Redwood recently worked with Workman’s Energy Manager, Stephen Clayton to get the word out on the importance of utilities management, and the four reasons why property managers should keep the lights on to maintain environmental performance when the lights are off.

Now is the time to figure out baseline energy consumption

During this time, you can see what minimum consumption in an asset looks like and use this information for future reduction strategies.

For example, a closed building with all systems shut down to a minimum, with the exception of security systems and lighting, shows a true baseload position. The profiling will vary from asset to asset and is occupier-dependent, but you can use this knowledge and learning to plan a net-zero pathway.

Review supply contracts ahead of time and be sure to assess risks

Savings can be found thanks to falling energy prices and careful decisions can be made by only using suppliers you have previously risk-assessed. To that end, reviewing all contracts well in advance of expiry will prove highly beneficial.

Do not rely on suppliers to estimate

Data collection is a practical challenge in utilities management at the moment, with limited resources to take readings on site. To avoid credits and re-bills, adopt a proactive approach: instead of relying on suppliers to estimate, ask energy consultants to submit readings using calculated reductions that take into account the circumstances of each asset.

Stay in touch with core suppliers

During these times, while energy consultants are working remotely and supplier call centres are closed, resolving queries and issues will require a lot of patience. Solid relationships built up with core suppliers will be paying dividends now.

Direct and consistent access to customer service contacts will ensure that issues continue to be prioritised, including any long-standing and aged debt issues, which can be managed out.

Stephen’s comments were published in Property Week and also included in the publications online Covid-19 Support Hub as part of its Legal and Professional Advice section.