Small businesses can cut their energy bills now
Simple measures can make big difference to your costs and savings.
The average business energy bill is now £2600.79, which represents 0.39% of total turnover. With the economy in its current state, it is no surprise that businesses are tightening their belts wherever possible. This can lead to anything from staff cuts, to less office space, to slashed training budgets – but businesses should also be looking at the smaller things closer to home in order to reduce costs.
At Energy Forecaster, we have devised 10 useful tips to cut energy waste and save money:
Turn off computers at night
We’ve all been guilty of it – needing a quick exit or a quick start in the morning. But leaving computers on overnight can be extremely costly for a business. Ensure that the last person to leave each night does a monitor check.
Improving a building’s insulation and sealing air leaks are the fastest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy waste. If you can’t afford to have professional insulation installed, there are a few cheap tricks you can use. Try sticking bubble wrap to your windows (in place of double-glazing) or sewing your own draught-excluders for leaky doors and window frames.
Set a rule that if staff wish to charge their mobile phones at work, they must donate a minimum sum to charity. This is a win-win situation; either it will act as a deterrent to staff and help save your business energy, or you will raise a significant amount of money for a charity of your choice.
Encourage staff to work from home one day a week/month
This will be even more effective if it is possible and practical for everyone to work from home on the same day of the week and you can close your office completely. Often members of staff are more productive while working from home.
Keep fridges away from heaters
Something you may not have considered before is how one appliance’s energy use may be affected by another. For example, if your fridge or freezer is next to a hot appliance, such as a radiator, then it has to work even harder to keep your food at the right temperature. This means it will use more energy and cost you more money, so think carefully about where you put your appliances in your kitchen to avoid unnecessary costs.
Consider your hot water use
Gradually turn down the temperature on the hot water heater until you reach the point where it’s not quite hot enough, then turn it back up one notch, to make sure your water is not hotter than it needs to be. You can also wrap the hot water tank in your office with insulation to reduce any heat loss from the tank itself.
Consider energy saving a competition
You could consider getting staff involved. For example, alternate which member of staff is in charge of energy saving each week and take meter readings to see who can cut your usage by the most. Offer a prize for the winner. A cheap energy monitor will help to make your consumption more visible. This approach will give your employees an incentive to think about where they might be wasting energy. Getting others involved will generate ideas for saving energy that you’d never have thought of.
Clean light fixtures regularly
Make sure that bulbs, fixtures, lenses, lamps and reflective surfaces are cleaned regularly. Removing grease, dust and other dirt can increase the output of your lights significantly.
Go for group tea rounds
Everyone dreads doing the drinks run, but often an over-filled kettle is boiled repeatedly throughout the day. Instead float the idea of having a group tea rounds – make tea for more staff at the same time.
Turn the thermostat down
It may not seem like much, but even reducing the temperature in your office by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10%.