It’s that time of the year when many of us will be setting out our objectives for the year ahead. When it comes to energy, that should be no different.
But a surprising number of organisations we speak to, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), don’t manage or measure their energy usage at all. And they could be missing out. Research by the UK government shows that SMEs could reduce energy costs by 18–25% simply by maximising energy efficiency opportunities. And that’s not counting the other benefits that can come from optimising your energy strategy, such as the boost to your reputation (from investing in green energy for example) and long-term budgeting.
To help you make your energy work harder for you, we’ll be posting a special energy resolution series of blogs throughout January, which will include information and topics designed to help you get 2019 off to a positive and productive start.
So what can you expect from this series? We recognise that different organisations have different priorities when it comes to energy and we hope that you’ll find something in there that’ll help you get the most out of your energy and that you’ll be able to refer to again and again.
Changing energy behaviour
We all know that employees are key when it comes to effecting change in your organisation, but getting buy-in from them is crucial – up to 70% of organisational change fails, with a key reason cited being lack of stakeholder support, according to one study. In this blog, we’ll talk to Eunice Mabey, SSE’s Energy Optimisation director, about how to identify where your business could find energy efficiency gains and put these into action, while taking your employees with you. She’ll also offer insights into some quick wins too, including ones that won’t cost your business to implement. And, last but not least, she’ll talk about Clarity, our online energy management tool, which lets you visualise all your energy data in one place, so you can see how the changes you are making are impacting your overall usage.
Managing your budget
Maybe you want to plan your budget and protect against unexpected costs? If this is the case, you might be interested in the next of our blogs, which will focus on ways you can fix your energy costs. We’ll look at our fixed energy contracts, including Protect, which guarantees all existing charges, including non-commodity costs, for up to three years and Choice, where the energy costs are fixed to shield businesses from wholesale market fluctuations but non-commodity costs can change in line with market movements.
We’ll also look more closely at non-commodity costs, how they are calculated and how you can minimise them. As part of this, we’ll look at Triads – the three highest demand periods for energy usage in the winter months, as calculated by the National Grid ESO – and what you can do to stay in control of these costs. (Why not take a look at our recent blog on Triad costs here too?)
Or your energy resolution might simply be to save money and cut bills. If this is you, this blog will help you find ways to do that. We’ll talk you through the free resources available for our business customers, including our energy efficiency toolkit on our website or Clarity, our online energy management tool. Smart meters can also help to present a more complete picture of your energy usage – we’ll explain how in the third blog of this series.
Of course, larger organisations will have different priorities from smaller businesses, and some with the resources to do so, may even be considering selling back some of their energy to the Grid – creating additional revenue streams. We’ll talk you through how to do this, including through our Virtual Power Plant.
Boosting your reputation
Or perhaps you want to boost your reputation. Research has shown that nine out of 10 customers say they’re more likely to trust companies that support social and environmental issues. One way you can show you’re serious about these issues is by considering our renewable tariff, SSE Green, which is sourced entirely by wind and hydro. We provide you with a specially designed certificate and logo to demonstrate your green credentials to your staff and customers and we’ll delve into how to do this to maximum effect in the final blog of the series.
We also take our commitment to paying taxes and paying our staff a fair wage very seriously – that’s why we’re Living Wage employers and Fair Tax Mark accredited. We explain in the blog how we can help you work towards your own Fair Tax mark accreditation.
We hope you’ll find these blogs useful, whether you’re looking to build a comprehensive energy strategy, or simply to understand more how about how your energy bills work. And in the meantime, visit our website, where you’ll find a wealth of information to suit all your energy needs.
 Buy-In, John Kotter, HUP
 Cone Communications CSR Report 2017.