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Can your Business really afford to waste money on energy?

Our guess is that you’re like most businesses. You choose your energy supplier carefully to make sure you’re getting the best deal at the best price. And if you’re really smart, you’ll be using our Business energy comparison tool to make the process quick and easy.

But what if we were to tell you that even if you’d chosen the cheapest electricity supplier for your business, you were still wasting money?

That’s because your business is probably using more electricity than it needs to. As a result, it’s costing your business money.

Here’s our quick-start guide to using less electricity and saving money in your business.

Get to grips with the numbers involved

First things first, let’s look at the basics and understand how much electricity appliances use and how much it costs.

Electricity is billed in kilowatt hours (kWh). One kilowatt hour is 1,000 watts. One kilowatt typically costs 15.1p.

So if the energy usage of an appliance is measured as 1kWh, it means it’s using 1,000 kilowats per hour and costing you 15.1p.

Now we know this, we can start to look at how much electricity you could be wasting and how much it’s costing you.

The hidden costs of desktop PCs

A PC is an essential component of modern office life. Many of us turn them on first thing in the morning and leave them on until it’s time to go home. Regardless of whether we’re in a meeting or at lunch, our PC is on all day long.

Here’s how much that could be costing you.

The average desktop PC that is switched on but not being used consumes about 0.1 kWh and costs 1.5p per hour. Now let’s say that the PC is not being used for two hours per day on average. That means it’s costing 3p more per day than it needs to.

That doesn’t sound like much, you might say. But let’s look at the bigger picture.

If you have 100 PCs, each of them idle for two hours per day, it’s costing you £780 per year (based on a five day working week 52 weeks of the year)

The hidden costs of lighting

Let’s do some similar sums on the lighting in your premises.

A lightbulb consumes 0.06 kWh, or 0.906 pence per hour when it’s on.

If you’ve got 100 lightbulbs in use for two hours a day more than they need to be, each lightbulb is costing you 1.812p a day, which is a total of £471.12 per year.

The hidden costs of televisions

If you’ve got a TV on your premises, do you turn it off at the socket when it’s not in use?

No? Then it’s costing you £8.83 more than it needs to each year. This is because a TV uses 0.01 kWh when it’s in standby mode. Let’s say it’s on for eight hours a day but in standby mode for the other 16, which means it’s wasting 2.42p per day.

This might not seem a lot, but it’s still money that could be better spent elsewhere in your business.

The forgotten energy drain: standby mode

Talking of standby mode, it isn’t just the TV that’s a culprit. There are lots of other things that consume small amounts of electricity that soon add up. Here are some of the appliances that are likely to be kept in standby mode in your business:

• TVs
• laptops and desktop computers
• printers
• modems
• cordless phones.

To get an idea of how much this could be costing you, let’s look at the figures for domestic use. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that appliances in standby mode add between 9% and 16% to an average annual bill. That’s a staggering £1.3 billion cost to UK households each year.

The lesson to learn? Always switch these appliances off at the wall – or, better still, unplugged completely – at the end of the day.

Take the next step

Our advice? Use our comparison tool to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your electricity. Then take a walk round your building to see how making little changes could make a big difference to your bills.