Energy saving ideas for businesses

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"Don't switch" is good advice for households. But business energy is different and there's no price cap to protect you*. "Compare now" is good advice for businesses!

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*with no price cap in place for businesses, some out of contract rates are up between 15% and 120%

As a business owner, you probably feel like you’re fighting a never ending battle to cut costs and save money – the good news is that simply switching business energy suppliers could save your business hundreds of pounds a year.

Once you’ve made the switch, you can then put in place some simple energy efficiency measures to cut the amount of energy your business uses, and cut your bills even further.

How to save energy in the workplace

There are loads of ways you can cut the amount of energy your business uses, here are just a few ways to be more energy efficient in the workplace:

  • Switch off - Simply switching off devices instead of leaving them on standby could be cut your business energy bills by between 55 and 10%. And some of the worst culprits for consuming energy when sat idle are found in most offices, such as computers, printers and plasma TVs.
  • Keep equipment clean - Make sure all computer equipment is regularly serviced, cleaned and kept free of dust, as blockages can cause them to work harder than they need to and use more energy.
  • Fit energy efficient light bulbs – Installing more energy-efficient LED light bulbs can help significantly cut lighting costs, as they use up to 80% less electricity.
  • Install timers and motion sensors – Fitting timers on heating devices and motion sensors on lights means neither should be left on when not in use.

Here are some more simple devices you can use around your office or workplace that could help reduce the amount you spend on energy.

Fit smart power strips

Smart power strips are a good way to make sure all devices are properly shut down at the end of the working day. A smart power strip will monitor the circuitry of the devices that are plugged into it and cut the power to any device that’s been left in standby mode.

The basic models simply monitor the level of volts each device is drawing, and then cut the power if the volts drop below a certain level – just make sure everyone knows to save regularly save their work, as there is a risk the power will be cut while devices are still being used.

The more advanced strips, on the other hand, have a master plug that determines if the other devices need power, which can be useful for items like monitors or speakers, that don’t require any power unless your computer is turned on.

Other models work by monitoring the PC’s power status through its USB, but many current models of PC supply their USB ports with power at all times, meaning you’ll need to change the default settings to get the most out of your smart strip.

If you’re in the market for a smart power strip, there are a number of models you can choose from, make sure you do your research and pick the one that’s right for you. . They all achieve the same thing, but go about the savings in a different way.

Our UKPower energy experts recommend:

Belkin Conserve Power Strip - combining a master socket with six controlled sockets, two always on sockets and a remote to control it all, it's like the Swiss army knife of smart power strips.

Get an energy saving meter monitor

If you think your commercial energy bills are too high, you need to find out when, where and how your business is using energy. An energy saving monitor can help you do this by creating a link between your devices to keep track of their energy usage.

These gadgets also provide the real-time updates, so you can work out which of your devices are sapping the most energy and work out ways to cut down on how much you use them, or use them more efficiently.

It could be that you’re just on the wrong business energy tariff, or you’ve been put onto a rollover contract by your current supplier. If so, our business energy comparison could help find a better deal. But, if you think it could be down to unnecessarily high energy use, an energy monitoring device could be the answer.

Our UKPower energy experts recommend:

OWL Micro+ - Ideal for smaller businesses that are looking for a simple way to monitor their energy consumption. The OWL Micro+ also lets you set your own customisable consumption target and will warn you when you exceed it. If you’re looking for a more involved solution the OWL +USB also offers a platform to analyse and store your energy consumption data.

Install motion sensitive lighting and power

As touched on above, installing infrared motion sensors to monitor when a workspace is occupied and empty, is a simple way to tailor the use of electricity by the devices in the room, including lighting.

These systems will need some customisation when setting them up, for instance, you’ll need to set how long a room is empty for before cutting the power to the devices. If you don’t set them up properly, you could lose work or even damage systems if computers shut off while still in use, or have staff standing up and waving their arms about if lights shut off unexpectedly.

Our UKPower energy experts recommend:

Energy Egg - Available in a sleek black design with single and strip plug bank, as well as a newly developed smart light switch, you can control almost all electronics and shut them off by simply leaving.

Install smart thermostats

Traditional thermostats work by letting you monitor and set the temperature in your home or workplace, while more advanced thermostats allow you to schedule temperature changes to optimise your energy usage.

Smart thermostats go one step further though, and actually learn your energy habits to programme a schedule that fits around you, and offer suggestions to optimise your routine further. More advanced systems can even incorporate remote accessing through smart phone apps and let you control the temperature externally.

Smart thermostats offer businesses huge savings potential by doing all the hard work of optimising you heating schedule for you.

Our UKPower energy experts recommend:

Nest - Designed by Tony Fadell, the man behind the iPod and the iPhone, the nest takes Apple’s sleek design, innovation and simplicity and applies it to the Nest thermostat. With a variety of smartphone support and extras, this smart thermostat ticks all the boxes.