Water is incredibly important for any small business.
rom your local coffee shop to the nearby car wash, every business has unique water needs. One thing is for certain, though; every business has at least one way they could be lowering water bills. It simply involves rethinking water usage, which sounds tough, but isn't at all.
With some advice from the water experts at Castle Water, here are six reasons every small business should rethink water usage.
1 – Bills are too high
Let's start with the most obvious area to dot the i's and cross the t's'; your water bill. It holds all the secrets to knowing whether water usage is right on the money, or grossly inaccurate. I am a stickler for thumbing through bills and looking for trends; you should too. A simple way to start is with the year on the year comparison. Grab your most recent and see how much you spent for the same period last year. If your business is now in a position where more staff are working from home, it is a given that water usage will be down.
If bills remain the same though, it should raise alarm bells. Get in touch with your water provider and ask them how costs can remain the same when you believe usage is down. A reliable provider will take the time to investigate. If you feel you are not being taken seriously, start calling competitor water providers and ask them how much they think you should be paying. They'll be more than happy to take your business.
2 – You don't know what you're paying for
Speaking of water bills, looking through your bill should be easy. If there are random numbers and charges all over bills that don't make sense to you, get on the phone again and ask your provider about them. You might learn that you're paying for services you had no clue about, or there are assumed charges which should be reviewed.
Use this to your advantage by asking your provider to enact those services or bluntly ask if refusing specific services will reduce costs. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned.
3 – Your business is using less water
This is a BIG consideration for businesses which have had to readjust wildly to everything in the COVID/ Work From Home era of conducting business. I know that I am personally more receptive to bills coming through in the last few months, and for anyone who isn't seeing their water bills go down, it is time to investigate.
For businesses that already have modern water meters installed (meters that automatically send figures to your provider), you shouldn't be seeing any problems. For anyone on as assumed tariff, it's entirely different. Either ask your provider to help upgrade your meter, or talk to them about re-evaluating your tariff. Remember, if you don't ask, you won't get.
4 – Your staff are none the wiser
Here's a fun game to play the next time you're standing in line at a very famous coffee shop (the one with the mermaid) or ice cream shop (the one with Chunky Monkey). While you're waiting to get served, look behind the counter and see if staff have the sink constantly running to clean blender jugs and scoops. It is standard practice as these are businesses which need to rinse between usage, especially considering they're using dairy products. And while you might find it funny that you get to stand there and watch money go down the drain, can you say that your staff are knowledgeable with water usage?
People treat water at work much differently than they do at home. You might find someone is prone to leaving a tap running while walking back and forward during a task, or that water is being wasted in areas you couldn't even imagine. According to data from Water UK, it is estimated that a dripping tap can waste around 5,500 litres of water a year. Imagine staff walking by a tap every day, which is dripping and not even thinking of doing anything. I recommend educating staff about water and putting them in the right frame of mind to be conscious of costs. I would also recommend talking to your water provider to see if they can provide any assistance or guides to give staff.
5 – Speak to local government
Ever been miffed about the amount you pay in business taxes every year? Well, now is the perfect time to contact your local council about any allowances or schemes they might have in place. Said schemes typically work to pay upfront for improving your internal water network, or do something like getting a new meter installed. You then fill in some forms, and that work is written off against taxes for the year ahead.
It may take a little foresight, but those looking for a long-term saving should jump on the chance. Even if it's a short phone call to ask around and get started, it is worth investigating.
6 – You don't know your Flat Fan from your Hollow Cone
What I have just mentioned are specific types of hose nozzle you'd find around your property. Why would knowing different nozzles matter? Well, not that much unless a water auditor says so. There is only so much work you can do internally through training, knowledge and system upgrades to get water the way you want it. Still, there is no beating the chance to have a water auditor come and check your property from top to bottom.
As with most other tips I have provided in this article, you will want to chat with your current water supplier to see if they have a preferred auditor in your area that would be cheaper to use than going it alone. And if you're in the process of shopping around to switch water supplier, see if the competition will throw in a free audit if you promise to sign up.
Most auditors will look at equipment, compare usage throughout the working day, and see how water is removed before telling you the best way to save water (and money) in the future.
Now get to saving!
Thanks for reading this guide on how to rethink water usage. If you are in the process of trying to save on bills, take a look at some of the great How-To guides available here.