It doesn’t matter if your business operates with a few staff from a small premise or employs a large workforce over several sites, millions of businesses are looking for ways to budget and cut down their energy consumption amid soaring energy prices.
Les Roberts, Content Manager at Bionic comments that: “Winter weather has arrived, putting a strain on businesses that are already struggling with the cost of heating and other energy bills. Energy efficiency should also be a priority for your business, and getting into good energy habits is always beneficial, regardless of how high your energy bills are.”
For those wanting to cut to the chase, he highlights the quick solutions that will actually make a significant impact on reducing your energy bills.
1. Assess when you’re heating your premises
A lot of business owners pay a standard tariff to heat their premises but find that the building is being heated overnight or when rooms are empty. This can be a huge waste of money and you could be saving hours of energy by only heating the building in the daytime or when rooms are in use. If you do need to heat your building overnight-say you have shift workers in the building-then it could be worth considering a time-of-use tariff that offers cheaper rates at certain times.
Alternatively, just taking your thermostat down a notch is a quick way to start saving fast. This one small action only takes seconds to carry out and could potentially slash your heating bills by as much as 10%.
2. Switch appliances off
Switching appliances off when you’re finished with them is a huge way to cut your gas and electricity costs. Next time you’re finished working, make sure you turn off your computer monitors, lights and any other unused appliances.
3. Pay attention to the weather
Another way you can save energy is to take a closer look at your business thermostats and adjust them according to the weather conditions outside. If it’s a hot day and rooms don’t need to be heated, then turn the thermostat down and you’ll be saving money in no time.
Domestic and business energy usage usually decrease during the summer months. This is because it’s warmer and there’s less need for the heating to be on all hours of the day. Simply being conscious of the weather outside and adjusting your thermostat accordingly can help make sure you’re being more cost-efficient.
4. Install a smart meter to save
Smart meters are a great way to keep control over your business energy bills, largely because it helps you see where and when your gas and electricity is being used.
A smart meter lets you see how much the energy you use is costing you, meaning you can curb your consumption as a result.
5. Be mindful of water costs
60°C is the optimum temperature for hot water, so if you notice that you’re running water that’s hotter than that, a few issues can arise. Injuries aside, it could also leave you wide open to a costly business insurance claim.
You’ll also be wasting energy too – 60°C gets the job done and you can slice your business energy bills at the same time. You could also think about installing touch-free taps in toilets so you can be using water more efficiently too.
6. Turn off lights when not in use or fit light sensors
It may seem like an obvious one, but sometimes we don’t even register that leaving lights on can cause our energy bills to skyrocket. Simply advising staff to turn off lights when they leave an empty room or when leaving at the end of the day makes all the difference.
You can also take advantage of natural light during the day, if it’s a bright, sunny morning or afternoon and the overhead office lights aren’t really making too much of a difference, pull back the blinds make full use of the sunlight. Many businesses also opt to install light sensors in areas like storerooms and toilets because they are places where people aren’t going to be all day.
7. Encourage all staff to be energy-aware
Decreasing our energy usage is something we all need to think about in the short and long term. That’s why you should talk to your staff about energy-saving initiatives and explain why it’s so important. You could think about things like incentives and rewards or words of encouragement to spur them on to really get involved.
8. Draught-proof your building
If you work on ensuring that your premises are well insulated, then there will be less need for expensive heating costs. Draught-proofing doors and windows is a cheap but effective way to save money on gas and electric bills as it limits the amount of heat that can escape and stops cold air from getting in.
9. Go paperless as much as you can
Sometimes we don’t actively think about how many documents we’re printing and how much paper we’re using each day. And we very rarely consider how much electricity is being used to activate the printer.
As more and more businesses go paperless, you could maybe think about if this option is viable for you too. Going paperless can be a great cost-effective solution if you find that you can email digital receipts or read a document online instead of printing.
10. Request an energy audit
Energy audits can be incredibly helpful, and your current energy supplier will be able to help you get started. By taking part in an energy audit, you’re ensuring that you know exactly where you are using the most and how you can cut this down. It’ll help you take full control of your spending.
Many energy suppliers offer audits to help your business pinpoint exactly where you can save power and how you can do this. Just contact your current supplier to find out more and get started.
11. Switch energy supplier
No matter how happy you are with your current energy supplier, they may not be providing you with the best deals, especially if you’ve let a fixed-rate contract expire without arranging a new one. If you haven’t browsed any alternative tariffs lately, then you may not be aware that there are better options out there.
It really does pay to shop around and compare gas and electricity prices on different tariffs and with different suppliers. You could be saving so much money per month and be putting that back into your business. If you want to do a little more for the environment, it’s worth considering a green energy deal or even putting your own renewable energy technology in place.