04 Dec Suggestions On How Businesses Can Save Money On Energy Bills
The year is coming to an end, which is the perfect time for businesses to start thinking about how they can make changes for the new year.
One of the most important things to consider improving is ways to spend less money on energy bills, as this could dramatically cut business expenditure.
As gas and electricity prices have hit sky-high levels over the last few years, many companies have already done lots to limit their energy use but here are some suggestions on how they can reduce their outgoings even more.
Have an energy audit
When the office doors re-open in January, it is a good idea to book an energy audit, which will help you determine where you are using excess energy and how you can prevent this in the future.
It will also give you a guidance of what typical energy use in your industry is, so you can see whether you are using too much or the right amount.
The Carbon Trust provides tools and offers advice on how companies can reduce their energy usage, so they can not only save on bills but make their way towards net zero.
Turn equipment off overnight
While you might be used to switching appliances off standby at home, this is often overlooked in office environments.
Instead, photocopiers, printers, computers, and other electronic items remain on all the time, even overnight. Assign someone the responsibility of making sure a particular appliance is turned off every day, so you are not paying for when it is not in use.
This will also remind you to switch everything off completely if you are shutting down over the Christmas break, otherwise you could be paying for a week’s worth of energy that nobody is using.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, the minimum temperature for working indoors is 16C and for those who do rigorous physical labour, it should be at least 13C.
Although you do not want staff to be uncomfortable, you could make significant savings by turning down the thermostat a little.
In fact, a change of one degree celsius results in an eight per cent shift in heating bills.
So turning it down by one or two degrees could have a big impact. Alternatively, you could fit timers so the heating is off or lower when people are not in the office, such as weekends or holidays.
You could also avoid heating rooms when they are not in use, or check whether the radiators are being blocked by furniture, as this makes the heating less efficient.
It is also important to encourage staff members not to change the thermostat, as this could result in a higher energy bill.
Check efficiency of appliances
Even if everything is in working order, it is worth having a commercial gas engineer look at the efficiency of your appliances from time to time. You might find that the boiler, radiators or pipes are not working as well as they could be, and are not heating up rooms properly.
This will cause the system to have to work harder to maintain the temperature, resulting in businesses paying more for their energy in the long-run.
It might be that upgrading some equipment will end up being cheaper, as the cost of the new appliance is less than the extra being spent on gas bills.
Do not stop at gas equipment, however, as everything could be checked to see whether it could run more efficiently.
For instance, fridges, computers and kitchen appliances might be using too much electricity than more modern or well-maintained ones. Even cleaning refrigerators helps them to run better.
Do not have rolling contracts
Make sure there is someone who is looking around for the best energy deals when the end of the contract is nearing.
Just like with household bills, rolling contracts are likely to be significantly higher than new deals with a different provider. So it is worth having someone in charge of switching tariffs when a reminder of the renewal date is sent through.
As well as swapping to another provider, it is worth considering changing to a different type of tariff, such as a fixed or variable; altering the length of the contract; and seeing whether any discounts are provided if paying by direct debit.
It is also worth asking whether rates vary throughout the day or week, and if there are any exit fees, in case you find cheaper deals later on down the line.