We would never have found out that we were paying unnecessary charges if not for Business Stream. Using their experts to manage our new connections takes a lot of the heat out of the process for me – not least because they deal smoothly with all the required red tape.
Robert Gordon, Utilities Services Manager, City Building Glasgow
A simple but common design flaw can vastly inflate the running costs of a building over its lifetime, Business Stream stepped in to alert City Building to this issue – allowing the construction firm to make huge savings for the public purse.
City Building is one of Scotland’s largest construction companies. It operates as an arm’s-length body, carrying out building and maintenance for Glasgow City Council. The company has more than 1,300 public buildings in its portfolio, including schools, sports centres, care homes and housing estates.
The firm had been concerned for some time about high utilities costs. Business Stream alerted it to a common design feature which was leading to unnecessary expense.
Building designs often specified a water meter and pipe size which was bigger than required. Since standing charges for water are calculated on meter size, this would increase water bills throughout the building’s life.
Alerted to this issue, City Building decided to ask Business Stream to act as its specialist contractor for all new connections.
Business Stream now designs the water and waste water networks for Glasgow’s new public buildings. It lays the mains and sewers on site and manages the final connections.
To date, it has successfully completed water services for around 40 new-build projects in this way.
The arrangement enables City Building to be confident that all aspects of the design, including meter size, are fit for purpose and will not incur surplus cost.
The company has also been able to take the same approach to meter size with its gas and electricity suppliers, saving on those utilities costs too.
Business Stream’s expertise and close management of the wholesaler means that the application process for new connections also runs smoothly, with all the paperwork completed fully and swiftly.
The surplus cost of installing an 80mm meter, where a 40mm size would be appropriate, is estimated at £10,000 a year. Over the lifetime of many buildings, this could have led to a vast waste of public money.
City Building is now investigating meter sizes in its existing buildings, with a view to retro-fitting appropriate meters where necessary.