With rising inflation and soaring energy costs, many businesses are feeling the pinch. Increased energy costs are going to eat into profits so to help counteract this, you either need to increase your prices to your customers and/or reduce your energy costs.
Below are our top energy saving tips for businesses. Some are somewhat stating the obvious but these can be the things we know we should do but then forget to put into practice.
Top Energy Saving Tips
Review your energy usage
When was the last time you looked around your business to see what unnecessary energy is being used? The answer for most business owners is they can’t remember as they are so busy with the day-to-day running of the business.
Block out some time and run an in-house audit. Check the following:
- Electrical equipment
- What gets left on overnight regardless? What could be turned off such as computers, printers, coffee machines etc? Machines that are left on overnight continue to use energy. Even though this energy may not be much, it can soon add up.
- How many lights are on during working hours? Are they all necessary or could some be turned off?
- What type of bulbs are you using? Upgrade to energy-efficient LED lightbulbs if you don’t already have them.
- Turn off lights in places such as meeting rooms when they are not in use. Install sensor lights in places such as bathrooms or storerooms where they are not needed to be left on all the time.
- Could the heating be turned down a degree or two? Check rarely used areas and storerooms and either turn down or turn off the heating in these places.
- As above, turn the water temperature down a degree or two. It really doesn’t have to be scalding hot to wash hands.
- Ensure furniture is not blocking any heating source.
- Move desks nearer to heating sources and other furniture such as filing cabinets further away.
- Place filing cabinets and cupboards inside doorways to reduce drafts when the doors are opened if safe to do so. Or put a tall plant inside the doorway.
- Move desks in front of windows to benefit from natural light so less artificial lighting has to be used.
- Check windows, doors, and baseboards for draughts. If there are draughts get them fixed.
- If you don’t have sufficient insulation, you will be losing more energy through walls and ceilings. Ensure yours is sufficient.
- HVAC units
- When was the last time it was serviced to ensure it is working efficiently? When were the filters last changed?
There are also companies that carry out energy audits for businesses. Contact your energy supplier first and foremost to see if they offer the service for free.
Other energy saving tips to reduce your energy bill
Look at your energy bill
Don’t just open your energy bill and file it. Start to look at energy breakdowns. Where are the highest costs? What can be done to reduce them?
Get a smart meter
Small businesses with less than 10 employees, may be eligible for a smart meter free of charge. The benefit of a smart meter for your business is that it makes it easy to track energy usage and identify times and actions where usage is high and allows you to review how to reduce this.
Programme your thermostat correctly
Use a thermostat to control the temperature and what times the heating turns on and off. So many businesses fail to check the thermostat and heating comes on at weekends and other times when staff are not working.
Encourage staff to close doors between workspaces and hallways. Get a self-closing door mechanism if possible. Stop losing unnecessary heat to areas where it is not needed.
Condense working areas
Do you have spacious offices? Could offices be combined so two offices move into one if space allows and then shut off the empty office? You may find that this creates a more optimal working environment also and you decide to keep it like this in warmer months also.
Ink, printers, and paper all add up so look at where you can reduce paper usage and move to saving documents in the cloud. Invoices can be created via accountancy software and emailed to clients rather than printing and posting. Client notes can be saved to their specific file in the cloud rather than printing and filing manually.
The bonus of going paperless is that you will most likely find work can be completed in a timelier manner and documents can be accessed from anywhere allowing for remote working.
Involve your staff
Staff will be feeling the same pinch at home with rising energy costs so talk to them about the importance of saving energy at work. Encourage them to be energy efficient at work as well as at home. Run a competition for the best energy saving tips.
Relax the dress code
Encourage staff to wear an extra layer of clothing if they are sitting at a desk and are likely to feel the cold more than those moving around. Fingerless gloves are great for those sat typing for long periods.
Utilise remote working
Where possible, consider your staff working remotely from home. This will reduce the energy consumption of computers, lighting and heating in the business particularly if a staff member has an office of their own where everything could be turned off when they are not present. Do ensure you put the necessary security systems in place for any staff working from home.
Hold virtual meetings
Yes, we all got Zoomed out during lockdown but there is a benefit to continue holding meetings online. Energy costs are saved from heating and lighting the meeting room and supplying hot drinks.
Select carefully when replacing equipment
Check the energy rating and consumption use whenever you replace any electrical equipment. If you currently use desktops move to laptops that tend to use 80% less energy.