Helen O’Brien, consultant at Energycentric, writes about their service which allows charities and social enterprises to leverage group purchasing to reduce the amount they spend on utility bills.
When it comes to making a big difference, charities and social enterprises offer essential services to all communities across the country. In fact, their work is central to the lives of many of the most vulnerable in society. So how can utility providers help assist these organisations in becoming stronger in their work? In short, by saving them money. We do this by finding ways to help them reinvest surplus back into their charity, their associations, groups and social enterprises.
How we can help?
By creating ways to save you money on utility and water bills, it’s as simple as that. If anyone can help, they should. More and more organisations are finding ways to offer charities and social enterprises free, discounted or modified products and services alongside guidance and advice in other areas. When it comes to electric, gas and water, most charities and non-profit organisations can apply for VAT reductions. Help with issues such as this is just part of the service that group purchasing can deliver.
What’s in it for me?
We all understand the idea behind economies of scale. The more of something you buy, the lower the price per unit. Unfortunately, for many charities, they simply don’t use enough energy or water to benefit from these discounts.
This is where group purchasing comes in. It allows a group of organisations to get together via a third party to buy a specific plan from a utilities supplier. The collective buying power of the group will help drive down your utility costs and usage going forward, as well as ensuring a selection of services is available.
What is the Importance of Group Purchasing
Group buying works by large numbers of organisations using their collective purchasing power to negotiate discounts from suppliers. But this isn’t all it does. By coming together, organisations can choose schemes which help reduce climate change and maintain cleaner energy.
The good news is that a new movement is emerging, who are acting co-operatively with the aim of getting better deals on everything from gas to organic produce – and group buying maximises opportunities by responding to new and existing members. Also, it enables sustainable options without unnecessary financial excess, providing excellent individual assessments of sustainable options.
In 2012, nearly 300,000 people registered for the UK’s first collective switching initiative with energy suppliers competing to deliver the cheapest combined tariff for gas and electricity. Collective switching helped shake up the market for consumers and marks an important step on the road to energy market reform.
Cheaper deals may be harder to find, but by banding together to collectively receive energy from the same supplier, a cheaper price could be negotiated. This can not only benefit all, but especially groups living in more rural areas, where distribution costs can be higher. Meticulous reporting practices are also crucial for regulatory compliance and to secure future funding.
There’s huge potential for collaborative consumer action across different markets, despite the hard current financial climate. Organising consumers together to pool their collective buying power is not only the future, but also the best way to make your money count.
Where to start
You’ll be surprised to hear that we think you should start by talking to the experts. Energycentric joined forces with ACEVO over 10 years ago, to provide a strategic partnership to maximise benefits for members, and now we have designed a utility scheme that will be beneficial to non-profit organisations and charities.
Energycentric has created “The ACEVO Utility Scheme” to be used by all organisations that are members of ACEVO. This will allow you to re-invest back into your organisation, and use your utility bill to boost your bank balance.
For more information about the Acevo Utility Scheme you can call 0800 0832 655 for more information. Alternatively you can email us via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website – www.energycentric.co.uk/acevo.