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News & Blog

How Businesses can Take Back Control of their Outgoings

Posted: 18th November 2020

National restrictions continue to significantly affect businesses across the country.  While non-essential retail, hospitality and leisure businesses have had to temporarily close during lockdown, those businesses which are still operating will also have been heavily affected by the pandemic.

As such, there is an enormous pressure on businesses’ financial situation.  They may be juggling reduced income whilst navigating new income streams such as various government support measures.  Businesses might be facing unexpected expenditure on PPE and the cost of making their operations Covid secure.

It is extremely challenging to budget month to month; something which is especially true for smaller businesses, who may already be operating with limited cash flow.

More than ever, the battle to keep control of company outgoings is crucial if they are to survive in this tough climate.  A straightforward place to start in this battle is a universal cost and key expense:  energy bills.

While every business receives regular energy bills, the vast majority don’t track how – and where –they are using their gas and electricity.

A proactive way of taking back control of this expense is by installing a smart meter, to show exactly how much energy is being used hour by hour.  It will show whether switching off appliances overnight will save a small fortune, the cost of keeping laptops and phones plugged in all the time, and even how much boiling a kettle costs.

Another key benefit of smart meters is that businesses get billed for the exact energy they use.  Unless very regular meter updates are provided, bills generated without the input of smart meters are estimated, based on the usage from a previous period. If businesses have temporarily closed or furloughed some of their teams, this could be hugely damaging as they would be paying for energy they haven’t used yet, and might not use for several weeks, potentially making a big dent in their already fragile cash flow.

A smart meter is a positive step in taking control of business outgoings and if your firm has 10 employees or less, your business could be eligible.

To see whether smart metering can work for your business, and to find out if you are entitled to claim a free one, contact your energy supplier.  It could be one of the best calls you make this week.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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