Audit your business energy usage with these four easy steps

Is your energy going to waste? Here are four ways to review the business' spending habits and improve its usage.

15 September 2015

Although ‘auditing’ energy usage might sound a bit formal and unnecessary, some level of energy awareness is beneficial for businesses of all shapes and sizes. It allows you to identify where energy is possibly going to waste, to put a plan of action in place, and to consistently reduce monthly expenditure. 

In this post, we take a look at how to audit your energy usage in four steps:

  1. Watch out for unnecessary energy use  
  2. Build a checklist
  3. Identify bad ‘energy-sapping’ behaviour
  4. Call in the professionals

 

1. Watch out for unnecessary energy use

58% of businesses believe that energy bills are difficult to understand, but with the widespread introduction of smart and advanced meters providing remote readings, companies will find it much easier to get to grips with their usage. 

More detailed energy usage information will help you to determine when your energy is being used, and how much it is costing. By taking some time to review your readings, you may notice that you use energy unnecessarily at a certain time each day, or a particular month of the year, such as if your heating and lighting is left on when the office is closed.

sme analysing energy use

Looking for Efficiencies 

For example, businesses that typically shut up shop at 5:30pm could make arrangements for the heating to automatically switch off half an hour earlier. The workplace is likely to stay warm for a short while after the heating has been turned off, and by making this small change, you can reduce the likelihood that heat is wasted once everyone has gone home. 

Usage information could also indicate where businesses are wasting energy on machinery or appliances they rarely use. Once you understand this, not only could you reduce your energy spend, but you could also profit from the sale of your unwanted equipment. 

2. Build an energy checklist

A checklist is probably the easiest way to ensure that you cover every aspect of energy-use in your review. Some examples of items to consider might include: 

  • Lighting 
  • Heating 
  • Cooling and ventilation 
  • Equipment on site
  • Gas, electricity & water use

When compiling the checklist, take into account the entire workplace and go from room to room adding everything from lighting to equipment. Take care to make notes on every item on the checklist. 

business owner energy usage

With lighting alone, for example, you could:

  • Make a note of where the switch for each light is and consider whether automatic lighting might be more appropriate for intermittently occupied spaces
  • Examine whether you could  make more use of natural light
  • Check whether the fittings might be ready for cleaning or examining
  • Consider whether you could switch to more efficient light bulbs
  • Simply switching from standard to energy-saving fluorescent bulbs alone could create a saving of up to 75% on lighting costs for some businesses.

In addition, you may wish to examine doorways, windows and insulation to ensure that heat is not escaping, and check equipment is not being left on when not in use. 


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3. Identify energy-sapping behaviour

Conduct regular spot checks throughout the day so that you can identify whether staff members are doing their bit. If employees are leaving lights on, turning up the heating when there are open windows, or forgetting to turn off their desk fan before heading off to lunch, bring this to their attention.

By encouraging the whole team to play a part in energy reduction, you can share the workload, boost morale and save money.  

energy auditor sme

4. Call in a professional

If you complete the above steps and feel that you would still like to do more, you could consider contacting a professional auditor to conduct a full audit. An auditor can provide you with a detailed report showing where energy could be saved, what options you could consider,  along with how much they will cost and how much money can be saved as a result.

Gazprom Energy is a leading and award-winning business energy supplier, helping thousands of small businesses manage their gas and electricity contracts. To find out more about what we can offer your business, visit the homepage or call us today on 0161 837 3395. 

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this article are those of our third-party content providers alone and do not represent those of Gazprom Energy. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. Gazprom Energy accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.


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