Shropshire charity saves thousands on bills to help fund patient care

A Shropshire charity has saved thousands of pounds on utility bills, freeing up extra funds to invest further in end of life care. After recent concern about excessive electricity and gas costs, Severn Hospice has cut utility bills at a number of its 23 stores across Shropshire and Mid Wales.

At the store in English Walls, Oswestry, the charity has a new energy contract which will see savings of 43per cent and in Albrighton incorrect billing which had accumulated over the years was uncovered, which saw the charity refunded £6,800.

Associate Director - Trading for Severn Hospice, Rob Wilde, said he is delighted at the savings.

He said: “We are not experts in utility bills but we knew something was not right in the Albrighton store as the bills were particularly high.

“We decided to call in experts at cost management company Auditel and they have made a tremendous difference.

“We knew there was a problem but could not get to the bottom of what it was until we spoke to Adrian Burton from the company, since we have, it has been a huge benefit.

“Being a charity, every penny is precious.

“A proportion of our funds are raised by selling goods in our shops and we do not want it wasted on utility bills when instead it could be going to patient care.”

Mr Wilde said he did not realise the rights they had and when the retail team rang up utility companies he was blinded with science.

He added that Auditel have saved a “phenomenal amount” because they know what to look for - they deal with the right people, the right departments and know the right questions to ask.

Since the initial investigation at Albrighton, Auditel has helped secure the best deals for the two latest shops in Poyners Court, Lawley and Sandford Avenue, Church Stretton as well as a store in Llanidloes which is due to open soon.

The hospice, which has bases in Shrewsbury, Telford and Newtown, Mid Wales, brought in cost management specialists Auditel earlier this year.
The company has bases in in Madeley, Telford and Noneley, Shewsbury, and is run by Shropshire Overhead Specialists Adrian Burton and Neil Crook.
Mr Burton said: “We uncovered some incorrect billing by the energy supplier where they were misreading the meter at the Albrighton shop which saw a refund back to the charity of £6,800.

“At the Oswestry shop we have just negotiated a new energy contract which will see savings of 43per cent this year on the contract the energy supplier was about to put them in.

“A new energy contract was also arranged for the shop in King Street, Ludlow again showing good savings.

“We understand how the electricity industry operates and so can ensure the charity obtains the best contract so they retain more of their revenue, and can help them from slipping into less competitive contracts when they come to an end.

“Making a difference to charities is a hugely rewarding job. The need to be cost conscious has never been greater and for a charity a lot of work always goes into fundraising, to erode this money on paying over the odds for their essential business overheads is such a waste.
“Without dedicated professional help many organisations do not know that money can be saved.”
The company helps to reduce the cost of running charity shops and typically undertakes audits of energy, water, waste, telecoms, vehicles and merchant card spends.

The Auditel franchise has more than 150 consultants and 3,500 clients across the UK, it has been providing cost management and procurement services for 20 years.

 

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