MAINTENANCE INTERVIEW All part of the service
New technologies can help businesses reduce their energy costs, but existing equipment also needs to be operating at optimum efficiency. The right maintenance contract should go beyond professional repairs and save operators energy and money, says Phil Manock of British Gas Commercial Services
their heating and lighting sys- tems or catering equipment are maintained to improve reliability and safety, as well as to per- form in an energy-efficient way. In our survey, 25% of businesses reported having a 24/7 main- tenance contract in place, but a further 17% were unaware of what cover they had for an out-of- hours breakdown.
“Going into a harsh winter most people would not ven- ture out onto the roads without some de-icer in their car,” says Phil Manock, general manager of British Gas Commercial Services. “But many businesses fail to see that simple, regular preventative checks on their gas and electri- cal equipment, especially as winter approaches, can maintain efficiency and safeguard their operations.” Leisure centres and health clubs, for example, have a high heating demand for showers and pools, and operators need a reliable system that can deliver a consistent quality of hot water when- ever members require it.
"If someone is paying £600 a year health club membership, they want to step into a comfortable shower after their workout, and not worry about whether the water is going to be cold," says Manock. "It is this level of con- sistency that makes a difference for the end user, improving customer sat- isfaction and ultimately retention."
MAINTAINING STANDARDS A small leisure company may have a very simple heating system that is easily maintained, whereas a large leisure centre may have multiple appliances that need to be regularly
ith the long opening hours of many leisure sites, it's essential
Full service maintenance contract checklist
With many leisure sites having 24/7 needs, look for a company with a large network of engineers who can respond quickly
Choose an established brand with a good track record in your industry
Ensure they have experience in both operations and maintenance and a good knowledge of new products
Check the company has a track record in helping businesses maintaining gas and electrical safety compliance
serviced and inspected to maintain peak efficiency. Yet the outcome for customers in the event of a breakdown is the same. “Members may forgive you for a cold pool or a broken down sauna once or twice, but if it is a regu- lar occurrence or a problem that is left for days and not fixed, people will vote with their feet,” says Manock. British Gas Commercial Services
currently has around 400 engineers working in the field, maintaining compliance for gas and electrical installations in businesses. Contracts vary from a simple yearly maintenance and safety check, to a full service pro- vision that includes parts and labour and guarantees an engineer will attend within four hours of a breakdown call. "Developing the right partnership with your energy supplier and choos- ing the appropriate level of compliance and maintenance agreements that can meet the needs of your operations should be a priority," says Manock. Beyond essential maintenance,
repairs and testing, having an engineer Find out more: www.britishgas.co.uk/business
0845 955 5820 11
visit your site on a regular basis can bring other benefits.
WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP “A service engineer will get to know your equipment and oper- ating needs. They can make informed recommendations on up-to-date technology to improve your energy usage and provide guidance when equipment may need replacing,” says Manock. Equally, he says, your engineer will be able to retrofit items, such as swapping fluorescent lighting to a lower energy option, which can bring instant energy savings. Another area for businesses is to ensure compliance with the current safety legislation relating to gas and electricity, as well as the Health and Safety at Work Act. “Leisure businesses tend to have
large numbers of visitors and staff on site at certain times of day – so it’s essential that equipment is being prop- erly maintained and operated in a safe manner at all times,” says Manock. He adds: “Many sites have equip- ment in excess of 30 years-old. It's great it has stood the test of time, but there's a point when an operator must decide whether a capital invest- ment will improve safety and reliability, and bring better payback in terms of reduced costs and CO2 footprint.” l
British Gas provides an end-to-end solution for businesses, from energy supply and technology installation, to data insight generation and in-house maintenance engineers. It offers a wide range of tools, services and tech- nologies to give customers visibility of their energy usage and help them take decisions to cut costs and save energy.
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