Care Facilities Should be Aware (and Wary of) Total Power Costs

At the moment, there is a lot of uncertainty in the Aged Care and Disability Accommodation sectors that is, quite justifiably, causing concerns within management about how to control costs while restructuring and also ensuring income streams are protected.

There has been quite a lot of movement by companies who see opportunities in exploiting this concern through quick fixes and promises of low cost solutions. We have recently seen significant savings, in excess of 20%, but this has only been achieved when the project has been managed effectively and independently of vested interests.

It is quite important however, for professional managers to ensure that the lure of promised cost reductions don’t come attached to long term commitments or potentially expensive maintenance agreements.

In the case of Power costs, there are a number of factors for any Care Facility to consider before committing to long term agreements, such as:

Rates: while costs are expected to rise, there are some deals available that may both reduce costs and also offset medium term cost increases. Note that it is critical to factor in all charges and scheduled increases, not just per kilowatt consumption charges.

Solar: Equipment costs, installation costs, cleaning & maintenance costs (do you really need to pay to have cells cleaned every month?), leasing costs, feed in tariffs, effective production times – it’s no wonder that many solar users don’t quite know whether they’re saving money or not!

Lighting: The old solution of turning the lights out is becoming less and less relevant. Technologies are changing quickly; in fact what was a good solution 18 months ago is no longer the way to go for many organisations. Help from an independent expert is more valuable than ever.

Air Conditioning: Both technology and building standards with a strong focus on the environment have created confusion. Once again, there are benefits available, but in our experience it is best to talk to experts to find out if the benefits are suitable for your needs.

Of course, the decision to change any or all of the above needs careful consideration, so there is a lot to be said in getting outside assistance. A note of caution however – we would advise a healthy dose of scepticism before accepting advice from a potential supplier as to the financial benefits that depend on their product or service. As always, please seek independent advice before committing to any long term contracts.

Disclosure: Resources for Profit are independent cost management consultants who provide assistance in the Not for Profit as well as the private sectors.

For more information on whether you’re being kept in the dark when it comes to your power costs, give us a call on 1300 727 347 or send an email.