A business energy audit is an assessment of when, where and how your business uses gas and electricity, to help identify ways in which you can cut consumption to save energy and save money.
Although you can carry out your own energy audit, they’re usually undertaken by your energy supplier, either on site or over the phone.
Here’s what you can expect from a commercial energy audit.
An on-site audit will involve an energy-saving expert from your current supplier visiting your business for a day and assessing your energy patterns and habits to determine where you can improve your consumption levels.
During the audit, they will take a look at various pieces of equipment you have on your premises. Things such as air conditioning units, lighting, heating systems, water usage and other electrical items will be taken into account during the audit.
From this will come an action plan, which will give you ways in which you can improve how you consume energy and your current impact.
The audit will also tell you how much any changes will cost and what the reality would look like once you implement these processes. They’re a really good way to form a plan and start improving your energy output.
If you decide to take part in an audit over the phone, the process will of course be slightly different. Your energy-saving expert will ask you a series of questions in relation to your usage that will form a plan about moving forward with making savings.
This plan will be sent to you via post or email, and will consist of up to 25 energy saving tips and opportunities to improve your business. These tips will have costs included, so you can decide how you want to move forward, and what best reflects a worthwhile output for your business.
If you don’t feel comfortable with your supplier conducting an audit for you, you can do one yourself. It might not be as thorough as their experts, but it will leave you with a good base to begin your cost and energy saving in the future.
Start by drawing data from your previous bills about the cost per quarter. This will help you identify the months that are most expensive (presumably winter) and the best time of year to focus your attention.
Once you’ve done this, identify reasons for high usage and begin to plan where and how to reduce this. More efficient lighting and insulation are two easy start-points. If you’re questioning your costs compared to usage, don’t hesitate to take a look at other suppliers and tariffs. At UKPower, that’s our pride and joy. Contact our experts for help changing supplier and finding a better deal at zero cost.
If you’re doing your own audit, it needs to include tangible gains throughout your business. Compiling a decent checklist of where you can make savings will give you a chance to break down usage between rooms, premises and departments, meaning you can form a manageable plan based on:
Once you’ve done this, you can start to dig deeper into your businesses habits, and why levels might be where they are. Can you change lighting appliances to reduce cost? Are you losing heat through windows that could upgraded to reduce heat-loss? These are all questions that your audit should raise.
Saving energy is about process and improvement, which can be helped and held into place by employees themselves. Making sure they know the lengths they can go to to help the business will motivate and inform them. Some may simply not understand why they should be turning off lights, or switching off their computers of an evening until they understand the cost that incurs. Education can be as good a form of saving as anything else.