How Any Business Can Save On Water Bills

If water is clear, then why is the ocean blue? And if water isn’t wet, what is it?

Questions like these I could never possibly help you find an answer to, but there is one type of unsolved mystery I can help you with, which is keeping an eye on the water bills in your business.

If you read this recent post on the site about Managing Your Business’ Finances the Right Way, you’ll have seen a small section which talked about monitoring your finances. In this post, I want to take those ideas and apply them to the undervalued and overlooked world of water bills. At a time when businesses need to tighten their bills more than ever, this practical advice could help any company take the reins and get those bills under control & possibly even drive them down.

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It all starts with knowing what you’re paying for. Your water meter should be something everyone in the business knows or is at least aware of. I think it’s a fair assumption to say people take water for granted at work, be that when getting a drink, topping up the coffee machine, or washing up. And that pre-disposition works to scale. If you don’t know what your basic water tariff currently is, dig out your most recent bills and let staff know how much water costs. By prescribing a value to usage, staff are much more likely to act responsibly and lower usage. That should be your first step on saving on water bills.

The next step is to do your research into whether or not you’re getting a fair deal on water bills. Again, this is something most businesses will take for granted as it’s an afterthought from being a service you need. Just like the internet and electric in a building, you have some wiggle room to pick and choose what tariff you want. The easiest way to do so is by seeing if you can switch water supplier in your area. Simply phoning up other suppliers and asking if they can give you a better tariff will help you build a picture of what your options are. Write down the different tariffs other providers are quoting and use that information to talk with your current provider about getting placed on a more favourable tariff. You’ll want to aim for double-digit percentage reductions, especially if you’re talking with competitors who will want your business.

After you’ve gotten to know the local market, it helps to look inwards at water operations within the business. The common steps like making sure people are letting taps run and installing low flow technology in bathrooms is a good start for yourself, but I recommend paying a little extra to have a water audit carried out on-premises. A reputable water audit expert can come and check every single facet or water use in a building, analyse how water is being used (and disposed of), and pinpoint areas of change.

It’s the kind of thing where paying a small amount now will see savings in the long-term. An auditor will typically provide a full report which shows the areas to reduce water usage and cut costs. It also helps find a local auditor, as they’ll usually have connections with other businesses, which can help fix the problems they find. They may even help if they notice your business has been overcharged for water bills historically. 

These are the easiest steps you can take to help a business save on water bills. I’m sure that even if you phone up your current supplier and talk about your bills, that small action could be beneficial for your next few bills.

Fabrizio VanMarcino