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What Is A Business Water Audit?

Monthly business water bills can be complicated to read and understand. These water bills can also be costly with many business owners accepting these charges without checking if they are being overcharged.

A lot of businesses do pay more for their water usage than they should and that’s where doing a business water audit comes in.

In this article, we’ll look at what a business water audit is, how to do a business water audit, the advantages of doing such an audit, and how to check if your business is being overcharged.

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What is a Business Water Audit?

A business water audit can help reduce water bills and help businesses maximise efficiency.

It is done by inspecting a business’ historical water bills and conducting a detailed review of a business’s overall water usage, water charges, supply, and drainage.

It also entails reviewing the following charges on your bill:

  • Drainage charges
  • Environmental charges
  • Water and wastewater charges
  • Surface water charges
  • Site area and/or band charges
  • Rateable value charges
  • High water consumption

After doing a water audit, a business owner would have a better understanding of how water bills are structured and whether they are and have been overcharged for water consumption.

Essentially, a business water audit also helps business owners eliminate errors on their bills, related to duplicate invoices, avoidable billing errors, and estimated readings based on rateable value.

It can also help reduce a business’s levels of water consumption and water waste which can help save money in the long run.

Types of Audits

There are two different business water audits: a water-saving devices audit and a comprehensive audit.

Water-saving devices audit

This is the most basic audit and identifies the basic changes that you’d need to make to your business’s water-using appliances to improve efficiency.

It includes inspecting, for example, your water meter, running toilets, outdoor sprinklers, water treatment units and faucets.

If any leaks and inefficiencies are found, the auditor would recommend the installation of water-efficient fittings to reduce water wastage. This may include the installation of flow restrictors and tap aerators.

Comprehensive water audit

This audit is mostly performed in the industrial sector where a lot of water is used daily.

It looks at all instances of water consumption within the business and its operations. This water audit is performed by a specialist water auditor and aims to identify how programmed processes and equipment can be adjusted and optimised to improve water efficiency.

The auditor may also suggest ways in which a business can reduce its overall water consumption, including, for example, using rainwater to supply water to outdoor sprinklers or flush toilets to reduce the usage of fresh water.

A comprehensive audit’s information can be used to give businesses a better understanding of how much water they use and the amount of water that can be saved if water-wise saving techniques and technology are implemented.

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Businesses are not legally required to have water audits done.

However, a water audit is recommended, especially if you want to – like with all other utility bills – start cutting down on usage and saving money.

Business owners should ask themselves the following questions to determine if they should conduct a business water audit:

  • Do I want to reduce my monthly water bill? If you are serious about reducing your water bill, you’ll need to reduce your water usage. A water audit will help guide you on where to reduce water consumption, leading to reductions in your monthly bills.
  • Do I want to reduce my business’s impact on the environment? Water is a scarce resource. Knowing how much water you use and thus reducing your business’s usage and water wastage – using the water-saving techniques and tips a business water audit would provide – can help you save and use less of this precious resource.
  • Do I want to boost my business’s green credentials? Many consumers want to do their part for the environment and are very conscious about where they spend their money. Knowing that your business is working toward reducing its water consumption will boost your green credentials, add to your corporate responsibility agenda and potentially attract more customers.
  • Do I want to future-proof my business’s water usage? A professional water auditor will advise you on reducing water consumption and cutting water costs, provide information on how to take advantage of government grants, switch business water suppliers, and provide tips on how to avoid industry-wide price increases.
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What are the Advantages of a Business Water Audit

The biggest benefit of completing a business water audit is that you can reclaim money from your water supplier if you have been overcharged.

Business water audits also give businesses a clearer picture of their monthly water consumption.

Doing a business water audit also has the following advantages:

  • Helps business owners better understand their water bills.
  • Helps identify water leakages and inefficiencies which lead to unnecessary wastages.
  • Indicates where water consumption can be decreased, leading to savings in business costs.
  • Helps businesses understand what their actual water usage should be.
  • Helps employees become aware of where they could assist in water saving.
  • Advises business owners on the implementation of water saving-devices and techniques.
  • Can be used to contribute to and improve a business’s environmental strategies.

How to Conduct a Water Audit

Conducting a water audit is not a cheap exercise. The business water audit process involves professionals visiting your business premises and can cost a lot of money.

But, the overall water savings and reductions you will experience will add to your business’s bottom line in the end.

You can arrange this audit through your current business water supplier and it entails water auditors to do a complete assessment of all aspects of your invoices and on-site water usage.

Because you are already likely to pay too much for your water, doing a water audit will help you save money which, in the long run, far outweighs the cost of the business water audit.

After doing the audit, you can also decide to switch your business water supplier, as this is often the quickest way to start saving money.

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Compare Business Water Rates with Business Energy Comparison

Based on their size and the industry they operate in, businesses would use varying levels of water.

Small and medium businesses would, on average, use much less water than large businesses, and therefore have lower water bills. But, just because a smaller-sized business uses less water does not mean it is not being overcharged.

Using a business energy comparison you can see if your business’s water usage is on par with other businesses of the same size and within the same industry. Based on this comparison, you’ll know if you are using too much water and overpaying on your bills.

Start your journey and compare business gas and electricity rates with Business Energy Comparison today. Use our price comparison tool and in less time than it takes to make a brew, we’ll compile your best prices from the UK’ s best suppliers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a time limit to claim back the money I was overcharged on my water bills?

Yes, there is a time limit under which you are allowed to reclaim for being overcharged on your monthly water bills. Under the statute of limitations, businesses in England have 6 years to reclaim for historic overcharging, while businesses in Scotland have 5 years to submit reclaims. Business owners can claim a rebate for the entire period through their business energy broker or consultant.

How much does a business water audit cost?

The cost of a water audit will differ from auditor to auditor. Most professional water auditors will not charge you for the initial audit. Once you go ahead with implementing the changes and strategies suggested by the auditors, they mostly retain a percentage of the historical rebates.