Businesses across the UK waste large quantities of energy often without realising it. This not only increases their impact on the environment but also makes their energy bills more expensive than they should be.
eEnergy estimates that by the end of this year UK businesses will waste £33.9bn worth of energy. This is enough to power Greater London for more than seven years.
The same study revealed that for some of the heaviest energy users, such as manufacturers or hospitals, could save as much as £3.1 million a year by introducing various energy-saving solutions.
But it is important to note that companies that use a lot of energy are not the only ones who can have financial benefits from implementing measures designed to lower their consumption. In fact, by following simple tips that we discuss here, businesses of all kinds and sizes can easily save money.
The first category of tricks allowing you to lower your consumption focuses on how you can do it by inspecting your business premises.
- Good insulation
Having good quality insulation at your business premises is crucial to keep the desired temperature inside all year round. During cold months it prevents heat loss and during the summer it makes sure that the building stays cool inside.
By investing in insulation, you can save even as much as £500 on heating and cooling costs. When getting your building insulated, do not forget about ceiling insulation to maximise the savings.
- Solar panels
Installing solar panels allows you to generate your own energy and, therefore, reduce your vulnerability to what is happening at global markets. Solar panels can help you save money and ensure that your business is sustainable and green.
The installation requires an investment that can be expensive but you can be sure to get your money worth back after a while. And, there typically are very few maintenance issues with them so you do not have to worry about additional expenses associated with using the panels.
Planting trees around your office building is a simple solution that can help you keep the building cool during summer by providing shade. That means that you can achieve lower temperature inside during hot months without having to resort to cooling systems that use a lot of electricity and drive up your energy usage. And, an additional benefit is that you can create a cleaner and healthier environment for your staff.
- High quality systems
When purchasing equipment or installing energy-efficiency solutions, make sure that you invest in the ones of the highest quality. Many business owners might be tempted to get cheaper ones to save money but lower price usually means lower quality. That translates into your tools breaking down more easily. Even though at first you might have to pay more for better quality systems, they will perform better and last longer.
- Smart technologies
Getting smart technologies such as timers or thermostats can help you boost energy efficiency, reduce the amount of energy you waste, and keep your energy bills low. Thanks to timers, you can make sure that the lights or different appliances and devices will turn off automatically at some point. Thanks to that, you do not have to worry about them running when there is no one in the building. As for thermostats, they allow you to keep the temperature at the desired level.
Choosing the right energy tariff is crucial to you being able to lower your energy bills.
- The right supplier
As the UK enjoys a deregulated energy market, energy consumers can choose who supplies their energy. However, with so many providers available, you should make sure to compare multiple before you sign a contract with one. As well as looking at prices of their tariffs, you should read about the customer service and additional services they offer. Having the professional assistance of an energy supplier can make the process of you lowering your consumption much easier.
- Clean energy tariff
If you care about your impact on the environment, you should choose a green energy tariff. Nowadays most suppliers offer them so you should not have any trouble finding one. Nonetheless, you need to think about how you want your energy to be sourced. Do you want your energy to be coming from solar, wind, or biomass? There are plenty of options so you can be sure to find a tariff that matches the individual goals of your business.
Connecting with other businesses in the area is a great way to share energy-saving tips and best practices. By looking at what your competitors do to improve their energy efficiency, you can not only get inspired but you can also find out what the standards in the industry are.
Also, more and more customers care about how sustainable businesses are so if you introduce goals that make your company more energy-efficient than others operating in the same industry, you might be able to get more clients.
Monitoring energy consumption
Just implementing solutions to reduce your energy consumption is not enough, you need to also monitor the progress and alter your strategy based on how effective certain tactics are. You also need to learn how to keep track of your energy usage.
- Energy audits
Doing an energy audit is a great way to better understand how energy is used at your business premises. A report from an audit will tell you which appliances use how much energy and will help you identify opportunities to save energy.
- Smart meters
To make sure that you are being charged only for the energy you actually consume, get a smart meter. You can have one installed for free thanks to the smart meter rollout launched by the UK government.
Smart meters not only allow you to avoid being billed for estimated bills but they also make monitoring your consumption easier. Many smart meters come with in-home displays that show your energy usage. These devices are connected to smart meters so they update automatically. Thanks to that you can be sure that the information you see is accurate.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Making sure that the HVAC system works well is essential for businesses to be able to reduce their energy consumption.
The HVAC system is likely to be an element that consumes the most energy at your business premises. By keeping it clean and servicing it regularly you can avoid having to pay for expensive repairs or replacing malfunctioning parts.
- Fix leaks
Some people are tempted to ignore small leaks when they notice them thinking that it won’t affect the functioning of the system. However, even if a leak is small, it can lead to your HVAC system being significantly less effective. And, if a leak is ignored, it can quickly become a bigger problem.
- Use natural airflow
During summer months it is a good idea to keep the windows open to improve air movement and keep the premises cold without having to use expensive cooling systems.