Energy efficiency tips for business
There are a number of ways you could save money on your gas and electricity bills. Many companies throughout the UK use Utility Saving Expert to compare business energy prices to find a more competitive deal.
Aside from being on the right tariff, making sure your business is as energy efficient as possible is a great way to reduce your carbon emissions and lower your overall costs at the same time. Furthermore, you don’t need to invest large sums of money to make a substantial saving through these energy efficient measures.
In this guide we will outline ten tips your business can take advantage of to improve energy efficiency on site.
Switch to a cheaper deal
When your current contract is due to end, it’s highly recommended that you compare business electricity and gas prices and make the switch to a better plan. By doing so, you could be saving hundreds or even thousands of pounds on your energy bills each year depending on your business type and size. If you’re currently on a deemed rate or out of contract rate, you could save an enormous amount as these are usually a supplier’s most expensive tariff.
Did you know that you can switch your business energy supplier up to three months before your current contract is due to end? Taking action will ensure your current provider doesn’t move you over to a deemed or rollover contract as these can be very expensive. It may also be useful to learn about the various business energy tariffs to better understand the benefits and drawbacks of each option.
Take regular meter readings
To ensure your business energy bills are accurate, you should take regular meter readings rather than rely on estimations. Estimations aren’t helpful to business owners for the following two reasons:
- You may be overpaying for your gas and electricity supply
- You may be underpaying and as a result will receive a large bill later on
Taking regular meter readings will ensure you’re only paying for the energy you are making use of day in day out. Most providers, through online account management tools, will allow you to submit your monthly meter readings. This data can be used to track your energy usage on a monthly basis, enabling you to better forecast future expenditure.
Many companies now also have smart meters for business installed within their premises. These provide a number of advantages in comparison to conventional meters. Larger firms will likely be making use of half hourly meters due to their high gas and/or electricity consumption.
Complete a business energy audit
Conducting a business energy audit is a great way to analyse how your business uses energy, this can quickly help you identify where power is being wasted. You can learn more about how to carry out a business energy audit in our comprehensive guide. Many actionable tasks are relatively quick and easy to complete and you don’t even have to invest large sums of money either.
Use energy efficient lighting
Where possible, your firm should install energy efficient LED lighting. Although do remember to make sure that there is enough lighting to meet health and safety regulations. Making use of natural light will help dramatically in this regard as you’ll be less reliant on electricity.
Unplug and shut down electrical equipment
Monitors and desktop PCs shouldn’t be left on standby overnight or during the weekend. Computers use a substantial amount of electricity even during standby mode. Your company can purchase products that will automatically power down any appliance that has been left on standby, for example: the PC automatic standby shutdown extension lead. This will recognise when a desktop computer has been shut down and automatically stop power to equipment connected to these sockets. This also helps to reduce the risks of a fire.
Keeping your office working environment temperature between 16°C and 19°C is an optimal temperature. Workplace heating should ideally be on a timed thermostat, this will vastly reduce the amount of heat wastage, after all, there is no point in heating the building when no one is around. Having your heating automatically activate 30 minutes before the workday and switch off 30 minutes before the end of the workday will ensure heat is only being used when it is needed. Furthermore, businesses that only operate during the weekdays will want to ensure the heating does not turn on over the weekend.
Stopping workplace draughts
Examine all of the doors and windows on your business premises for any draughts where heat could be escaping. If you do find any issues, a simple draught excluder will help resolve this.
Members of staff should be asked to close doors where possible to retain or expel heat depending on the season. If you are using air conditioning, closing doors will help to regulate the air flow and ensure it works more effectively. Decreasing the amount of energy that is being wasted will mean that your boiler or air conditioner won’t have to work as hard, thus cutting your business energy expenses.
Regularly service boilers
Boilers in the workplace must be serviced on a regular basis to make sure that they are working appropriately and to optimal performance, just like the boilers we have at home. It is recommended that you get your workplace boiler serviced on an annual basis to ensure both safety and efficiency.
Don’t block sources of heat
During the colder months of the year, radiators and heaters will be turned on in the workplace, ensure that these are not blocked by large furniture or equipment. You will want the heat to be circulated effectively and efficiently throughout the room. If heaters and radiators are blocked, employees may think it is too cold and may end up turning up the thermostat temperature when in reality rearranging a few pieces of furniture is all that is required to save money on your business energy costs.
Involve staff in your energy saving efforts
Last but definitely not least, all businesses should encourage staff to get involved in their energy saving endeavours. Helping staff understand how energy is consumed and what steps can be taken to be energy efficient within the workplace will have a noticeable impact. There are so many small steps that can be taken which will go a long way to helping you become environmentally friendly. For example, shutting down appliances that are not in use, printing less and recycling are great starting points.
To summarise, these energy efficiency tips will help your business reduce carbon emissions and lower your gas and electricity bills. The more of these tips you can combine, the greater the impact on business energy efficiency. As you can see, almost all of these steps require little to no investment to achieve a substantial saving on business energy.