Bottoms Up and Bottom Line:
Utility Audit Equals Savings for Michigan Microbrewery
A leader in sustainability efforts, Brewery Vivant of Grand Rapids is looking at everything from decreasing their carbon footprint and their bottom line.
Smart businesses have a plan, and every smart plan should include a utility bill audit, the fine-tooth-comb process of rooting out errors, overcharges, and redundancies by taking a serious look at monthly statements, usage agreements, contracts, and any other charges coming from a utility company for its service. Audits can save thousands of dollars for businesses of almost any type, and Tenurgy, the Michigan-based telecom and utility expense management firm with clients nationwide, has helped businesses realize cumulative saving in the tens of millions of dollars. “Ninety percent of our audits result in significant savings in water, gas, electric, waste, and/or telecommunications,” explains Tenurgy founder and president Michael Harrington.
One company, Brewery Vivant, is an example of Tenurgy’s success. The European-inspired microbrewery, founded in 2010, already had a focused plan based on sustainability. It is the first LEED® [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] certified commercial microbrewery in the United States and the 4th Certified B Corporation in Michigan, a designation based on exacting social and environmental standards, along with accountability and transparency. In keeping with its goals, Brewery Vivant reached out to Tenurgy to evaluate its costs.
A utility audit bill begins with a client analysis to learn more about the particular business and its goals. If an audit is warranted, Tenurgy conducts a thorough investigation of utility invoices and contracts to determine any needed changes to services and to identify refunds if applicable. The client has the choice to negotiate with its utility services in a way that best suits its needs. With Tenurgy, the client pays nothing if the audit fails to find savings or refunds.
“Brewery Vivant is a fairly young company with a conscience built into their business model,” Michael Harrington says. “Their desire to practice sustainability while still staying economically viable led them to us, and we were able to help them save money on their utilities.” Specifically, the brewery wanted to evaluate their progress towards their sustainability goals of 0% waste and reduced water and carbon footprints.
Breweries of any size are both energy dependent and energy intensive businesses. But what does it cost to produce a bottle of beer? First think water—lots and lots of water. Then think energy, including boilers, condensers, compressed air, and refrigeration. Consequently, no brewery can afford to ignore the cost of utilities.
“We reached out to Tenurgy to help us analyze our energy expenses, and they were able to find savings for us,” says Jason Spaulding, CEO and owner of Brewery Vivant. Tenurgy found savings of 5% on electric expenses and 11% on natural gas. “We are much better off having worked with them. We found them (Tenurgy) really easy to work with and would recommend them for others.”
Since 2005, Tenurgy has represented over 2,000 clients in the business sector, including education, manufacturing, healthcare, food and agriculture, large commercial concerns, and non-profits, helping them realize savings and refunds through utility audits. Says Michael Harrington, “We love that part of the job: realizing savings for our clients.”
For more information about Brewery Vivant’s sustainability efforts, visit breweryvivant.com. To learn how a utility bill audit has works, read more Tenurgy blogs at TENURGY.com/news or call 844-836-8749.