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Advisers on energy bills: ‘We are well capitalised to take on the chin’

Environmental impact

Meanwhile, Quilter chief operating officer Karin Cook, said Quilter is not an energy intensive business, but like most businesses it has taken steps to make its energy use as efficient as possible. 

“Sharp energy price rises are a factor, but the primary driver is environmental and to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emissions,” she said

“As part of this, our workplace strategy considers our office footprint, renewable energy transition and enhanced energy efficiency within our buildings. 

“This includes reviewing our office use across the UK and we have already combined offices in some regions where it makes sense strategically, which also helps to reduce our estate costs and energy use.”

Quilter has energy saving initiatives such as installing LED lighting and light motion sensors in the buildings, and it has also engaged with an energy broker to ensure costs are contained as much as possible in the current market.

“We analyse and benchmark energy use against previous years to make sure our budgets and forecasts are accurate,” she said. 

“All energy costs are fully included in our business plans and do not have a material impact on the group’s strong balance sheet and liquidity position.” 

Yet while some are making changes now, others were ahead of the curve.

Speaking to FTAdviser, Julian Pruggmayer, principal of Financial Risk Management said he has always worked from home because it is “cheap and convenient”.

Likewise, a spokesperson for Pimfa said it had taken the decision during Covid that everyone should work from home and that has remained the case since, with the option of some flexible office space. 

To lease or not lease?

Others such as St James’s Place said there has been no change to the business.

A spokesperson for SJP said it has not had to make any changes to office locations but where there is the opportunity to do things differently - such as the creation of flexible work space to support agile working - the firm is doing so and exploring future improvements. 

“They remain open as usual and employees continue to use them in line with hybrid working arrangements,” it said. 

“But SJP is no different to other businesses right now and we continue to keep a close eye on developments in the electricity and gas supply markets. We have fixed costs in place for supply beyond this year across a number of our offices, and are factoring rising costs into budget planning – particularly where we hold leases which are subject to service charge provisions.”

Wingate Financial Planning financial planning director Alastair Cunningham said his premises are leased off the council and as far as he is aware, this is covered as part of the rent.