Ten top tips for saving energy in your small business
Energy – it’s a topic on the lips of everyone, not just business owners. As a business owner, cutting back on costs is always at the forefront of your mind.
The average business operating in the UK consumes between 15,000 and 25,000 kWh per year!
Energy costs are undoubtedly a hefty portion of your annual expenses, but the good news is that there are many ways you can save the energy within your small business.
You don’t have to struggle under the cost of energy long term. Here are just a few of the best and most effective to consider.
- Start using energy saving light bulbs
Using more efficient light bulbs can reduce your energy usage and save your business money.
Energy saving light bulbs use up to 80% less energy than original light bulbs. The even better news is that they last much longer than the average light bulb!
A good example of energy saving light bulbs are LED. These can be expensive to buy; however, the amount of energy and money they save can reduce your operational costs exponentially.
- Upgrade Your Boiler
If you have an older boiler that is non-condensing and not A-rated then you could be literally wasting hundreds of pounds a year.
Upgrade your boiler with a modern condensing model and you will instantly achieve a heating system with over 92% efficiency.
You may be entitled to a Boiler Grant too, so it’s certainly worth applying.
- Switch over to motion-sensitive lighting
Leaving lights on is a “crime” most people are guilty of. It’s easy to walk into the copy room, make a few copies and leave without giving the lighting a second thought.
The last person in the office may even forget to turn the office lights off, leaving them to burn all night long. Implementing a rule in the business to only keep lights on in rooms being actively used is a great strategy, but it’s hard to enforce.
By installing motion-sensitive lighting, you can ensure that they only turn on as someone enters the room.
If someone isn’t using an office or space within the office building, the light will turn off. This type of lighting system can save you a considerable amount of money over the year.
As Heatable states if you replace your old boiler with an A-rated boiler and set of heating controls (you can even operate it remotely via an app on your phone) you could save about £340 and 1,500kg of carbon emissions a year.
- Air conditioning has a time and place
Air conditioning is one of those things that people tend to take for granted or get used to.
But how often does your business run the air conditioning, even on cool days when it is not required?
Environmentally conscious businesses typically only turn their air conditioners on during the balmy summer months when the air can become stifling and uncomfortable.
If you can, turn the air conditioners off unless they are essential. It’s also good to ensure that air conditioners aren’t left running overnight or turned on in business areas where no staff members are actively working.
- Use air conditioning the right way
Most businesses have air conditioning – it’s just part of providing a comfortable work environment for employees.
That said, how your staff members use the air conditioning is essential. An air conditioning system that’s efficient and running at its best is an air conditioning system that saves you money in the long run.
If the air conditioner is on, ensure that all windows and doors are closed so that the air conditioning isn’t wasted.
- Produce your own energy (Microgeneration)
Microgeneration. Now, that’s a big word that sounds rather complicated, right?
Microgeneration refers to businesses and individuals’ small-scale generation of electric power and heat.
There are several ways that your business can participate in microgeneration.
Green systems are used for this and include the likes of wind turbines and solar panels. For heating, there are a heat pump and biomass boiler options.
- Turn equipment off overnight
Did you know that turning off a single monitor overnight or when it’s not in use can save your organisation up to £35 a year on business electricity bills?
Can you imagine if you turned all equipment items off at the end of the workday? Switching off lights, copiers, printers, computers, and various other gadgets and devices in the business can save you a lot of money over a year.
- Cut down on the tea or get clever with water heating
There’s not one person who doesn’t love taking advantage of a good tea break but be conscious of how much water you are heating as a business.
If everyone in the UK only boiled the amount of water they needed for their cup of tea, we’d be able to power the UK’s streets for a month!
Unfortunately, that kettle is starting to heat up those bills too! To cut back, limit tea breaks or invest in an urn so that a large amount of water can be heated and kept warm.
- Update your business technology
While old technology may work just fine, and you see no real need to replace any of it, keep in mind that tech released years ago will be far less geared towards energy efficiency than current tech releases.
By updating your technology and keeping it current, you can cut back on the overall energy consumption of your business.
- Educate your staff members
Cutting back on energy costs can only work if everyone is on board and doing their part.
Take the time to host seminars within your business to help your staff members learn how they can play their part in the energy-saving ambitions of the company.
Take the time to print posters as reminders for saving energy, too – place these strategically around the business premises.
- Keep track of your energy usage
By taking regular meter readings at your business, you can keep track of your energy usage and find ways in which you could still improve and save.
This will also help you know what processes around the premises use the most energy.
Keeping energy costs low isn’t difficult, but it takes consistent effort. If everyone within the business is actively working towards this cause, you should be able to reach your cost and energy-saving goals.
Take the time to implement the above ten strategies within your business, and soon you will see your energy costs dropping steadily.