It's never to early to start planning for the next year (or the current year), especially when it comes to energy costs. Accounting for energy costs in your budget can help you save big time.
Energy costs can differ greatly from company to company, but it's still a necessity to come up with a plan for how to include them in your annual budget. To help with the process, here are 5 tips.
1. Set aside the time.
Make it part of your budget agenda meeting and take the necessary steps to address what is needed to complete this part of next year’s budget. Though many people think that they can pushed planning back till the last minute, finding the time earlier in the year to get budgeting for the upcoming year out of the way can be a huge relief when employees are busy during the holiday season.
2. Include the right people.
Before your budgeting meeting can commence, it's important to have all the information you need to create one. A short meeting with your company’s financial people, your energy consultant, or the company’s energy representative should give you a great outline of the steps you will need to take to forecast next year’s energy costs. Once you have these number down, you can create a budget that encompasses the needs of your business and the demands of the energy market.
3. Use historical usage and pricing information to create projections.
You can get the last 12 months of electricty or natural gas usage and the rate you're paying from your energy broker, supplier, or local utility. Use your usage info to see when you use a lot of energy and how much you're paying from it. Depedning on how much you use, you may can qualify for different products or rates that could save your comopany money.
4. Include your forward growth outlook.
Its essential to include plans for growth, if any, so your energy budget serves its purpose as a guide for you and the company. Looking into the different pricing products available will help especially when a company is growing and not sure of the costs they will face when doing so. Don’t be afraid to try new energy solutions such as demand response, green energy, and the utilization of an energy broker. All of these options can help aid you in cutting costs in an easy and cost-effective way.
5. Be consistent in your annual preparation.
Make sure you set aside the time each year during budget meetings and make it part of your company’s routine. Doing this process once will not give you the long-term savings that your company deserves. Be diligent in this process to secure low rates and create big gains for your business.
The bottom line
Though these are only a few steps to create a budget for your businesses future savings, these small steps can help immensely in the future. By using this roadmap, your company has the basic steps needed for success in making this a regular part of your business routine, which in turn will help everyone at the company.