Peak Associates have now worked for over 50 schools in the Cumbria LEA area, with savings secured of approximately £28,000/yr on their water bills. Additional appeals are still in processing with United Utilities to target further savings of £23,000/yr. Ensuring that money in schools can continue to be used for education and growth, rather than being wasted on fees they should never have been paying. Some of the schools we have secured savings for have even been told by other consultancies that 'no saving could be made' or that investigation and appeal for savings would not be 'cost effective'. At Peak Associates we ensured that all potential sources of information were reviewed in detail, including sewer plans, historical and current site mapping, aerial photographs and full site driainage investigations, to determine what savings could be made. By fully utilising staff in our local office in Lancaster we were able to ensure that full savings could be secured in a cost effective manner by charging only a percentage of the saving made.
The Cumbria region in particular has a high risk of sites being overcharged for surface water based on the site area charging scheme implemented by United Utilities in this area. The lack of adequate drainage information means that in many cases the water company will be forced to assume that all surface water discharges to their system. By checking all sources for our initial free desktop assessment and site walkover, we can determine whether this is likely to be accurate. The nature of this region means that there are often limited sewer connections and a number of alternative discharge routes such as watercourses and open fields for soakaways. To ensure we can offer the best service to all sites, we offer our initial desktop free of charge, with no obligation to continue the investigation. This allows to provide a risk-free check to all sites in these areas.
Our work in Cumbria expands on the investigations we have already undertaken with the support of Cheshire West and Chester Council, and also through Capita Symonds and the Blackburn and Darwen Council partnership. This has helped us to secure savings of approximately £325,000/yr for schools and business across the northwest.
Through these investigations we have identified and secured savings where other consultancies have reported that 'no savings could be made' and have received praise from United Utilities' internal assessors on the quality and accuracy of our plans. This has allowed us to develop a good relationship with the assessors to ensure that any potential issues in the appeal process can be quickly and easily rectified to secure a result as quickly as possible. If your site has areas of natural ground, or is located in close proximity to a watercourse, canal, ditch or other natural drainage feature, we may be able to help you - contact us for more information.