David Hadley (Black Country Chamber of Commerce) with Liam Conway (Control Energy Costs)
Black Country firms are to be given a helping hand in reducing their energy costs after the Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) joined forces with a utility management company.
Control Energy Costs, which already works with 100 local firms, has been awarded the BCCC Energy Partnership contract for the next two years after beating off competition from seven rival bids.
The new agreement will see CEC support BCCC members to help them better manage their energy costs, both in terms of negotiating ongoing supply contracts and exploring opportunities for retrospective refunds.
Experts will also be on hand to provide advice on making factories and offices more efficient through new technology and educating firms about the potential pitfalls of working with a traditional broker.
David Hadley, director of commercial development at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, commented: “Whilst our members have previously had access to national providers via the British Chambers of Commerce, we felt it was the right time to appoint an organisation that understood the local fabric of the area.
“The region has a higher than average concentration of industrial businesses and these companies use a lot of energy, many not fully understanding how the system works and how you can save money by managing it more effectively.”
He continued: “CEC was the ideal choice as it already works heavily in the Black Country and has launched a Midlands office to strengthen its presence here. It also currently works with 20 of our members and the feedback off them has been fantastic in terms of the service and results they’ve received.”
Control Energy Costs work with more than 900 retained clients across the UK, with
its team of analysts providing an initial, no-obligation audit and then working with the customer to identify existing issues and opportunities to reduce bills, whilst advising on improving future procurement strategies.
Following feedback from clients, the company has recently launched CEC Direct as a transparent, clear and valuable alternative to the majority of energy brokers.
Unlike most, it declares what it will do and its costs in a Service Agreement with the client, removing hidden fees or hidden commission.
Liam Conway, Head of CEC Direct, was delighted to win the contract: “The relationship with BCCC opens up over 1200 members as potential customers and winning this partnership agreement will play a key role in us achieving our target of £3m sales by 2020.
“In addition to our core services, we will also be holding quarterly interactive seminars at company sites to get across the message about efficient energy and utility management, not to mention giving firms the chance to join our Wholesale Market Access product.”
He concluded: “The latter allows customers to benefit from a collective purchasing strategy, which is actively managed by us to take advantage of good times to purchase energy.
“If we can save companies money, it’s money they can then invest in new machinery, expansion and creating jobs, which will help make the Black Country a better place to live and do business.”
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