Thorntons have been making chocolates from their Alfreton, Derbyshire factory for over 100 years and are one of the best known and loved British chocolate brands. Thorntons turnover is over £200M per year and they are focused on growing sales, reducing costs and increasing profit. Briar are pleased to be selected to deliver energy cost reduction for Thorntons, working for Rebecca Dilks, Environmental Project Manager.

Forensic Bill Investigation (FBI)

Thorntons have, for many years, managed their energy procurement via an external broker and were keen to assess the opportunity for tariff analyses and the claiming of retrospective rebates where historic errors may have occurred. Briar Forensic Bill Investigation Service (FBI) provided a “no risk” opportunity for retrospective reclaims on the basis of a share of savings on delivery of refunds.

Briar reviewed all aspects of electricity, natural gas and water procurement, producing a schedule of recommendations for agreement, prior to managing the representation and delivery of refunds from current and historic utility suppliers.

The FBI service checks all of the common metering, tariff and procurement errors. It is important to recognise that around 35% of a typical electricity bill is made of third party charges and these are not identified on the bill and can not be checked or challenged without market knowledge.

FBI Results

Whilst there were a number of saving opportunities, the major saving £37,000 emanated from incorrect sub-charges on electricity billing that went back through two previous suppliers. Whilst it took a few months to negotiate and deliver the savings, it is always rewarding to deliver a substantial rebate cheque to the client.

The FBI service does not bring a guarantee of savings, but increasingly we are finding that almost a third of our FBI clients have historic mis-charges.

Briar FBI Summary

  • Knowledge & experience of billing/markets
  • Fully facilitated to minimise client time
  • Comprehensive analyses & oppor-tunity report
  • Management & negotiation of changes/refunds
  • Fees only payable on delivery of savings
  • Majority of clients (60%) see immediate savings opportunities
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