I need to save utility costs. Who can help?

Hi Aunty,

The family says hi. Wink
I know every second company wants to save us money on telephone calls. But I believe there are companies that will do a full audit, including water, insurances, electricity, phones and other business expenses.

It is at no cost as they get commissions back from the providers, but also saving the business money. Do you know where we can look for these brilliant people to assist us in these harsh times?

People often ask how business is. It’s great…but not profitable as the cost of business is killing us.

Mark P


Hi Mark P,

And hi to the family. Laughing.
Call me sceptical, and I am quite ready to be shot down in flames, but how can these companies provide truly independent advise if they get commissions back from the providers? The best thing to do is ask our readers if they know anyone who can come in and do an audit – and that they trust.

But can I commend you on the idea? So often as businesses grow fast, they end up with costs such as extra phone lines they are not using it. We have “Annual Housekeeping Week” that starts on 1 July – at the start of every financial year – when we run through our costs and make a list of contracts, suppliers and utility costs we are going to review in the following financial year, and when we are going to review them. It just means that everything is under constant focus.

If anyone has some ideas around a cost audit, send them in to [email protected],com.au and we’ll post them tomorrow.


Good luck!
Your Aunty B.


Leon Hayes from Switchselect.com writes: I came across your article on none other that the social marketing tool Twitter. We are an impartial energy comparison website for the Australian public, and have been trying to educate the utility companies on opening up to “apples for apples” comparison.

Across Australia many of the energy markets are deregulated, opening up the incumbent retailer to competition. In some states, specifically Victoria, which leads the world in market churn for energy customers and has done so for the past couple of years, deregulation has worked in offering customers both options and reductions.

Last year we conducted a study across Australian energy prices both deregulated and not. Perth was shown to have the cheapest electricity in the country, a region that had NOT been deregulated. This was followed by Sydney.

Now, this is not to say deregulation is  a negative process. The telecommunications industry has been deregulated for many years now, and although those phone calls from India are annoying, the market is extremely competitive and ultimately it is the consumer that benefits.

Increased competition is a great thing. But consumers must, must, must speak with their wallets. Gone are the days of poor customer service, high prices and incorrect accounts – 2009 is about comparing, researching and acting on the best deal. Switchselect may even be able to help.

Francisco writes: I am exceptionally good at this but my management skills are very poor (I cannot get people to do what they need to do). Maybe we can cooperate with each other.

The only reason I am still in business is because I have reduced some of these costs to such an extent that no one can do what we do for the same price (not even China), but we fail in that the workers do not follow the instructions and procedures and things go wrong.


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