In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent temporary closure of business premises across the region, Cumbria Tourism is working with one of its Strategic Partners to highlight the potential requirements surrounding Legionella.

Utility Consultancy, Inspired Energy, says owners and managers of businesses which currently lie vacant must investigate the rules and advice surrounding Legionella and stagnant water. The Legionnaires’ disease Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) recommends that all rarely-used, or disused hot and cold outlets like taps, showers and toilets, should be opened and left to run through for five-minutes to flush the whole water system.

Chris Tarr, Director of Water Services at Inspired Energy, says, “This will allow hot water temperatures to reach their desired 60 degrees celsius and cold-water outlets to drop below 20 degrees celsius, avoiding water stagnation and protecting against Legionnaires. Legionella testing is not part of our offering, but we hope people find the advice useful.” Further information about the process can be found online at, here.

Eight working-weeks since lockdown measures were introduced across the UK, thousands of businesses have been desperately looking into the most effective way to cutting costs, in order to survive the Coronavirus crisis.

Chris continues, “There have been market code changes implemented by Ofwat which will permit water companies to convert temporarily closed properties into a ‘vacant’ category which will, for the course of the COVID-19, stop invoicing. Additionally, for those sites still open there are provisions in place to suspend disconnections, as well as extended payment terms.

“We recommend that readings are taken from the main Water Company supply meter for vacant properties, ideally once a week at the same time of the day. By documenting these, it will permit the recording and monitoring of usage during a period of reduced activity at your premises. This will assist with ensuring accurate billing if these can be subsequently provided to your water retailer.”

Inspired Energy also offers no-win no-fee water audits to help reduce further costs and potentially provide a cash injection from the recovery of overcharges. Chris says, “Our specialist team of analysts will forensically review your last six years of charges. This is a much deeper examination than standard validation, with a focus on benchmarking use and identifying any excess consumption or overcharges to make your water budget as cost effective as possible.”

“Further advice includes utilising the service’s bespoke water procurement service to secure optimal rates and best provider, which Inspired Energy can handle throughout the whole process. In some cases, automated meter reading devices are installed to help avoid unnecessary costs caused by leakage and excess consumption. We also have an in-house leak detection and repair service so that we can provide immediate solutions.”

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “As businesses try to navigate their way forward through this unprecedented situation, it’s great to work alongside organisations like Inspired Energy, which are working to help cut unnecessary costs for businesses when they need it most”.

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