and finding the best deal.
2. Greed
Some companies go to the other extreme and spend all their time scouring the market for the best deal, without seeking or investing in expert help. While they may think the deal they've secured is good value, they would probably have been better off getting more advice – which leads nicely to the next 'sin'...
3. Pride
It's often pride that causes companies to try and do everything in-house rather than seeking outside specialist help. But when it comes to studying the energy market, this can be counter-productive; price trends need to be continually analysed, which can cost time and money – something you are supposed to be saving.
4. Gluttony
Securing a good deal is by no means the final part of the process. It's necessary to regularly monitor energy consumption to ensure you're not using more than you need – this includes when energy is being used, and in what areas of the facility. This ensures that you're not wasting money on energy outside of business hours, and that utility firms have less room to overcharge.
5. Lust
Don't overlook the small print in your desire for make a profit. It's easy to get seduced by attractive unit prices from energy firms, but there could be hidden or standing charges. Carefully scrutinize the terms of the contract, and don't sign until you're aware of all the charges and contract end date.
6. Wrath
Don't just think short-term. Short-term energy strategies end up costing you more – and you'll only end up being angry when you find that after a cheap one-year deal, rates have ended up higher. Think long-term and align your energy strategy with your wider business goals.
7. Envy
It's good to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing, but only if you are using this information wisely as opposed to just getting jealous. If your rivals are paying less for their energy than you are, they probably have a better understanding of the market.
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