Owning a care home: Utility costs and realities
Utilities are going to account for a sizeable chunk of your monthly spend, so finding a good deal is essential
Aside from the big outlays of finding premises and taking on staff (discussed in a previous page), owning a care home brings with it certain utility costs and realities including business energy, communications and other needs (such as council tax fees and grounds maintenance or service charge costs).
These utilities will account for a significant proportion of your overheads so it’s wise to compare deals from different providers to find the most competitive offer for your care home.
Business energy for a care home
The elderly tend to suffer the cold more than the average person so it’s essential to keep your care home warm and comfortable. Failure to do so could result in illness or worse…
You’ll also be using energy for lighting, cooking, hot water and any other equipment that needs to be powered for day-to-day running.
This can result in a hefty gas and electricity bill, so it’s a good idea to hunt around for the best deal you can find.
British Gas is one of the most well known and largest providers of gas and electricity to UK businesses.
It has a range of plans to suit different businesses with fixed prices and flexible terms. British gas also promises to service your boiler up to 70KW when you join.
It may be worth considering seeing if you can get a Start Up Loan (external partner site, link opens in a new tab) to help you with financing, and mentoring to start this business idea. You'll also need to think about registering your business, either as a sole trader or as a company - if a company, then Smarta Formations (external partner site, link opens in a new tab) are an organisation that can help you set up.
The company can also take care of the switching process for you, which takes around three weeks. Once you’ve agreed on a plan, it will contact your previous supplier to tell them you’re switching.
A major UK supplier of energy, EDF prides itself on being the largest provider of low-carbon electricity and the biggest supplier of electricity by volume.
EDF can switch you to one its plans within 150 days or within three weeks if you’re not in contract.
You also get access to a 24/7 online management tool, and 24/7 live chat feature as week as a free dedicated UK business adviser. Customers paying by direct debit receive a 7% monthly discount.
Founded in 2015, Bulb is one of the newest players in the business energy place. It is a single tariff energy provider that secures its electricity from 100% renewable sources and claims to offer prices 20% lower than competitors.
Customers can keep track of their energy usage online or using its specially created app.
Make it cheaper
Make it Cheaper helps thousands of UK businesses save on their energy. Tell the organisation what your business needs are and its experts will search live information to help you find and get set up on a more competitive contract for your care home.
To help them find you a better energy quote you should provide a recent energy bill, your company’s registration information, your MPAN and MPRN numbers from your bill or meter, your current contract’s end date, and the date your switching window opens.
Power Solutions UK
Power Solutions UK helps businesses of all sizes cut costs for their gas and electricity bills by contacting its network of suppliers and finding competitive pricing. It then takes the hassle out of switching by arranging it all for you.
It can also help your care home become more efficient by installing LED lighting, voltage optimisation, heat pumps, and insulation, and provides green energy solutions such as solar panels, biomass boilers and wind energy.
With care homes using so much energy, any efficiencies you can create are hugely desirable.
Find out more about Power Solutions here.
Start comparing business energy quotes and find a better deal on your energy tariff today.
Call home business phone system
Care homes can be big operations, with many employees and vulnerable people to look after.
As well as easy flow of communication round your care home, you’re phone system will have to handle incoming and outgoings calls from relatives to residents, and calls to administrative staff.
To tackle this kind of traffic you should consider an internet phone system such as a Voice over Internet Protocol or (VoIP) telephone system or a PBX system.
The best phone systems for small business:
This Californian company offers a range of business phone products including corded phones, wireless phones conference phones, telephone headsets and accessories.
Cisco also offers switches, routers and firewalls, as well as pre-selected business phone packages.
Here are three of Cisco’s best business phones:
|Cisco CP-6921 IP Phone||£60-£70||★★★★|
|Cisco Small Business SPA 504G VoIP Phone||£75-£85||★★★★||Cisco IP 7821 VoIP Phone||£90-£100||★★★★★|
BT business phone services
One of the UK’s biggest phone providers, BT offers everything from handsets and accessories to cordless and VoIP phones, digital phones and answer machines.
The company also offers a range of broadband and phone packages targeted at businesses.
Below are three different BT phone offerings:
|BT Versatility V Phone Mark I SLT||£18-£30||★★★|
|BT Quantum 5320 IP Phone Handset||£50-£75||★★★★||BT Quantum 5330 IP Phone Handset||£50-£80||★★★★|
Gradwell provides hosting services, domain names, routers and broadband, VoIP and hardware services to more than 22,000 UK businesses.
Rather than manufacture its own phones, Gradwell sells a range of models from major providers which can be bought on their own or with packages.
Below is a range of models that can be purchased through Gradwell.
|Gigaset N300IP and five C430HX handsets||£176||★★★★||Konftel 300IP SIP Conferencing Phone No PSU/font>||£445||★★★★|
Find out more about business phone and VoIP here.