Energy efficiency tips 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%

When it comes to saving money at your business, every little helps. Making sure your business is as energy efficient as possible is a quick way to save money, and you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot to see some big savings on your energy bills.

Switch business energy supplier

One of the easiest ways to save money on business energy bills is to shop around for the best deal for your business when your contract comes up for renewal. Switching to a new energy supplier can save you huge amount on your energy costs, particularly if you’re currently paying ‘deemed’ or ‘out of contract’ rates.

You may not realise that you can switch your business energy supplier up to three months before the end of your current contract. Doing this ensures that your current supplier doesn’t roll you over onto a more expensive tariff. Shop around when your contract is up for renewal, and make sure you get the best deal available at the time by comparing business energy suppliers.

Take regular meter readings at your business

Take regular meter readings to make sure your business energy bills are based on accurate readings rather than estimates. This means that you’ll only pay for energy you’ve actually used, and reduces the risk of overpaying. Most suppliers offer online billing, where you can submit your monthly meter readings online. This helps you track your energy consumption each month, and being more aware of how much you’re using helps you budget more accurately for your business energy costs.

Carry out a business energy audit

It’s worth looking at how your business uses energy, so you can see where most energy is being used and identify where it might be being wasted. You might want to consider buying an energy saving power meter to help with this – they can be especially useful for relatively small businesses, and will help you keep an eye on how your business uses energy on a day to day basis.

Get staff involved in your energy saving efforts

It’s a great idea to get your team involved. Making staff aware of the business’s efforts to save energy is a great starting point, and helping to make staff more aware of the energy they use can be a great help in your efficiency efforts. Work with your team to educate them about the small ways they can help to cut down on the energy they use during the day – you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference these small changes can make to your energy costs.

Unplug and shut down to save money on business electricity

Don’t leave computers and monitors on standby overnight and over the weekend. Equipment like computers and monitors waste a huge amount of energy, as when they’re on standby they use up to 70% of the energy they’d use if they were switched on and being used normally. To help with this, you can get products that automatically shut down appliances left on standby, such as the PC automatic standby shutdown extension lead. This recognises when a desktop computer has been powered down and automatically removes power to equipment connected to the sockets. As well as saving you money, this will reduce your carbon footprint and cut down the risk of a fire.

Use energy efficient lighting

Try to use energy efficient light bulbs where possible, of course ensuring that you have enough lighting to meet your health and safety requirements. Try to keep light fittings clean and clear of dust build up, as this can affect the efficiency of the lighting.

Take a look at the temperature

It’s a good idea to try to keep your office working environment temperatures between 16°C to 19°C. Make sure the heating in your workplace is on a timed thermostat, as this will reduce the amount of heat being wasted when no one is in the building. If your business is only open Monday-Friday then make sure the heating is off on weekends and bank holidays.

Stop workplace draughts

Check all the doors and windows in your premises for any draughts where heat could be escaping. If you find any problems, a simple draught excluder could do the trick.

Ask staff to try and close doors where possible to keep heat in or out. This is especially important if you’re using air conditioning, as keeping the doors closed will help to regulate the air conditioning and help it to work more effectively. This will lead to less energy being wasted, which in turn will cut your business energy costs.

Don’t block heat sources

On chilly days, when the radiators or heaters are on in your workplace, make sure they aren’t blocked by any desks or equipment. This is important, because it helps make sure that heat can effectively circulate and heat the room more efficiently. This will help cut down on your business energy costs.

Have boilers serviced regularly

Much like the boilers that we have at home, boilers in the workplace must be regularly serviced to make they’re fit for purposed. You should get your workplace boiler serviced once a year to make sure it’s running safely and as efficiently as possible.