Taking control of your organisation's energy consumption could help reduce your carbon footprint. David Hunter, energy analyst at M&C Energy Group, explains how to get the most from your energy budgetUtilities costs are unavoidable in running any operation. The focus should be on minimising the impact of these overheads, and ensuring the energy budget serves business objectives. The potential to reduce utilities expenditure should not be underestimated. If left unmonitored, energy users can expect to face escalating prices and missed carbon reduction targets.Deregulation of the energy markets has led to a vastly more complex purchasing and decision-making process for organisations if they are to optimise price, choice of supplier and negotiate better terms.Price volatility has also contributed to the challenge of managing budget and strategy. Wholesale energy markets have doubled, halved and almost doubled again in the past four years – simply riding the wave of market movements can put intolerable financial pressure on an organisation.A further consideration has been the build-up of environmental legislation and taxation policies that have led to additional cost burdens on utility pricing. This in turn has focused users on controlling their costs and consumption.