Businesses face a variety of costs to enable them to deliver their products and services and with energy prices on the rise, utility bills can have a big impact on a business’s finances.

Optimise Your Utility Spend

As one of the UK’s leading energy consultancies, Inspired Energy plc currently help over 15,000 clients manage their utilities, using our extensive knowledge of the sector to optimise the value of every pound spent. Here are some ideas on how to future-proof your business against mounting costs.

BUY IT WELL

Energy prices fluctuate daily and can be affected by a whole host of factors, including demand, weather conditions and even political factors. This can make it hard to stay within budget, meaning that energy procurement becomes a stressful and time-consuming process. This can be a significant burden for SMEs, who might not have the resources or time available to dedicate to procurement.

Choosing a consultant led approach can relieve this burden. Inspired work with all major UK suppliers to give you access to a choice of supply contracts suitable for your requirements. We are independent of all suppliers, meaning we work in your best interests to secure the right contract for your business.

USE IT BETTER

Making sure your organisation is operating efficiently is key to lowering costs. Something as simple as switching to energy efficient lighting can have a huge impact on your bottom line, with LED lights using up to 90% less energy than traditional lighting.

Other measures include a comprehensive site audit. This will highlight exactly where your business is wasting money by identifying reasons for high energy consumption, which can be investigated and rectified – leading to immediate savings.

For large business, or those with multiple sites, profile alerts can automatically detect unusual patterns of energy consumption. For example, should electricity consumption be particularly high in the evening when your business is closed, profile alerts would automatically identify this and notify an appropriate person, so that overspend can be avoided.

MAKE YOUR OWN

On-site generation is becoming a popular option for businesses looking to protect themselves from rising utility costs, while supporting a low-carbon future. Making your own energy has many advantages but is very much dependent on your business premises. We can help by carrying out a site suitability assessment and advising on which technology is the best fit for your business.

DO IT RIGHT

Another way of achieving significant cost-savings is to use a bill validation service. Up to 20% of utility bills are thought to be incorrect, with non-commodity costs being the area where most inaccuracies occur. As well as making sure that your bills are correct going forward, historical invoices can be investigated, meaning you could be in line for a hefty refund. If any billing errors are discovered, our recovery team will manage any refunds or rebates, ensuring they are recovered quickly.

For advice on managing your energy costs, get in touch with Inspired Energy plc. Call 01772 689 250, email partnerships@inspiredenergy.co.uk or visit www.inspired-referral.co.uk

 

 

If you haven’t already heard the term, ‘Net Zero’, then you’ll undoubtedly be hearing a lot about it in the years to come.

Faced with the very real threat of a climate emergency, the UK Government made a ground-breaking pledge back in June to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.  Based on recommendations from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the commitment is a bold one, making us the first major economy to pass a net zero emissions law.

 

What Exactly is Net Zero?

For anyone not yet clued up, net zero simply means that any emissions produced will be balanced by schemes to offset the equivalent amount of greenhouse gases, e.g. by planting trees, or through carbon capture or storage.

Is Net Zero Achievable?

The UK already has policies in place to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, but it will take a considerable push to reduce this to net zero.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson used his recent conference speech in Manchester to announce his commitment to a sustainable economy. According to Business Green, Johnson said the UK could “lead the world with clean green technology and in reducing greenhouse gases that cause climate change.”

Despite the PM’s confidence, achieving net zero by 2050 is no mean feat and will require support from individuals and industry alike. For us to reach our emissions target, the government needs businesses and other organisations to get on board.

What Can Businesses Do?

Without the wider backing of the business community, we’re unlikely to achieve our ambitious target by the deadline. Businesses will need to rethink their approach to energy to play their role in reducing our overall emissions.

 

Here are a few things you should consider as a business owner:

  • Go Beyond Compliance with SECR – Those mandated to Streamlined Energy Carbon Reporting (SECR) should use this opportunity to go beyond compliance, using the SECR legislation to kickstart their commitment to energy reduction. By building on the SECR Framework, not only will you be helping us achieve our net zero target -allowing you to promote your green credentials, by improving energy efficiency, you could also make significant cost savings. Good news for the planet and for your business.
  • Create an Energy Plan – If you don’t already have an energy strategy in place, it’s time to get one. If you’re ahead of the game and have an established energy plan, take the time to review it to see where you can reduce your carbon footprint. Many businesses are making the switch to sustainable energy suppliers. An energy consultant can help you find the best supply contracts to suit your business from suppliers who use renewable energy sources.
  • Consider On-site Generation – If your business premises are suitable, you could go one step further and generate your own energy. As energy costs continue to rise, more and more businesses are moving away from the grid, with 80% of businesses looking to generate a quarter of their electricity onsite by 2025. There is a whole host of technology on offer, from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to combined heat and power plants (CHP). You’ll need to consider a range of factors to find the right solution for your business.

 

To find out how Inspired Energy plc can help your business reduce its carbon footprint, get in touch. Call 01772 689 250, email partnerships@inspiredenergy.co.uk or visit www.inspired-referral.co.uk

 

Fire safety is a key priority for any business and it is vital that you conform to all current legislation.

Please click HERE for a letter regarding your responsibilities regarding the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

If you require any information regarding your responsibilities and best practices please feel free to contact Beatrice Hooson at bhooson@cumbriatourism.org.

Useful resources:

Choosing a Fire Risk Assessor

Example Fire Safety Notice

Example Night-time routine

 

Quality Cumbria

Quality Cumbria is our local quality assessment scheme. It was developed through VisitEngland to recognise and drive up standards of accommodation in Cumbria in 2006 and is now one of the most popular accreditation schemes in the county.

Quality Cumbria properties are assessed per accommodation criteria of safety, cleanliness, comfort and are fit for purpose. The QC scheme does not include stars or require overnight accommodation for assessment. All accommodation providers who meet the Quality Cumbria standards are committed to quality improvements.

For more information on Quality Cumbria please click HERE.

The new English Lake District India Forum, set up by Cumbria Tourism to bring together businesses and target international visitors from the fast-growing Indian market, now consist of just under 30 businesses representing accommodation, attraction and transport providers.

Alongside VisitBritain, CT will be leading on an India Mission for January 2020 which members of the Forum will be attending. The mission presents an important opportunity to showcase the Lake District, Cumbria in India and establish new relationships with the Indian travel trade, tour operators and travel agents from across the key source cities of Mumbai and New Delhi. The visit will also feature networking opportunities for forum businesses with key operators in both cities.

Ongoing marketing activities targeting the market include a brand new India landing page and content collation featuring a region cuisine map designed to appeal to this market’s key drivers. Alongside Marketing Manchester as part of the India Campaign Partnership we are also developing a selection of targeted destination content communications including WhatsApp Marketing and newsletters to Indian travel trade databases, as well as highlighting products within travel trade product lists.

For more information on the Forum, please contact the team on campaigns@cumbriatourism.org.

Help us market Cumbria as #theplacetobe

There’s still time to get involved with our #theplacetobe campaign which runs through to the end of March. The campaign is designed to showcase Cumbria as a year-round destination and increase occupancy rates during the traditionally quieter periods.

We have a wide range of partnership opportunities available, designed for all types and sizes of business. Featuring press and PR, social media, digital marketing and more a partnership is a cost-effective way of highlighting your business to potential guests looking to book a winter break.

Give your business a boost with Golakes banner advertisements

We also have a limited number of December web banner advertising spaces available on Golakes, including key landing pages. Book now for December and we can offer the rest of November free, giving you 7 weeks for the price of 4.

A banner ad can help your business stand out against the crowd as customers browse for Christmas inspiration. Spaces are all available on a first-come, first-served basis, so contact us today for details of available banners and prices.

Black Friday marketing

Are you planning any special Black Friday deals? The Cumbria Tourism web team are planning to make the most of this event with a dedicated email to our full visitor database of 105,000 subscribers in the days leading up to Friday the 29th November. With a strong call to action and a short time for customers to book this is the ideal opportunity to spread the word to new and existing customers. For advertising rates and further information please contact website@cumbriatourism.org.

Our 2020 holiday guide will showcase the very best of the Lake District, Cumbria to potential visitors from around the UK and internationally. Have you secured your place in this iconic publication?

Building on the guide’s previous success we will be expanding content to make sure we reach and appeal the full range of potential visitors. The best selfie locations for that perfect Instagram shot will be featured as well as a celebration of events to mark the 250th anniversary of Wordsworth’s birth.

The guide will highlight the best experiences the area has to offer alongside accommodation to suit every desire and budget. Our marketing team will be happy to discuss your unique needs and specifications in further detail, either by email or phone.

Our annual amateur photography competition is in full swing, with four stunning images in contention for the coveted front cover. Have you cast your vote? Share the competition with your guests and followers to make sure the winner truly represents how our visitors see our county.

Cast your vote

International coverage is a key aim of Cumbria Tourism, and it has been fantastic to see recent coverage from destination press trips reaching international audiences.

Alongside VisitBritain we welcomed nine journalists from all across the globe as they experienced Lake District marking 70 years of national parks. The trip has already generated a wide array of coverage, including multiple pieces in The Australian, featuring Ullswater, Windermere and a piece celebrating the Lake District’s spectacular beauty, heritage and World Heritage status.

CT press trips for key German journalists have also recently produced coverage in both Glückspost and Reise magazines. The North West was the fourth most popular English destination for German travellers in 2018 (VisitBritain) and we are keen to continue growing this market.

Cumbria’s high quality food and drink offer, boosted this month by the county’s eight Michelin Stars, has also been featured in the NFU’s Countryside members’ magazine. This four page spread, arranged by our PR team, highlighted the wide range of foodie delights to their subscribers.

Closer to home, we also arranged a visit to Kendal for People’s Friend magazine. Focussing on the town and area’s history and culture the piece encourages readers to visit and experience the town’s charms for themselves.

Another recent press trip highlighted the delights of northern Cumbria and the Solway Firth as a peaceful retreat to the Scottish market. Our “attract and disperse” policy focusses heavily on encouraging visitors to explore outside the traditional honeypot areas and with Lonely Planet recently naming England, especially its coast, as one of its top ten 2020 locations we look forward to welcoming more journalists to the area in the near future!

Over 80 people attended VisitBritain’s Taking England to the World event at the Roundthorn Country House Hotel last month for a day of expert training on becoming international-ready.

Developed as part of the Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund, it was fantastic to see so many of our members making the most of this event as it travelled to the county.

If you’re interested in making your business more attractive to overseas guests, or you’re looking to expand further into this market VisitBritain have also produced a FREE inbound tourism toolkit, available for download HERE. If you require further assistance our expert international team can help – please contact Francine at fbult@cumbriatourism.org

Cumbria Tourism is representing our members at a series of travel trade shows this autumn to forge one-to-one relationships on your behalf and put our region at the forefront of their minds. We will be also be gathering valuable information about the latest travel trends and market insights from a range of tourism specialists.

This week the team is at VisitBritain’s annual International Business Exchange (better known as ‘VIBE’), forging links with operators from across the globe. Then it’s the turn of the Group Travel and Leisure Show, where we will be representing tourism businesses in partnership with Northern Print Distribution (NPD).

That’s followed by World Travel Market in November – a huge three day event at ExCeL London, which brings together almost 5,000 exhibiting companies and more than 51,000 visitors.

The activity follows a summer of attendance at large-scale visitor events, such as the prestigious Chatsworth Country Fair, where the CT team promoted the Lake District, Cumbria, as a ‘must see’ destination.