E.ON has launched a new energy audit service for its business customers to help them identify how to make savings on their energy bills.
The new service is targeted at smaller firms who do not fall under the catchment of the Energy Saving Obligation Scheme, which only applies to large enterprises. E.ON’s offering takes into account the size and sector of a company and how it operates to identify which areas use the most energy.
A report is then produced which is tailored around potential upgrades that could be made to improve the energy efficiency of the property. This takes into account the difference between the upfront costs of introducing the recommended measures and the savings they could deliver over time.
E.ON says this provides business owners with the information they need to make any follow-up investment decisions.
Iain Walker, head of business energy sales at E.ON, said: “Customers told us they often didn’t know where to turn when seeking help and advice in becoming more energy efficient, but they valued our experience and knowledge in helping them to use less energy and lower their bills.
“Our Business Energy Audits offer a complete tailored view of how business premises use energy and where savings and improvements might be made to improve efficiency.”
The audits were launched in January and are carried out by its partners on the scheme, Gateway Energy Solutions.
Tom Cribble had an energy audit completed for his dairy farm, which identified a series of measures he could use to cut costs.
“Before the audit, I thought we spent the most on lighting, but it actually makes up less than 4% of our electricity bill. The biggest culprits were water heating at 40% and milk cooling at 20%,” said the owner of Charleston Farm.
“Putting timer switches on our water heaters so they run during the off peak period when electricity is cheaper, will save us around £173 a year. Similarly, heating the water to wash our milking parlour overnight on a night saver rate will save us around £650 a year. And cleaning our refrigeration equipment more often to improve airflow will save around £206 a year.
“The audit really opened my eyes to the energy we were wasting and where we could save.”
The audits can be done over the phone – at a cost of £180 – or through a site visit, priced at £600. The service is supported by a guarantee that the evaluations will identify energy saving measures that will be worth more than their initial cost or customers can claim their money back.
For those receiving telephone audits, the property must spend over £2,000 a year on their energy bills to qualify for the guarantee. For the on-site audit, the property must spend over £6,000 a year.
As well as the guarantee, the audits are backed up by a range of tools including the online Energy Toolkit. This allows businesses to monitor their energy usage before being offered discounts on energy efficient products from Rexel, which can carry out a range of works, ranging froma single install to a complete retrofit programme.
A spokesperson for E.ON said the audits were part of a wider relationship with customers to gain greater insight of energy consumption and what can be done to reduce bills before going through the physical process of investing in greater efficiencies.
While access to finance has been identified as one of the keys issues stopping energy efficiency take-up among businesses, providing a service to identify customers’ needs alongside energy-saving suggestions has also been identified something that would be welcome.
Speaking recently during a round table discussion hosted by Clean Energy News, Mark Harvey, sales manager for Measure My Energy, claimed smaller businesses stand to benefit from a closer relationship with companies that can offer then advice on cutting costs.
“From the industry, they need to be taking ownership of that relationship and they should be coming forward and being proactive in their relationship with that user because in the small company, that energy manager or champion will thank you because you’ve done a lot of the hard work for him,” he said.
E.ON plans to start offering audits to non-supply companies in the near future.