With over 3 billion smartphone users and 1 billion tablet users worldwide, it is no surprise that the mobile app industry is booming. Apps are becoming increasingly popular, where from 2016 to 2019 the number of worldwide mobile app downloads have increased by 45%.
This is not only for personal use, but for businesses too, where as of June 2020, business apps were reported as the second most popular app category, with a share of just over 10%. The most popular apps for businesses include Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, Amazon Web Services and G Suite, but there is a vast choice of different types of business app that could benefit your SME.
One distinct type of app that could benefit your business is an energy usage app. Research from the Carbon Trust has shown that 51% of SMEs want to do more regarding energy efficiency, but this can be difficult in practice. For example, lack of time and money is cited as the number one barrier for SMEs to act on improving energy efficiency.
Now, with the rise of technology like smart meters and mobile apps, it has never been easier to monitor and manage the energy we use. Whether your SME wants to save time, reduce costs, reduce energy consumption, or help improve the environment, read on to find out how managing your energy online can benefit your business.
Energy consumption and spend can be a significant concern for a business, and so for small business owners, maximising energy efficiency can make a big difference to their bottom line. Managing your energy usage using an online energy app is a great way for you to understand how much energy your business is using and can lead to decisions to help save money in the long-term.
Energy usage apps display simple and easy to understand graphs showing your businesses energy usage by each meter point. This means that your business is better able to make informed decisions about how to save money by using less energy. Through looking at energy usage patterns, trends, and spikes you can see when your business is using the most energy and implement targeted energy saving methods for you and your team.
For example, The Carbon Trust reports that office equipment is one of the biggest consumers of energy for businesses, and so there may be a big opportunity to make savings. This could involve you making changes to your business, such as installing smart hot water taps (which can use up to 55% less power when on standby), purchasing high energy efficiency rating equipment, or moving away from PCs towards laptops and tablets.
However, employees have direct control over office equipment, meaning it may be a great opportunity to involve your employees in energy-saving initiatives. This could include small everyday actions, such as allowing time at the end of the day for employees to check personal equipment is shut down, having a “don’t print unless necessary” rule, or only running dishwashers when they are full. The energy usage app can also be used as a tool to measure the goal’s success and help refine your approach. This can be a great way to motivate and incentivise your team further and help create an eco-friendly culture in your business.
Overall, monitoring your businesses energy usage via an app can help cut your energy consumption, which will not only save your business money, but also lower your businesses carbon footprint – doing your part for the planet.
Using an online energy usage app gives you greater control over your company’s energy payments, which can help you more effectively manage your businesses budget and save money.
Staying in control of your business energy payments is simple with an online energy app. Customers are easily able to set up recurring payments and sync payment dates with their accounts. This can also help your business avoid unnecessary late payment charges, where with 24/7 access to your balance, you can easily see when your bill is due to ensure the appropriate funds are available.
Being able to easily view when your contract is coming to an end will also help your business avoid potentially expensive deemed rates. According to Ofgem, prices on deemed contracts are on average 80% more than rates charged in a negotiated contract. Therefore, using an energy usage app could help you prepare to negotiate a new energy contract, and make significant savings.
Online energy apps make managing business energy simple, so you can save time to focus on what really matters – you and your business. Everything you will need to manage your business energy is in one place and can be accessed with just a few clicks. On an online energy app, you can: track your energy usage, check your balance, make payments, access payment history, download monthly statements, and manage multiple accounts and sites in one place. This can be much more efficient for your business, where there is no need to call your energy company and potentially disrupt your business day.
In particular, online payments become much more hassle-free for your business through using an online energy app. Once your account is set up, it takes just a click to instantly pay bills. Or for even more convenience, payments can be automated, so you never have to worry about paying your energy bills, and you can save more time for your business.
Wasting time hunting through paper trails and letters will also become a thing of the past. Online energy apps provide an easy way to track your businesses previous payments and energy usage, meaning that all your important documents will never be lost or compromised. An added bonus here is that going paperless not only saves you time, but is also much more environmentally-friendly.
Saving time is easy with 24/7 app access, meaning you will no longer be restricted to juggling your business needs and your energy needs within opening hours. Instead, you can manage your energy account at a time that best suits you and your business. This makes online energy apps extremely useful for people who travel for work or have multiple businesses, as you can access your account whenever and wherever you are, even worldwide.
We have discussed how using an online energy app can help you save time by allowing you to be more in control of your energy payments. However, even with great management options and 24/7 app access, you may not want to keep a constant watch on your account. But with online energy app alerts, you can strike the right balance between control and ease.
A great benefit of online energy apps is that you can set up tailored notifications for your account. For example, if your balance dips below a certain amount, you can receive an alert reminding you to top up your account, or if you have automated payments set up, you can receive alerts keeping you up to date on when the payments take place. You can also be notified if there are any important changes to your account or any messages from your energy provider.
The amount and type of alerts can be tailored to your specific business needs, saving you and your business time as you will not need to track multiple activities. This can be particularly useful if you have multiple business sites, which could become very timely to keep track of.
Managing your energy online or using an energy app can help you make better sense of the energy you use in your business, which can save you both time and money. Our new Valda SmartChoice tariff utilises our 20+ years expertise, the latest technology, and outstanding customer service to offer businesses of all credit scores a new way to pay.
By having the latest smart meter technology, digital account management, and flexible payment options, Valda SmartChoice puts you in complete control of your gas and electricity usage and payments.
Whether you are looking to monitor usage, have more control over your energy, or make energy management simple, see what Valda SmartChoice can offer you by getting a quote here.