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UK SME’s miss out on savings due to water leakage

A STUDY has revealed that despite widespread concern over costs to businesses and record-high utility bills, 95% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are overlooking obvious cost savings, with the most neglected being water bills.


The independent survey of over 500 UK SMEs by National water retailer Wave, revealed that just 5% of respondents are cutting down on water usage to address rising overheads, despite 87% responding that water is a vital part of daily operations.


With a backdrop of rising cost-of-living and soaring energy prices, water usage has slipped to the bottom of the pile when it comes to operational priorities. This highlights that many SMEs aren’t aware of how much their water is costing, or how much is being used, making it difficult to identify areas where savings can be made.


Wave urges SMEs not to underestimate the financial role water leakage plays in water billing and to move towards better water efficiency to positively impact business’s bottom lines and gain back some control of the numbers.


Oli Shelley, Head of Operations at Wave said: “As the cost of living consistently squeezes UK businesses, it really is a case of every penny helps and we encourage SMEs to explore all avenues for navigating the everyday savings that can be made across the board.


“When our SME customers receive a higher than ‘normal’ water bill this is generally the first time we find them taking notice of their water consumption. It sounds obvious but the most common reason for this is that they’re simply using more.


“We often find this is because an appliance onsite has broken and gone undetected, such as a leaking toilet or a damaged urinal, which act the same as any other leak. Whilst a basic appliance fault might not initially seem as though it could contribute towards your overall water consumption, having, for example, a urinal constantly running will cost you a significant amount of money – potentially up to £700 per year.”


Cost cutting isn’t the only consideration in reducing water usage. Businesses of every size are beginning to consider their overall environmental impact; not just to bring down unnecessary overheads, but recognising that staff consider a company’s environmental impact to be a key driver in deciding which employer they want to work for. Research conducted by Nielsen in 2019 found that 83% of millennials care considerably about ESG, implying that it would influence their choice of employer. So, in a candidate’s market, it is something to consider.

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