Energy News 24/03/2017
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As the cold weather bites, SMEs can take simple steps to get cheaper business gas bills. Our top heating tips could help you realise substantial savings.
Draughts waste money. Closing doors and turning off lights is obvious but this simple ‘nudge’ technique saved an NHS trust £100,000 in the first year alone. Nudging is now a complex psychological phenomenon but something as simple as a poster (perhaps including eyes) can make a real difference. Explaining how such measures save energy is also a good idea as research shows that most employees actually want to help their employer save energy.
Automatic door closers are usually mandatory to comply with fire regulations. However, damage or age can mean they are not performing at their best. Repair or replacement can help cut energy spend (although ensure that everything you do is compliant).
Windows are another source of heat loss. Even the energy efficiency of old wooden windows can easily boosted: a recent study found more than 40% reduction in heat loss through fitting curtains, rising to almost 90% if combined with draught proofing. Secondary glazing can cut heat loss for a very modest investment, potentially around £50 if you are willing to do some of the work yourself. Door seals and draught excluders are also worthwhile, ranging from modestly priced mechanical options to cheap tape, and a familiar throwback to many childhoods: the classic door snake (which you can easily make yourself).
Don’t forget to open blinds though; sunlight can raise room temperature even on the darkest winter day and will save unnecessary spending on electricity for lighting.
Set your thermostat to as low as is comfortable – perhaps around 18 degrees. Encourage staff to dress warmly and remind them that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg likes to keep the office at just 15 degrees. Ensure the heating is timed to end before the last person leaves (although don’t expect people to work late if your premises are freezing).
Try to discourage employees fiddling with temperature settings: a locking cover may not be popular but could save money.
Don’t skimp on heating though: ensure all properties (including factories and warehouses) are kept above zero, especially if they are vacant. Burst pipes due to frozen water can result in costly damage and most insurers won’t pay out unless you can prove you’ve tried to minimise the risks.
Bleeding a radiator is an easy way to ensure heating is working efficiently – no need for any special skills, as our guide explains. Fitting radiator foil can boost efficiency, especially if you don’t have cavity wall insulation and your radiators are on an exterior wall. Specially made radiator foil is cheap at less than £10 but some people claim ordinary kitchen tin foil also works.
The most straightforward way to cut business gas bills is to find a cheaper supplier. Many may not realise that factors such as fracking and gas exports have led to the cheapest business gas in years. However, business gas tariffs can change rapidly so finding the best business gas deal should be done sooner rather than later.
For many SMEs, trawling scores of quotes can be daunting. We understand and as SME business gas experts, we can offer a no-obligation business gas supplier comparison in only 20 minutes. Give us a call on 0330 0100 251 (or request a call back using our form) now to start saving.
Our dedicated page has lots more information about business gas.
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