Public sector model to save money

Innovative public sector model to save Glasgow City Council up to £1m in water costs

Business Stream, Scotland's leading non-domestic water supplier, has revealed an innovative new infrastructure investment model for the public sector, which could save Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life* as much as £1 million in water and waste water costs over the next four years.

Under the pioneering new 'gainshare' commercial model, Business Stream has funded investment in new water efficiency infrastructure which will allow the organisations to benefit from the associated financial savings without the need for up-front capital expenditure.

Since work began in April the project has identified savings of £360,000 by reducing the water consumption by 178.5 million litres. This equates to 214 tonnes of carbon.

Currently more than 50 sites across Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life properties are utilising Business Stream's innovative water and waste water solutions, with plans for a further roll out across the estate.

Water saving devices have been introduced including urinal controls, water saving taps and toilet flush volume reducers, and Business Stream engineers have been working with the authority to deliver services such as leak detection and repair.

The gainshare model means that Business Stream shares in a proportion of the expenditure savings actually realised by Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life each year.

Mark Powles, chief executive of Business Stream, said: "We are focused on creating innovative solutions in response to customer requirements, and the gainshare model is the result of our close work with Glasgow City Council. The public sector is under huge pressure to make savings while maintaining services, all against a background of reduced capital budgets, and this model clearly demonstrates how a competitive water market delivers real benefits to customers.

"We want to develop new ways of helping our customers to establish sound water management practices in a way which compliments their financial priorities. Long-term partnerships allow us to more easily help our customers manage their water use, and it is this ethos of partnership which is at the heart of the gainshare model.??

Glasgow City Council is one of Business Stream's largest multi-site customers with 720 sites made up of council offices and depots, leisure centres, sports facilities and schools. Business Stream is in the first year of a two year supply agreement with the council to provide retail water and waste water services.

Business Stream's public sector team proposed the initiative after analysing the council's existing water use. An initial desktop benchmarking exercise carried out by the company's solutions team identified the potential for significant savings.

The first part of the project has involved the installation of smart meters, which monitor water flow and flag possible leaks, at key Glasgow City Council sites to identify where water can be saved.

Smart meters have been installed at sites including Gorbals Leisure Centre, Shawlands Academy, Govan High School and Glasgow City Chambers.

Mark Powles added: "Our experience is that public sector organisations really appreciate the dual benefits which proper water management can offer. Efficient use of water means less impact on the environment, but it can also help make significant financial savings.

"Both of these factors are extremely important at the moment, which is why we're delighted to be working with Glasgow City Council on an innovative project which addresses these two key concerns.

"We're all very excited about helping the Council realise the full potential of a comprehensive water efficiency programme as this project continues, which will position it as one of the most forward-thinking local authorities in Scotland.??

Bailie Liz Cameron, executive member for development and regeneration services at Glasgow City Council, said: "Environmental sustainability and financial efficiency are defining issues for any local authority at the moment. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Business Stream to tackle them both without the up-front capital expenditure that would normally be required, and we are looking forward to ongoing cost and efficiency savings.??


* Glasgow Life is the operating name of Culture and Sport Glasgow, an arm's length organisation of Glasgow City Council