The Stress of Energy
Stress is something we all want to avoid and are trying to reduce in our business and social lives. However, this type of pressure is not so easily avoided and what has been adding to tension and stress is high energy bills. Prices look likely to increase, even though businesses and the general public believe that they are already high enough, due to international tensions. Stress can become a serious condition that you shouldn’t take lightly.
People and businesses have been feeling the pinch of higher bills, to the point they become stressed, which can lead to extreme medical conditions. Their stress levels are not aided when large energy companies hound, harass and bully the population and businesses, according to the media.
For example, the Gloucester Citizen reported on a pensioner being harassed by an energy company who were over charging. This caused the Barnwood pensioner to become stressed as there was the threat of bailiffs before he managed to resolve the issue with the energy company.
A large corporation hounding you or your company for money can place an inordinate amount of pressure on a business or person. This can be classed as a form of bullying and harassment as this can lead to adverse effects on a person’s mental well being.
Back in June 2014 a church was overcharged by £10,000 by a major energy supplier. This of course made the church warden infuriated and could have led to a stressful situation. However, seeking help allowed him to stop the problem before it escalated further. The church’s monthly bill went from £127 to £1.767, which is a massive increase. The church warden said “We are a simple organisation and dealing with this has not been easy.”– The Telegraph
So what can businesses actually do to ensure that are not as pressured or stressed due to rising energy costs?
One of the most commons ways to reduce your stress levels would be take a proactive approach to your energy usage. This allows you to see what you are actually using and you can then work to change your consumption patterns. However, it is worth noting that this selection can take a lot of time out of your day or could require you to hire someone else, which may incur additional costs.
Another measure is to cut costs in other areas; this will allow you to save money so you can pay your energy bill. However, cutting costs can be difficult and could mean that your stock and employee levels are lower.
The third measure would be to use an energy consultant/broker. The level of service you obtain will depend on which consultant/broker you choose and it is important to obtain written confirmation of this before you sign any contract.. Some consultants can deal with all sorts of problems and supplier issues. You will just need to raise an issue with your consultant and they will take it from there. However, using an energy consultant/broker will mean that you incur additional costs, normally through commission, but a good consultant will always work proactively with your business.
You can always switch suppliers. Hunting around for a better deal is always recommended. Though if you have outstanding bills then this will need to be resolved with the current supplier. You will have to deal with your own terminations and sourcing new supplier rates can be time consuming. It is worth noting that you will not be guaranteed a lower bill. You need to check the market beforehand to ensure that switching is the best choice for you.
Last but by no means least you can always seek financial aid. You may damage your pride, but these services can be worthwhile to ensure you can pay your bills. For example, a bank loan will mean that you will pay back more over a longer period of time. There are also grants available for businesses that are looking for renewable energy solutions, which could reduce your energy costs.
For information on energy grant available please visit the Energy Saving Trust website.
If you feel that you are becoming stressed over your energy issues, be it energy costs or supplier issues, then we suggest that you seek help from either, government, family/friends, business partner, line manager/ HR and anyone else who may be able to help. For businesses CUB can help and contacting us is your first step to stress free energy. Our packages are there for you, providing you will all the services your business would need. Remember you do not have to go through it alone. There is always a solution.