Short-term, medium-term, and long-term: whichever way you frame it, small businesses can save energy – and money – by following some simple steps.
We’ve outlined a series of steps for energy efficiency for small businesses aimed at banishing any worries about outlays, barriers to entry or time. Any investment is usually quickly repaid and then becomes savings, or more profit.
By following this guide you can reduce energy usage and cut overhead costs by adopting a few strategies and techniques, ranging from installing solar panels to setting up energy efficient lighting.
Benefits to your business and brand
Many businesses often end up asking “Why make the effort?” when they have numerous important tasks at hand.
By adopting a 'green' energy approach, your business has a vast influence on potential consumers. Customers always prefer companies that match with their standards and resonate with ideals. The best way to attract clients and present them new and better outlook is to invest into quality branding and devise methods to become better than your competitors. All that you invest will help you increase your sales and improve your reputation overall.
How to plan it out
The first step is to come up with short term, medium term and long term goals that are achievable.
It is quite commonly believed that if you share a problem it becomes much easier to solve. So you should share any shortcoming and problems with your clients to develop mutual understanding. Post your ideas to your company mission statement, too; we all need some stick as well as some carrot.
A best energy company UK audit is a great starting place, using our guide to identify areas for improvement. Look into potential government grants and tax rebates.
If that is not suitable for you, you will never regret hiring an energy reviewer that can help you improve in areas you are lacking and he can give you a sound advice into putting together an effective plan.
We’ll start with some straightforward steps to help you save energy and money.
ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHTING
According to the U.K. government, a company spends up to 40% of its business electricity bill on lighting.
You can save up to 90% of your utilized energy by opting for energy-saving LED light bulbs. You can follow the following tips to save your money as well as your energy.
? Turn off all lights when they are not in use.
? Swap switches for motion sensors.
? Split lights over many switches, so you light the right areas.
? Install dimmer switches in windowed rooms so you can adjust light levels.
? Make sure windows are clean and unobstructed; natural light provides a boost for your employees’ health and morale, as well as being free!
? Keep lamps clean and free of dust.
? Replace old lighting fixtures with modern fittings that send out more light.
? Paint walls with light, reflective paint, to maximize light.
Energy saving tips
You should receive your bills via email so that you can examine it and if it’s too much you can go for a better supplier. This also helps you save paper. Electricity comparison sites such as ours allow you to search for the best energy rates in your area and based on your business energy needs.
Make sure everyone turns off any unused office and factory kit. If your devices aren’t in use, you should turn them off or unplug them so that phantom energy is not wasted. This kind of energy is wasted even when you are not using the source. So don’t forget to turn off your fans, printers, compressors etc. when leaving the building.
If you don’t power off devices when leaving the building, it can consume more energy than it was being used in office hours. Also, you should prefer minimum brightness of your devices to avoid more energy consumption. Check your devices regularly to ensure they are in good condition and are not using too much energy than the usual.
Lots of day-to-day adjustments can help save energy:
? Buy and use rechargeable batteries where possible.
? Order what you need.
? Recycle paper, ink cartridges, computers, and phones.
? Buy green cleaning products and environmentally-friendly paper.
? Audit hard copy mailing lists to save on flyers and paper.
? Install hand dryers in bathrooms.
? Fit water-saving taps and showerheads.
? If possible, buy second-hand office equipment.
? Improve the air and ambiance with a few plants, too.
Heating and cooling
Cooling and Heating systems are extremely crucial when opting for an energy efficient approach for your business. The temperature at which you run your air conditioner may also affect power consumption. Either install a smart thermostat or maintain an optimum temperature for your cooling devices and also make your staff aware of it. Use it properly by setting it to a higher temperature when cooling (recommended 24°C/75°F) and lower when heating (recommended 19°C/66°F). Set the temperature lower than 19°C/66°F in areas of higher physical activity, storerooms and corridors. The cooling is maintained if the air conditioner runs the whole day so you should turn it off at the end of the day.
Fans use less energy than air conditioning and help maintain healthy airflows. Maintain your HVAC and air conditioning unit with regular services. Seal heating and cooling ducts, unused doors and flues, and avoid draughts by leaving doors propped open.
Radiators should be clean and a desk should be paced at a safe distance from them. If it’s too hot, ask the staff to turn the thermostat down before opening windows.
Analyze how you use your heating. Avoid heating a sizeable area where a few people work; try smaller, portable spot heaters to warm specific zones.
Check if there is a possibility of recycling the wasted heat energy. Ovens and refrigeration systems produce waste heat that can be ducted to warm other areas or converted to heat hot water. Insulate all pipework and install efficient water heaters.
? Boil kettles with the water needed and no more.
? Run dishwashers when full and on an eco-wash.
? Keep fridges only three-quarters full, so air circulates properly.
? Buy energy-efficient microwaves and appliances.
? Encourage recycling by providing recycling bins.
? Energy efficiency projects
? More significant projects have higher costs and bring big returns on investment (ROI).
You can install numerous types of renewable energy sources. Many governments run schemes offering financial help and grants. There are other methods like opting for solar, biomass, wind or thermal energy that can minimize your energy your energy consumption. They are not only renewable but are also an effective way to increase your marketing.
Insulate your building from the roof to the loft and cavity walls. Suspended ceilings work well in high-ceiling rooms by reducing the space that needs heating.
How Much Do Small Businesses Pay for Energy?
Most of the people in the United Kingdom are related to or own a small business according to the Small Business Association of the UK. Furthermore, every year these businesses add 2-3 vacancies in the total vacancies of the country. And as new employees are hired, the total costs and expenses increase for the business. This means that you should have a strategic policy for saving on energy and becoming more energy efficient as your business’ bottom line can be seriously affected by the costs of energy.
It is estimated that small businesses pay over $60 billion for energy annually. This is a huge amount of money which can be cut down if businesses make the right investments. The costs can be reduced from 10% to 30% and this will neither affect the quality of your business’ work, nor the performance of the devices and appliances that you are using.
Becoming business energy efficient is not a decision that you make only for the sake of your company’s benefits, it also shows your care for the environment and for the earth. Energy efficiency helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are a huge problem in the 21st century. This means that you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of investing a little in energy efficiency because it is rewarding in a number of ways
Improve Your Bottom Line with Business Energy Efficiency Tips
There are a number of low-cost ways to help reduce your energy bills relieving yourself from this financial burden to a certain extent. These ways are not only less costly but can also be effective very easily. They let you get an upper hand on your competitors and lets you impress clients more and more. They will realize that you save the environment and also respect you in this regard.
Use of Energy & Its Connection to Historic Structures
You can obtain energy consumption report of historic buildings and tips regarding saving energy on National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and check the Preservation Green Lab’s Windows report. You will get an idea about the structure of these buildings and how energy is used in them.
Retail Energy Supplier Switching
It’s very beneficial to switch from your utility to a retail energy supplier, especially if your business is situated in a deregulated market. Switching to retail energy supplier will bring your business such benefits as price protection, real cost savings, wind turbines on the shoregs, high-standard customer care services and last but not least, access to the latest technological advancements.
You should be quite vigilant while choosing our energy provider. To make the right decision, we recommend you to do some research by visiting the provider websites (look up the pricing, the supplier’s credit rating, customer service, and other relevant details) or hire an energy auditor for the best results.
Secure Your Business from Energy Fraud
Go Solar and Use Tax Breaks and Other Relevant Incentives
In order to reduce your carbon impact and to reduce costs for energy, going solar is your best option. Your business performance is not compromised in this manner and you can easily decrease your energy bills annually. Solar systems also provide good use of tax credit, which allows relaxation on the cost of installation for the panels. These incentives are provided by the government in order to promote an environmentally friendly energy approach.
Carry out an Energy Audit
Getting an auditor to review your company will not only help you curb the costs of energy, but it will also increase employee comfort and durability of your assets and equipment.
Understand Your Goals Clearly
Getting clear details of the usage of energy in the company allows businesses to set goals for efficiency in regards to energy. This means targeting the focus areas, planning of benchmarking and always keeping an eye on your progress.
Encourage Your Employees to Join the Process
As the owner, the responsibility does not only fall entirely on you – it falls on the employees as well. By outlining key goals and parameters, owners can help encourage employees to save more energy. Adopt an innovation mindset and welcome ideas for energy saving. This type of thinking is essential to incorporate as part of the culture of the company.
Work from Home
Due to modern times, the trend for working from home has rapidly increased. Allowing a work from home approach is always excellent as it reduces overheads immensely and allows them to do their job perfectly outside your business’ building.
Identify Your Business’ Energy Waste
After clearly understanding the utilization of power and your exact requirements, you can pinpoint areas of improvement. Hiring an energy auditor is an excellent way to go, as there are numerous things to take into consideration whilst option to identify the wastage.
With innovations in our era, it is always easier to be able to complete this by utilizing innovative technologies that capture real time data and send it to a platform for data analytics. This enables owners to monitor the equipment’s performance, and helps them identify inefficient resources that can be improved to make the overall system extremely energy efficient.