Sanctuary Housing
Sanctuary Housing is one of the largest and most geographically diverse housing associations in the UK. Their asset portfolio includes standard domestic housing, care homes, student accommodation and sheltered accommodation. Utility Monitoring Services Ltd was given the job of auditing the historic utility expenditure on Sanctuary’s 5000 sites across the country, ranging from their head office to care homes to corridor lighting.

Keith Jackson, Sanctuary’s director of asset management, explained that monitoring utility usage and expenditure across this broad geographical and architectural spectrum had been difficult. ‘With fluctuating utility costs, a range of suppliers and sites not to mention new acquisitions, Sanctuary wanted to ensure that we not only pay for exactly what we use, but also that it is at an efficient minimum.’

UMS was initially appointed to audit all the historic billing to recover the inevitable overpayments that exist in all organisations, but particularly those who use both domestic and commercial. However, because the audit proved so successful, UMS was given the task of receiving, processing and validating all incoming utility bills.

Auditing its energy usage has also helped Sanctuary Housing Association to achieve Energy Efficiency Accreditation from the Carbon Trust on behalf of the National Energy Foundation.

The Brent Housing Partnership
BHP is one of the many housing organisation to recover money they have been overcharged by utility suppliers. With the help of UMS, it has proved to be a very straight forward process.

Utility companies usually get to keep the money because getting it back just doesn’t appear on the radar of senior executives. With staff usually pressed for time, it is very difficult to thoroughly scrutinize each bill which end up just being paid. It’s a crazy situation because this is bottom line money waiting to be collected and this is where UMS comes in. It’s probably true to say that there isn’t a single large housing stock holder in the UK who isn’t owed money by the utility companies. They just have to ask the right question which costs them nothing.

Fortunately there are people, as in BHP, who are aware of just how many billing errors are made by utility companies on a daily basis and have made the time to ask questions. In this case those questions have been handsomely rewarded.

Swansea City Council
‘UMS has been supporting Swansea City Council for a number of years in its efforts to provide comprehensive energy data for our large public housing stock. With a good working relationship, we have always valued their input and support.’ Tony Cohen, Energy Manager.

Finding out costs nothing, it’s complacency that costs a lot.