Utilities

Utility companies in the United Kingdom have been privatised for a number of years which is good, from a customer's point-of-view, as it allows freedom of choice and the ability to seek the best possible deal from a variety of service providers.

Utility companies will not be drawn into stating a unit price per hour but say that a specific tariff is negotiated for each customer, based on individual load profiles, ie criteria such as volume, rate of usage and time pattern of usage are all taken into account. For this reason, the following information should be used as a guide only.

Electricity

There are a number of providers in this area, all of whom will offer different rates and special deals. An average figure is likely to be 4.5 - 5 p/kWh. Electricity is considerably cheaper at night (11.30 pm - 7.30 am) when it costs approximately 1.8 - 2 p/kWh. There is a third rate for weekends. Before establishing a rate for industrial users, the service provider will generally examine the load profile in great detail over a period of some months.

Gas

Again, there are a number of providers, each with its own rates and special offers. The figure of 25p/therm or 0.9p/kWh can be used as a guide to price.

Water and Sewerage

These are priced as one item and, for the purposes of pricing, are measured in cubic metres (1 cu m = 220 gallons or 1000 litres). A rate of around 1.95/cu m covers the combined rate for water going into a building and waste being discharged. An assumption is made that consumers will discharge more or less as much water as they take in. However, if a large amount of water is actually taken up in the manufacturing process, thus markedly reducing the discharge, it is possible to negotiate a reduced rate, which takes this into account.

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