One of the biggest costs that small or large businesses face is energy. It therefore makes sense to reduce energy consumption and at the same time help to reduce business energy bills.
It’s important to get everyone in the workplace involved in reducing energy costs. You can do this by appointing an eco champion to help spread the message to all members of staff and lead by example. If the boss makes an effort to save energy then the rest of the staff will follow.
Business electricity and gas prices will continue to go up so it is important to save money where you can. Simple changes can help to save money and the environment at the same time.
Here’s our 10 quick energy saving tips:
- Turn off lights It’s one of the most obvious ways to reduce energy use but how often are lights left on in empty rooms and at the end of the day? If it’s difficult to know which switches work which lights then it’s a good idea to label them. It means you will know exactly which lights are being turned off and on and you can turn off lights in areas where they are not needed.
- Install occupancy sensors If it’s too difficult to ensure lights are switched off when anyone leaves a room then it might be an idea to install occupancy sensors. These can help to reduce energy consumption because the lights turn off in a room or area if it’s unoccupied for a certain length of time. Occupancy sensors are useful for conference rooms, printer or photocopier rooms and toilets.
- Energy saving bulbs Changing your workplace lighting to energy saving bulbs is a quick and easy way to reduce energy consumption. Energy saving lighting has changed a lot over the last few years and there are many different fittings, shapes and sizes. Energy saving bulbs last around 12 times longer than standard bulbs and over a year could save your business around £7 per bulb.
- Lower your thermostat It’s recommended that you turn your heating thermostat to 19C. Just turning your heating up by 1C from 19C can increase energy costs by 8%.
- Learn how your heating works Have you moved into new premises and don’t really understand how the heating system works? If you don’t know how it works then you don’t know if your settings are correct and you could be heating the place when there’s nobody around. The same applies for the cooling system – make sure you know how it works.
- Set your hot water temperature to 60C It’s important to ensure your hot water is set at the correct temperature because if it’s set too low then there’s a risk of legionnaires disease. It’s not necessary to have the water temperature hotter than 60C but this temperature will prevent any health problems.
- Turn off equipment Leaving your PC on overnight uses enough power to make around 200 cups of coffee! But it’s not just PCs and laptops that need turning off. Switch off monitors at night – and even when you are away from your desk. Leaving a PC and monitor on 24 hours a day can cost a business over £50 a year. According to the Carbon Trust turning off your PCs and monitors and enabling standby modes can reduce the cost from £50 to £15 a year.
- Turn off the photocopier Turn off the photocopier every night and move it out of any air-conditioned areas. Photocopiers give out heat so if they are in an area that has air-conditioning it will make it work harder and at the same time use more electricity. Some newer models turn off after a certain length of time but if yours doesn’t then you could fit a timer to ensure it turns off at night.
- Insulate We are always being told to insulate our homes but workplaces should be insulated too. You can insulate windows, pipes, walls and boilers. The hottest pipes tend to lose the most heat and therefore these are the ones that it’s most important to insulate. Many modern office buildings will be well insulated but if you’re in an old building check if you have any loft space and if this can be insulated. Draught proof windows and doors. EDF Energy says that a well-insulated building can help to cut heat loss by up to 40%.
- Drinks machines If your workplace has a drinks machine then ensure it’s turned off at night and when the workplace is empty. There’s no point keeping water cool if the office is empty. Turn things off at the weekend and if you need to replace kitchen equipment then make sure you buy energy saving appliances.
Have you got some of your own tips that you’d like to share? Let us know below – we’d love to include your tips here too!