Energy saving tips for businesses

Saving energy in your workplace will not only help cut carbon emissions but help you reduce your business energy bills too. We show you how.

Reducing the amount of energy used at work seems relatively simple but getting everyone involved in using less energy can be difficult. But it’s important to get members of staff involved as they are the ones who can make all the difference. They may even have some energy saving tips of their own that you can put into practice.

Lead by example

Business owners should lead by example and prioritise energy saving. If the workforce sees that it’s important to the boss then they will follow suit. But if the boss tells them to reduce the amount of energy they use but then leaves his or her electric heater on all day and doesn’t turn the light off when leaving the office then the staff will not be motivated to save.

Turn off peripherals

At the end of the day or week make sure all peripherals such as printers, monitors and photocopiers are turned off and not simply left on stand-by. But if you want to lower your costs even further, try not turning your printer or photocopier on until 10.00 a.m. It’s also an idea to turn the photocopier off for an hour at lunchtime and if you can manage without it after 4 p.m. then turn it off for the day an hour before the office closes.

Energy efficiency ratings

The time will surely come when you have to replace your office printer or photocopier. If you need to replace any office equipment then make sure you look at the energy efficiency ratings of any replacements. There’s no point replacing your old printer with one that’s going to cost you more because it uses more energy.

The same applies if you need to replace any items in the kitchen. Make sure they are replaced with energy efficient models and remember only to boil the amount of water needed to make your drinks!

Don’t forget to think twice before printing that email and encourage members of staff to do the same but if you do need to print remember to only print in full colour if you really need to. If you photocopy anything then use a lighter tone to ensure you don’t use so much toner. Do you really need the copy to be that dark?

Ask your employees for suggestions on how they could save energy at work. They are involved in all the day-to-day tasks and often see opportunities for saving energy that a boss or senior manager may not notice.

Put up reminders

Put up posters around the office to remind staff to turn off monitors and printers at the end of the day and ensure you monitor how well any changes you make are going. Make a note of your meter readings before you begin your energy saving measures and check them regularly once you’ve implemented changes. If there are any unusual readings such as high consumption when there’s no one in the office then make a note and see if this changes when your changes have been introduced. You can then compare how previous usage compares with your present consumption.

It’s important to also monitor how your energy consumption changes from one season to the next. The more information you have the more likely it is you will be able to reduce your energy bills through the changes you make.

Review your changes

After introducing energy saving measures it’s important to review how the changes have impacted on your energy bills. Remember that it’s not just the cost you need to monitor. Over time the cost of your unit rates change so it’s important to see how you have reduced the number of units used outside of office hours. It’s also important to remember to check if you’re on the most suitable tariff for your business needs.

Finally don’t forget to tell your staff if their changes are having a positive impact. This will encourage them to continue and they may come up with more ideas to reduce consumption further.

Why not visit our Business Buzz section for more articles and advice.

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