As effective as large scale energy-saving strategies can be, they can also be costly, time consuming, and daunting to many companies. However, by implementing a few small actions and changing behaviours, companies of any size can reduce their business energy bills with very few resources.Take a look at some of the ways your business can save energy in our infographic:
Research suggests that 46% of business electricity use happens outside of traditional business hours, suggesting that significant savings could be made. An energy audit may reveal that lights are being left on in store cupboards, heat is escaping from certain areas, or equipment is being used ineffectively. Once a business is aware of its weaknesses and can pinpoint which technology is wasting energy it can begin to make small changes to prevent waste and lower bills.
By engaging employees and encouraging them to adopt energy-saving behaviours, SMEs can spread the workload and improve their chances of making a real difference. Not only that, but by ensuring that all members of staff are on board, businesses can boost workplace morale while also improving employee satisfaction and retention.
Tom Nolan from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) says: “If a company director is noticeable in changing the way of working, the rest of the staff in the company may follow. Training can help and I know of companies that sent their staff on courses about saving energy. I have also met companies who just consulted staff at an early stage and got everyone to suggest ways of using less energy.”
When faced with large bills, small changes may not seem like the most effective way of reducing costs. However, minor adjustments such as turning lights off when not in use and ensuring that equipment is not left running overnight can gradually amount to large savings over time. According to The Carbon Trust, simply turning lights off at the end of the day can reduce lighting costs by 15%. Not only that, the average SME wastes over £6,000 a year by leaving office equipment on standby during weekends and bank holidays.
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While turning lights off is a great place to start, there are other ways to save lighting costs. Although switching to energy-saving bulbs and fittings may initially seem more expensive than regular lighting equipment, running costs can be significantly reduced over time.
While businesses could reduce their heating costs by having their workplace insulated or by installing de-stratification fans, there are also fast and cheap ways to make noticeable changes quickly. By turning the heating down by one degree centigrade, heating bills could be reduced by up to 8%.
Using a piece of equipment until it no longer works may seem like the best way to reduce costs and prolong its lifespan. However, by replacing equipment with more energy-saving alternatives, SMEs could see a difference in their bills. Businesses should look out for technology with an Energy Star Rating to ensure that it will be effective in lowering costs.
Businesses should regularly set time aside to assess their energy contracts and make sure that they're getting the best deal for their usage. By also checking their renewal date, companies can ensure that they aren't automatically enrolled onto the wrong tariff once their contract is up. By making a few small changes within the workplace, businesses can reduce their bills, engage employees and even improve their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) performance.
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