Rethinking utility budgets As businesses look to restructure budgets due to Covid, Assured Energy gives advice on how to save during the energy market’s biggest price drop of the year WORDS BY KERRY SMITH
ne quarter of UK companies temporarily closed due to the coronavirus lockdown, and those that continued operating reported lower turnover, according to an Office for National Statistics survey back in April. Even those that have been fortunate enough to remain in business, won’t have escaped the effects of the pandemic, and just about every industry will carry its scars forever. To survive and recover, many companies will be looking at their budgets and making savings where possible, doing so with care so as not to deepen the wound. One company wants to alert businesses – especially SMEs – to savings that can be made, and costs that can be avoided on services we use every day. Utility provider Assured Energy says it has seen two things happening in recent months: a significant drop in energy prices, and businesses making rash decisions in the hopes of avoiding hassle with providers. Sam Edwards, Partner Channel Manager UK at Assured Energy, said: “We understand that because there is a lot to keep up to date with in terms of government rules and legislation, and work and home life in these times, lots of people will be focusing mainly on the matters at hand that are right in front of them. But if we can get through to some businesses and encourage them to review their utilities, they will find there are many ways to save in the long term. It may even be a lifeline to some companies.” Sam and Assured Energy General Manager Hiren Kanabar talked us through what’s happening in the industry at the moment.
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ENERGY PRICE DROPS
Energy prices have fluctuated during the turbulent course of 2020, but are now at this year’s all-time low. Hiren explained: “We’ve noticed that prices are better than previous months. Prices were much higher earlier in the year. The low prices we’re seeing right now could be down to suppliers overbuying and now being in a place where that energy has built up and needs to be sold, meaning there are better offers to be had.” Sam, Hiren and the team have acted proactively by speaking with their clients 12 months in advance of their contracts expiring to alert them of the price drops and educate them on current market trends. They aim to put the power back into their clients’ hands by providing their insight to support them to make the right decisions for their business at the right time. “We are giving clients comparisons to enable them to consider locking in a rate for their up and coming renewals so they can at least take advantage of this painful time,” Hiren said. Energy bills might be the last thing on your mind when you’re trying to keep a business afloat through a pandemic, and you might also expect that those bills are something you’re unable to change. But Sam begs to differ: “Businesses currently have a lot going on, so bills are either not their priority right now, or they just aren’t aware they can bring their costs down. “The rates are at their lowest for a while now and it comes at everyone’s most challenging time. We want to see what we can do to help businesses utilise these
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