How To Get Your Business Water Bills Under Control

If you’ve been spending a lot of time at home this year, there is a good chance you will also have been working from home. And if you’re like me, the lack of commute has seen evenings become the time to finally get through that backlog of tv shows and box sets recommended by friends you always said you never had time for.

One of the shows I’ve whizzed through, and enjoyed a lot, was Succession. Living in Scotland, one line from the show has stood out for me in a very odd manner. In an episode aptly named Dundee, the main character Logan Roy has some water and then exclaims “Oh, the tap water used to taste sensational. It’s changed.”

Why did it strike a chord? Well, I bet like many other businesses, while staff have been at home, there’s not been anyone in the office making tea or using the sink much or even flushing the toilet. That’s a dramatic drop in the amount of water getting used every day. If all these points are setting off alarm bells in your head about water usage, you’ll quite rightly want to go looking for water bills.

I want to take a brief deep dive into how anyone running a business in Scotland, or anywhere for that matter, can take control of their business’s water bill. It all starts with a quick trip to the office when no one else is in. You’ll want to get at least a year’s worth of water bills and look at how much you’ve paid. It should be the case that ever since working from home became the norm in your area, your bills should’ve been on a downwards trend.

If it hasn’t, then it is time to get on the phone and talk with your business water supplier. They should have already been in contact to talk about tariff/ bills changes as usage should have, to pardon the phrase, dropped right off a cliff’s edge. If they haven’t, then it might be time to start bartering. A bit like being stuck with the same internet provider for years out of convenience, you can switch business water supplier in Scotland if there’s a better deal to be had. 

If it’s the case that your supplier simply states there’s no way of lowering bills or giving some credit from being on a specific tariff, tell them you’re thinking of going elsewhere. We’re quite lucky in the UK to have an open water market, where the network is operated by a local water authority (in my case Scottish Water) but different water suppliers give you the choice of choosing how much you want to pay for water and any associated services. Those “associated services” should never be underestimated. 

For example, has your water supplier actively asked about getting a digital smart meter installed before, or they never even blinked an eye if your business is billed based on property value? Or are you running a business which needs to use water for cleaning and such, and your provider has never discussed looking at ways to recycle waste water and lower usage? These are just two examples of services a reputable water supplier would advise customers on, especially in the last few months if the office/building is much quieter than usual. 

I highly recommend doing some research and writing down what other water suppliers are able to provide, especially if it means better tariffs and additional services. It will give you some leeway and understanding of how your business could lower water bills, especially at a time when everyone is trying to tighten their belts. 

Unlike Succession, I can’t promise that talking with your supplier will have your water tasting spectacular, but I can guarantee even lifting the phone and having a chat will help immensely, so give it a go and see how you get on.