Delivering cost savings of £370,000 for the largest Borough in Essex

Colchester Borough Council

The Client

Colchester is the largest Borough in Essex and Britain’s oldest recorded town. The Council manages a range of buildings including the Town Hall, civic offices, leisure centers, car parks, museums, sheltered housing schemes and housing stock.

The Challenge

Historically, the Council partnered with other Local Authorities in an Essex-wide consortium to buy their energy but carried out bill checking & processing in-house. An internal re-organization provided the ideal opportunity to see if the service could be outsourced at a lower cost.

Lee Spalding<br />
Corporate Asset Manager

Lee Spalding
Corporate Asset Manager

Their experience and support has been invaluable. If we didn’t have the benefit of their services, we would have to employ our own in-house experts. They have worked with us to build a firm foundation upon which we have based our energy management improvements for the future.
Client Site

Why Smith Bellerby?

We were appointed in 2005 to manage the Council’s utility billing. Our brief was to provide a proactive service, streamline the Council’s administration processes, improve the accessibility of accurate cost and usage data and deliver cost savings. Within the first six months of being appointed, we had implemented consolidated billing using fully cost-coded electronic payment files; transferred straggler supply on to bulk contracts; arranged for the disconnection of dormant sites; optimised green electricity charges for smaller sites and obtained refunds totalling £28,000. These savings more than recovered our professional fees and demonstrated the value of our service to the Council.

Since those early days, we have successfully rebid for the utility management contact several times, demonstrating our continuing value for money. Direct savings from supplier rebates have continued to grow and have recently exceeded £370,000. We take care of all supplier queries, and with such a large supply portfolio, this represents a significant time-saving for Council officers. A particular benefit of the service has been the availability of accurate usage data which is used for budgeting, carbon reporting, making investment decisions on new energy savings plant & equipment.