Ultimate Checklist for Hiring an Energy Consultant
Are you a Business Manager or Facilities Manager, responsible for your establishment’s energy efficiency?
Perhaps you oversee the energy bills and overall energy budget, but want to know how you can become far more eco-friendly AND save your organisation REAL money?
This is where an Energy Consultant can help.
An experienced, credible consultant can analyse how much energy you are using, to make you more cost efficient. They can help you reduce wastage, improve your impact on the environment and save money.
But when engaging with an energy consultant, what kind of questions should you be asking to make sure you find the right partner for your organisation’s needs? And, when the project is underway what kind of preparation is needed from you to make sure it runs smoothly and in a straightforward manner?
UK Energy Watch have put together the following checklist to help guide you through the whole process, so you know exactly what should be delivered by the company you are employing, and what input is to be expected from yourself.
What should I ask an energy consultant in the initial contact?
How much experience do you and your business have in our industry?
Do you specialise in a certain sector or size of client?
Do you have any case studies? Do you have any clients/customers I can speak to who will verify your work?
Have you won any awards?
What accreditation do you have?
Are your staff CRB checked?
What is your current workload and lead time availability?
What’s your consultative approach?
Why should we hire you as opposed other consultants?
Are there any hidden costs of doing a ‘FREE’ energy audit?
Do you know of any grants or funding that are available for projects like mine?
What should an energy consultant be asking YOU in the initial contact?
What is your main objective? By understanding your motivation, we can then specify exactly what you need. E.g. reduce energy usage, reduce costs, solve maintenance issues or reduce heat/glare etc.
Have you previously been through a similar process to review your energy efficiency?
Do you currently have any energy efficient technology in place, such as LED Lighting?
Is this project something you have a budget for, or would you be looking at finance/funding options?
What kind of things will I need to prepare?
Scaled drawings and floor plans of the building/school showing clearly identified rooms (including electrical drawings where possible) – these will allow the consultant to ensure that all areas are covered by the report that they produce.
Energy Data – the inclusion of the most accurate energy usage data will ensure accuracy of the forecasted savings that can be achieved. Although estimated figures can be used, they may have the effect of ‘skewing’ the saving calculations. A minimum (preferably 12 months) of at least three months’ energy bills are required.
A named site contact for the energy consultant to liaise with (mobile number preferable)
Details of any governors meeting dates scheduled (as applicable) where the potential project will be discussed.
Access times and dates to the premises for the initial audit – carrying out the audit outside normal school hours may be appropriate in certain circumstances, do you have any specific opening times?
We need help funding the project- what do I need to know?
Here at UK Energy Watch, we help many organisations secure full funding that means no capital outlay is required and the project is ‘Cash-Positive’.
We work with several providers such as Salix Finance, The Condition Improvement Fund, NHS Improvement, and local funding pots/grants across the UK. Regardless of which funder you choose, there are some general things that you will need to prepare…
Direct Debit – The repayments will need to be paid via a direct debit. If you do not have the facility, the council should be able to facilitate this for you.
Project Completion – once completed, what is your preferred bank account for the funds to be paid into? Is it the school’s own account or a local authority account?
VAT – if you are a voluntary–aided school, you may not be able to reclaim the VAT. Should this be the case then this needs to be discussed at the start and will need to be added onto the project cost before the application for funding is made.
There you have it; everything you need to know to make sure your energy–efficiency project runs without hiccups.
We hope you find it useful but if you have any questions about the above, please do get in touch with us and we’d be more than happy to help.
Remember, mixing technology solutions is always going to greatly amplify your energy savings from a project. e.g. combining a new LED Lighting installation with a lighting control system.
Step back and look at the bigger picture- what exactly are you trying to accomplish? There’s a big distinction between a consultant who will own responsibility for the project and one who will only manage the process and escalate high-level issues to the client.
Communication is key, and as consultants, we endeavour to keep all clients fully informed throughout the process, whilst taking away all the hassle so you can focus on what you do best.