Savings Through a Customised Bureau Service

Local authorities often find themselves with an unconsolidated portoflio making energy difficult to manage

Many local authorities find themselves with incomplete site lists, estimated utility bills and default unit rates. This often leads to overpayments being made and utility invoices not being investigated fully. This is when issues tend to crop up.

Councils can also lack in-house expertise to incorporate energy-efficient measures such as on-site smart meters or consumption reports. The solution to this issue is to have a consolidated portfolio and a customised bureau service.

Case Study and Solution

In July 2013, STC were commissioned to provide an Energy Bureau Service for a large city council. The council’s objective was to develop a sophisticated energy management programme that would support them in reducing energy costs and managing bills.

As with all STC’s Bureau contracts, a comprehensive and detailed specification Service Level Agreement (SLA) was agreed as part of STC’s ISO9001 Quality Assurance system.

Similar to many other local authorities, this particular council did not have a complete list of their properties. As a result and as part of the set-up process, STC collated and cleansed the data from the previous provider, the council and the utility supplier. STC obtained historic data and created a list of meters and accounts. This enabled the council to control their energy spend and only pay for the sites that were within their portfolio.

The council had supplies on different contracts with multiple suppliers. STC’s bureau service identified these supplies and consolidated them onto the government procurement framework. STC also identified sites that were on default rates and added these to the group contract. This helped the council make savings on default rates and improve administration efficiency.

STC has identified and recovered over £8.6m worth of savings since July 2013. Here is a summary of STC’s key achievements:

  • Created an up-to-date site list and consolidated all supplies under the government procurement framework
  • Identified sites that were either on default or incorrect rates
  • Resolved queries for duplicate invoicing
  • Identified the schools that were on the wrong VAT rate and corrected with the suppliers
  • Obtained CCL exemptions for qualifying schools
  • Corrected billing for sites that were no longer under the council’s responsibility
  • Identified sites that would benefit from a reduced supply capacity and managed the process for the council

Ongoing Service Provided

STC continues to provide the council with a full energy bureau solution, through their Bureau Service, which includes a thorough bill validation service, using STC’s advanced energy management software. An STC account manager carefully reviews each invoice, and raises queries with the supplier. All queries are managed by STC, from start to completion. The council has access to STC’s unique online energy portal, which provides a wide range of energy management and financial reports, including copies of utility invoices and billing queries. This information assists the council in strategic planning to reduce energy consumption and save costs.

Want to know more about STC Energy’s bureau service and how we can help the public sector save costs? Simply call Alan Little on 0208 466 2915.