Top 10 Energy Saving Tips for Businesses
Gas and electricity bills are among the biggest expenses businesses face.
If you’re running a business, you’ll be keen to find out more about how monitoring costs and reviewing your firm’s energy efficiency can be beneficial for both financial and environmental reasons.
From choosing the best gas and electricity tariffs for your company to simple changes that can result in significant savings, here we offer our top tips on how to save money on business energy.
How Can Businesses Save on Energy Costs?
1. Arrange an Energy Audit
As well as switching tariffs, maximise your savings by planning an energy audit of your business. This will give you an overview of how your company uses energy and will help you to identify any areas of waste.
Gaeltel provides expert advice and consultancy on energy usage. Contact us for our free consultancy and site survey service. Gaeltel has the number one product portfolio in the world and can provide advice on how to cut your costs, energy usage and carbon emissions by finding the RIGHT solution for your business from its unique product portfolio.
This approach means your business is what matters to us - not the product.
Companies that employ more than 250 people or have an annual turnover in excess of £42.5 million (€50 million), and an annual balance sheet total in excess of £36.6 million (€43 million), must have an energy audit done as part of the government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)
2. Look for Energy Saving Grants
What is an energy efficiency grant?
Many government schemes offer loans, grants or subsidised energy-saving measures to support small businesses with reducing their impact on the environment. These normally help with:
energy efficiency measures – such as revising production processes
the upfront costs of investing in energy-efficient equipment
waste management and reduction initiatives
sustainable development initiatives.
Start by searching the GOV.UK business finance and support finder.
Ask your local council if they provide energy efficiency funding or sustainable business growth grants. You will normally need to submit a business case to apply. Some initiatives may also be eligible for business innovation funding.
See if you can get paid to generate your own renewable power and heat through the national Smart Export Guarantee scheme.
The government is also proposing two new energy efficiency schemes from 2022 to replace the current domestic and non-domestic renewable heat incentives.
Clean Heat Grant: upfront capital funding for households or businesses that integrate green heating technologies such as heat pumps and in certain circumstances biomass.
Green Gas Support Scheme: funding support for biomethane injection to increase the amount of green gas in the national grid.
3. Switch to Energy Efficient Lighting & Devices
Whether you’re building a new business or are looking for ways to reduce your existing business’s energy consumption, installing or upgrading to energy-efficient lighting and integrating other smart solutions is one of the most effective ways to lower your carbon footprint and your energy costs.
LED lights offer several advantages for businesses, including:
Reduced energy consumption
Lower maintenance costs
Businesses of all sizes in any industry can benefit from energy-efficient lighting, including offices, retail stores, restaurants, and warehouses. These benefits are especially advantageous for businesses where lighting is used 24 hours a day, such as data centres, laboratories, or production plants.
Energy-saving devices could help you cut down on your energy usage without making big changes to the workplace.
An energy-saving meter monitor
An energy-saving meter-monitor could help you cut down on unnecessary energy usage. This handy gadget can track the energy usage of your office devices in real-time. You’ll be able to see which ones are using the most energy and work out ways to operate them more efficiently.
Radiator boosters and automatic bleeders
Maximise the heating around work areas with a radiator booster. This simple-yet-effective device sits on top of the radiator and helps to spread heat more evenly around the room.
Automatic bleeders regularly release any trapped air stuck in your radiators, enabling them to work more efficiently.
Purpose-made foil can be placed behind radiators to radiate heat back into rooms, rather than it being lost into the walls.
Fit self-adhesive thermal strips around doors and windows to reduce draughts. Simple draught-proofing measures could help to save up to 30% on heating costs.
Timers and sensors
Timers are easy to install and very low cost. Timer switches can be used to turn off lights after working hours.
Install occupancy sensors in places that only need to be lit when in use, such as storerooms, corridors and toilets. This could cut energy use from lighting by 30%.
Replace any old-style lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED lightbulbs. LED lights use up to 90% less electricity, produce a lot less heat and last up to three times longer than compact fluorescents (CDL).
Consider using laptops rather than PCs. Laptops use a lot less energy and can be easily hooked up to a desktop monitor.
If you still have CRT monitors, replace them with modern flat-screen models, which are far more energy-efficient. Flat screens could cut monitor running costs by 50%. They also take up less space and don’t damage your eyes as much.
When buying a new printer, do your homework and invest in an energy-efficient model, as efficiency ratings vary. Consider using one communal printer instead of having individual printers idling on standby for most of the day.
Smart power strips
Smart power strips can be used to monitor devices and turn them off when they’ve been left in standby mode for a certain length of time. They’re a good way to make sure devices are shut down properly at the end of the working day.
Small changes can make a big impact on your energy efficiency, which in turn could help lower your business energy bills.
4. Evaluate Your Transport Costs
Major companies move materials, products, and supplies around millions of miles cumulatively every year by plane, ship, truck, etc. All these conveyances require fuel, increase the collective carbon footprint. Right now, logistics and transport emissions account for up to 15% of a product’s lifecycle emissions.
It’s more important than ever to work with transport companies — most of which are contracted — to make sure carbon emissions comply with standards, slash fuel use (especially in this time of great fuel price volatility) and keep an eye on where customers are and how they can be most efficiently reached. The World Economic Forum found that adopting alternative fuels, like biofuels, could reduce transportation costs by as much as 30%.
To remain competitive, transport providers are adopting fuel-efficient vehicles and technologies. And the companies themselves need to start streamlining how they ship things — not only by eliminating packaging but by identifying easier ways to move products where they need to go. Before now, many retail and tech companies weren’t paying attention to sourcing from efficient production locations or keeping track of the shortest distances possible to cover. Oftentimes freight transports are only 50% full. Fixing these issues not only saves time and costly energy but also delivers a better customer experience.
5. Turn Down the Heat
Insulate to prevent heat loss By insulating pipes, hot water tanks and boilers you can reduce the amount of wasted heat flowing into your building. Fit draught strips onto windows and doors and seal those which aren’t in use. Check thermostats regularly Firstly, ensure your thermostat is not located near heat sources, draughts or in direct sunlight as this can impact the heating temperature. Thermostats should be set to approx. 19-20 degrees Celsius for a comfortable temperature throughout the building. Remember, if there are more people/appliances within a room this can impact the temperature so check the thermostat regularly to ensure people are comfortable and no heat is being wasted. Service boilers regularly Did you know heating costs for a business can increase by over 30% if your boiler isn’t operating properly? You should service boilers annually and repair them regularly for optimum efficiency. Although it may cost your business to have the service, it will pay off on your overall energy bills. Regularly complete building walkaround Check the heating throughout the building on a regular basis to ensure that there are no areas where heat is being wasted. Storage cupboards and rooms which are not regularly used do not need radiators to be switched on. Consider the most comfortable temperatures For most offices, the optimum temperature is between 21-23°C, with most people’s ideal temperatures between 18-26°C. This is taking into consideration the various heat emitted from office equipment and lighting in any given space. Match your working hours What are the operating hours of your heating system? Ensure that heating is on during necessary times during the day. You can also use time controls to automatically switch off heating at the end of the day which is ideal for after-work hours and weekdays.
6. Stop Using Standby
If a piece of office equipment isn’t being used, it doesn’t need to be turned on – you’re only paying for energy that isn’t being utilised. Even leaving things on standby can still be a big waste – each little red dot costs around £1 a year for every watt of power used. It all adds up and can make a noticeable difference to your energy bill. Make sure staff turn their computer monitors off if they are away from their desks for more than 10 minutes, and that both PCs and monitors are turned off at the plug at the end of the day. The brightness of monitors is optimised – having them too bright not only uses more energy, but can also cause eye strain. All communal equipment is turned off at the end of the day, including printers, copiers, vending machines, and coffee machines. Infrequently used printers and photocopiers are only turned on when required and are set to go to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity.
7. Invest in Renewable Energy
If you’re using resource energy such as oil or natural gas, you can expect to have a large energy bill just about every month. As these resources become harder to come across, the price will only go up. This means you could be spending thousands of dollars more on your energy bills than competitors using renewable energy.
Solar energy gives you an opportunity to cut your energy bills while also contributing to the Earth’s health. Buying solar panels to harvest energy from the sun can be an economically intelligent purchase for your business. Because you don’t need to worry about competing for resources, you can ensure your solar panels will keep your energy costs low for years.
8. Get Your Team on Board
Educate your employees: Train them on environmental issues, energy management and individual ways that they can help the environment. Your office staff can be highly insightful when it comes to being aware of the office’s internal temperature. They may be sitting in a place that is particularly warmer, colder or more than other parts of the building. Investigating these issues will make staff less likely to tamper with thermostats or use portable heating methods. You can also encourage staff to come up with their own ideas on how to reduce energy costs. Use posters, stickers, and signage throughout your building to make sure your employees are on board.
9. Arrange Your Space to Avoid Energy Waste
Good space utilisation can not only influence an employee’s experience of the workplace, it can also enable a company to optimise spaces, save money and create new revenue streams. The larger your office space or building is, the more crucial it is for you to understand how your space is utilised. Being aware of the latter will prevent you from wasting thousands of pounds in unused spaces and energy. How is space utilisation measured? Measuring how space is utilised is usually done using a simple formula: (Number of employees/workplace capacity) x100 = Space utilised (%) However, the formula itself is just half the picture. You’ll also need to consider part-time employees, contractors, absences etc… Ideally, effective space management should take people, processes, and places into consideration.
10. Plan, Set Your Goals & Stick to Them!
Set clear efficiency goals: Incentivise and reward employees for their positive behaviour. They will then have an incentive to maintain the behaviour and it will become an internal company culture of energy saving.