Uttlesford District Council
Uttlesford is a rural district in North West Essex. The Council manages properties including offices, leisure centers, museums, car parks, sheltered housing schemes and housing stock.
Uttlesford outsourced energy purchasing and some invoice validation to a local authority consortium. Additional bill checking and usage monitoring had been handled internally using proprietary software. However, organizational changes meant that the Council did not have any internal resource to tackle queries and concerns as they arose.
Why Smith Bellerby?
The Council was particularly keen to engage with a specialist consultancy which would co-ordinate energy and water-related activities and provide greater clarity around financial forecasting. We started by carrying out a full historical audit of the Council’s energy and water supplies. This identified significant savings including a refund of £23,000 for one site which had been incorrectly billed by a previous supplier. The audit also provided sound usage benchmarks which were then used to generate more accurate budget and accrual forecasts for the Council. We followed this with our ongoing bureau service, where we receive all of the client’s bills, check them for accuracy and compliance with contracts rates, extract relevant cost and usage data for reporting and provide fully validated electronic files to facilitate payment.
We handle all supplier queries as they arise including working with the Council’s procurement consortium on supply moves and changes.
The Council values our personal approach to managing the Council’s energy and water portfolio. We provide a named account manager so they get to know the Council, its personnel and its sites. We take responsibility for sorting out any issues as they arise which means that the amount of time spent on such matters by Council staff is minimised.
We have recently been successful in securing a second term with the Council, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to and success in providing a value for money service.