Diocese Case Study

One of the smaller to medium sized Roman Catholic dioceses, with approximately seventy parishes.

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Diocese

One of the smaller to medium sized Roman Catholic dioceses, with approximately seventy parishes.

Description

Northampton diocese had used third parties in the past to manage parish’s utilities, with limited take-up amongst parishes. As a registered charity, operating at many sites across a wide geographical area, the diocese should be a prime candidate for access to competitive rates, through high credit scores and the pooled buying power of all their churches, church halls, presbyteries and parish clubs.

Action

Challenge

  • Procurement of tariff at best rates
  • Create enough interest from parishes to pool their buying power
  • Arrange demonstrably cheaper rates on parish’s utility bills
  • Given a subsequent objective of reducing parish’s bills through any other additional means possible

Solution

  • LSI prepared and sent mail-shots to all parishes, providing information on how to use our brokering services, including making available dedicated staff to support parishes on the phone and help them through the process
  • Ran a telephone exercise to contact all parishes and discuss their needs on their utilities, and provided expert advice in writing on which tariffs would be most suitable
  • Targeted parishes paying expensive out of contract or highly unsuitable rates, and worked closely with parishes and the diocese to ensure all of these were changed to a suitable tariff
  • Reviewed rates of VAT and Climate Change Levy charged on parish’s bills, ensuring correct rates were charged going forward, pursuant to sites charitable and or domestic status, and in some cases arranged rebates on previous over-billing
  • Ensured all new contracts arranged for parishes were to common contract end dates, allowing the future pooling of buying power across the diocese
  • Provided the diocese with a packaged quotation and support for the installation of AMR Smart Metering, suitable for monitoring energy usage, diocesan wide and in real time for all parishes. This was offered with LSI’s standard £100 per site project management fee waived for all churches, to be included in our account management service as standard
  • Performed a complimentary energy efficiency site survey at a parish, to assess wider suitability of energy efficiency surveys for parishes across the diocese. After receiving positive feedback from the diocese, provided a packaged quotation and support for carrying out surveys at a further 36 churches, identified with potential for further reductions on their running costs. Site Surveys made available at a 15% discount to that normally offered to our corporate clients, made possible through offering a co-ordinating group buying of the service amongst parishes

Result

  • Achieved 56% take-up of parishes buying into the scheme run for the diocese, reducing these parishes running costs and creating a buying collective of sites committed to working with the diocese and LSI to reduce their utilities expenditure using our products and services
  • Achieved initial reductions in annual running costs for parishes across the diocese of £31,000 per year, as part of our initial checks on the suitability of existing tariffs, prior to the use of pooled buying power. The savings ranged from £70p/a right up to £4,500 p/a for a given parish. The average being an £890 per annum reduction on a parish’s annual bills. The highest cost reductions were achieved where a given parish had been persuaded into expensive contracts direct with energy suppliers. LSI targeted parishes paying expensive out of contract or highly unsuitable rates, and worked closely with parishes and the diocese to ensure all of these were changed to a suitable tariff
  • Use of pooled buying power to simultaneously renew contracts across the diocese for 50% of all parish’s electricity and gas supplies, securing discounted rates with long term price protection. Achieved less than 18 months after the diocese first engaged LSI
  • Contribution towards moral and ethical goals, with access to energy control and usage reduction measures to reduce their carbon footprint.

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