Unpredictable expenses are often challenging for any company. Business energy often falls into this category with a disrupted market, variable costs, or even increased energy usage.
Whilst managing the costs of gas and electricity presents its challenges, there are impactful actions that business owners and office managers can take to help save money on business energy.
From choosing suitable gas and electricity tariffs for your business to actioning simple habitual changes; we’ve put together this guide to help UK businesses identify money-saving opportunities.
Turn Equipment Off When Not In Use
Where possible, you should always turn any equipment off completely when it is not in use. For example, leaving a computer on standby every night will cost the business around £35 per year per computer.
If working in manufacturing or any other sector where energy-intensive equipment is being used, can these machines be switched off during times of large inactivity?
Many of the tips in this guide, particularly turning off equipment when not in use will require your employees to buy in to help out. Everyone matters in your team and even businesses with the best energy reduction plans can fail without the support of their teams.
- Employee awareness training
- Placing signs near equipment to remind the team to turn equipment off when not in use
- Encourage employees to share ideas and relax the dress code to allow people to wear jumpers in winter and more breathable clothes in summer.
In most UK businesses, 40% of the energy use is lighting the premises. This means there’s plenty to be saved by making some simple switches to habits, source of light and the workspace layout. Here are some things to consider:
- Swap out old lightbulbs for new energy-efficient LED lightbulbs. Despite the more expensive upfront cost of upgrading, they last much longer and require much less energy to operate.
- Encourage employees to turn the lights off when they leave an area (if it is safe to do so).
- Make sure any equipment, furniture or shelving is not blocking any windows and natural light.
- Further long-term plans could be to introduce motion sensor lighting to bathrooms, meeting rooms and corridors to ensure no electricity is wasted.
Office/ Working Area Layout
Avoiding energy waste is a huge issue that is costing businesses £100s every year. Something as basic as having desks or other pieces of furniture covering up radiators or leaving doors open could be costing your business money. Here are some things to consider:
- Ensure radiators are not covered and can efficiently heat up the workspace.
- Do not leave doors wedged open allowing heat to escape.
- Make sure you’re not heating meeting rooms that are not being used regularly.
Heating At The Right Times
According to the Carbon Trust, just 1-degree celsius can increase your annual business energy costs by 8%. With this in mind, it may be time to review what times the building is occupied. Switching to a smart thermostat, or even just adjusting the times when the heating comes on and turns off can save you a large amount of money.
Smart thermostats have the extra benefit of regulating a comfortable temperature without the need to adjust it with the seasons passing.
Switch Before Your Contract Ends
Despite surging wholesale energy prices, switching commercial energy suppliers is still advisable to avoid future energy price increases.
You should start comparing business energy prices when you’re approaching your renewal window. This can be anytime up to six months before your contract ends. You should contact your energy supplier to find out your contract end date.
Review Other Business Utilities
With rising commercial energy prices, many business owners are reviewing all business utilities to offset some of the increases in gas and electricity rates.
- Business Water - if the premises are located in England and Wales, they can switch business water suppliers. The market was reregulated in 2017 to allow businesses to find better water rates.
- Business Broadband - an essential service to every business, many companies are overpaying for poor quality service that doesn’t meet their requirements.