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“The guidance and support you and the team have given my small company to be accepted by one of the biggest contractors in East Sussex has been pivotal.”
Marie Jones, The Office Your Office, Bodiam
Utility Costs Averted! Horsham based charity AVERT work to combat HIV and AIDS through worldwide education, treatment and care programmes. Reliant on donations, Office Administrator Martin Wood believes it is crucial to demonstrate that every pound received is wisely spent.
Martin attended a free UTILISE course in Brighton to review the charity’s utility contracts and explore ideas for quick-win energy, waste and water efficiency initiatives. AVERT have since reduced annual outgoings by nearly £2,500.
At the course Martin discovered they were on a domestic electricity tariff, a situation not uncommon for businesses based in offices converted from residential properties. Business tariffs are generally cheaper than domestic tariffs, so Martin contacted suppliers to compare rates and switched to a business contract. Together with changing their gas supplier, AVERT are now saving £1,628 each year.
Turning his attention to waste, Martin found that their 360 litre general waste bin was rarely full on collection. By downsizing to a 240 litre bin, AVERT reduced annual costs by £225, allowing them to introduce a mixed recycling service.
Martin also reviewed AVERT’s printing costs. He rationalised printers, replacing five individual units with one central machine with improved toner yield. He expects to achieve paper and electricity savings on top of the £646 reduced toner costs.
The AVERT team are now looking to reduce energy consumption. They have removed portable electric heaters and, when budget permits, plan to review lighting and fit a timer to the kitchen water heater. Employees also ensure all IT equipment is switched off when not in use.
Martin recommends attending UTILISE. “We have just nine employees and a small office, yet have saved nearly £2,500 since attending the course. A fantastic return for one day out of the office!”
For more information about the UTILISE course contact the Sustainable Business Partnership. Other free services for South East based small and medium sized businesses include environmental and renewable energy site audits.