Top 5 easy but effective office improvements for better energy efficiency

Better energy efficiency is high on the wish-list of many UK firms, featuring in the top ten concerns of business owners in the UK. The trouble is that energy saving is something that many small businesses struggle to find the time for, which is why the small, simple practices are so important to get right.

16 October 2015

For office-based businesses, we’ve identified a number of quick-fixes to help you save on the bills:

  • Get to grips with out-of-hours wastage 
  • Appoint ‘Energy Champions’
  • Sharpen up on heating efficiency
  • Change the bulbs 
  • Find a better contract

Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.

1. Get to grips with out-of-hours wastage 

According to research conducted in Manchester, almost half of energy used by UK businesses is wasted when employees aren’t actually working. In offices, this is down to things like monitors being left on standby, kitchen equipment like the dishwasher or coffee machine left running, and vending machines left on overnight.   

Old habits die hard, so it can be difficult to get staff engaged in energy saving practices. For that reason, educating your employees about exactly why it’s so important that they switch their monitor off or make sure the lights go off when they go home is one of the most valuable things you can do. 

2. Appoint ‘Energy Champions’

To help get staff even more engaged in helping reduce the energy bill, some small businesses have seen success in appointing ‘Energy Champions’. These members of staff take on the responsibility of engaging their colleagues in energy saving measures, from awarding prizes to staff members that actively engage in efficient practices, to assigning their colleagues' small tasks, such as switching off the vending machines if they’re last out of the building.

sme workers energy efficient

3. Sharpen up on heating efficiency

Almost two thirds of office energy is expended through heating according to the Energy Consumption Guide 19. In order to determine whether your business is paying over the odds for heating, a period of monitoring should help you to find out when and how the heating is being used.  

In many offices, the staff are able to control the heating for themselves, which quite apart from causing employees to squabble amongst themselves, could mean that you’re paying for more heat than is strictly necessary. To counter the heating being turned up to full-whack every day, see if you can implement limits on the thermostat or restrict access to the thermostat. As long as you keep the office temperate and one or two people can still access the meter should they need to, this shouldn’t cause too much of a fuss.  

Alternatively, the smart meters that have started to emerge on the market in the last couple of years can help you to save money by not only monitoring, but also implementing changes to your heating system based on intelligence picked up from the environment. If a smart meter determines that there is no movement in certain parts of the building, it can adjust the settings so that you’re not heating an empty space.

This kind of technology is relatively new so the results remain to be seen, but early estimates predict that these devices could save up to 20% on energy bills just by managing heating more efficiently. 

Before you do anything, however - draught-proof the building. It sounds obvious, but before you start capping the heating or investing in smart technology, check that you aren’t willfully releasing heat through draughty doors and windows.   


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4. Change the bulbs

Lighting is the second largest contributor to energy usage in the office and has the potential to make significant savings on the bill. Just by replacing standard fluorescent tubes with slim-line ones or standard light bulbs with energy saving fluorescent bulbs could create a saving of up to 75 per cent. 

energy champions in workplace

5. Find a better contract

The single easiest way to save money on your energy bill: switch supplier. The problem with this is that sometimes it’s difficult to understand whether a different deal would have more value for your business.  As a rule, you should be clear on two things:

• When your energy contract ends
• What’s included in your tariff

Armed with these two fundamental pieces of information, you should be able to decipher the various deals more easily and pick out the most appropriate ones for you. However, it’s easy to get bogged down in jargon, so for more help understanding what you’re paying for, check out the Gazprom energy guide

If your business energy contract is coming up for renewal, why not make the switch to Gazprom Energy? With our simple 5 step switching process, you could be just a few clicks away from your next energy deal. To find out more, give the Gazprom Energy team a call today on 0161 837 3395 or visit our contact us page.

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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