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7 Energy Saving Tips for Small Businesses

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4 energy saving tips for small businesses

Saving energy can be a big boost for small businesses. Not only does it keep your company eco-friendly, but it could also save you a significant amount of money over time. The question is – how do you do it?

With electricity required every single day in your office and heating required most of the year, it’s important not to simply cut back on essential usage. Your staff won’t get much done without their machinery or computer switched on, after all.

Thankfully, there are a number of energy-saving tips for small businesses that can help you reduce usage and cut costs without having to compromise on practicality or function. Read on to learn some of the best ways to cut down your business’s energy bills today.

1. Turn it off!

Sounds obvious right? That’s why it’s so easy to assume everyone already does it. But there are so many gadgets and appliances that will be left on constantly, causing that energy bill to creep up. While refrigerators need to be kept on to stop food going off, almost everything else can be switched off.

Wi-Fi routers, computer monitors, and definitely lights and heating! Much like locking up, turning everything off should be an essential step at the end of every working day. Take care of it yourself or nominate one of your staff to make sure everything is off when it’s out of use.

2. Dial it down

Deciding how high to set the heating can be tricky to manage as a business owner. But even a small reduction in just one degree during the winter can see you make savings of between 8-10% on your energy bills. Additionally, during the summertime, aim to increase the set point for your air conditioning.

You should also take note of when staff and customers are due to be in the building, and time your heating and air conditioning around this to optimise its efficiency. Consider switching off office heating at weekends and bank holidays – and remember to adjust settings when clocks change in the spring and autumn.

A working room temperature of between 18 to 21 degrees Celsius is a good range to aim for, and temperatures in the indoor workplace are covered by the Health, Safety and Welfare Workplace Regulations.

3. Timers and sensors

While some things are easy to remember to switch on and off, lighting and heating are so essential that they often go unnoticed. That makes it easier to leave the room or even leave the premises without switching them off.

Investing in timers and sensors can make sure your lighting and heating aren’t left on unnecessarily:

  • Timed lighting – Eliminates the need to turn lights on and off at the start and end of each day. It’s important to note that most systems can be overridden, so staff won’t be left in the dark if they’re working overtime!
  • Lighting sensors – Particularly useful for bathrooms or communal areas, which people enter and leave throughout the day
  • Timed heating – Can be used to automatically turn the heating off when everyone has left the office
  • Thermostats – By sensing the temperature in each room or area of your premises, thermostats will make sure the office stays at the right temperature without wasting excess energy.

4. LED lighting

Lights are one of the biggest culprits for energy use at businesses big and small. They’re needed throughout the working day in pretty much every part of your premises. With good reason too – lighting has been found to affect worker safety, visual acuity and productivity.

Commercial LED lighting provides the same bright lighting without the blinding costs. Unlike traditional bulbs, which use heat to generate light, LED lights use a semi-conductor system to emit energy protons. It’s the most energy-efficient way to generate light, which uses up to 90% less energy than the alternatives.

5. Upgrade your equipment

Old IT equipment and kitchen appliances can guzzle a lot of energy. Investing in energy-efficient alternatives can therefore be an enormous help in significantly reducing your small business’s energy consumption.

Modern appliances and machinery are designed to use less power while delivering the same or better performance. You should consider replacing old systems and outdated office equipment you use frequently with newer, more energy-efficient alternatives.

When searching for new equipment, make sure to look for the energy efficiency label on the appliances. It tells you how much energy it will use, and rates its efficiency on a scale of A to G. A-rated appliances are most efficient, with G-rated the least efficient.

6. Conduct an energy audit

If you are serious about driving down energy usage within your organisation, then the best step you can take is to carry out an energy audit. This will involve looking at your whole business to understand exactly how your business is using energy and analysing where changes can be made.

With a comprehensive energy audit, your energy consumption can be properly evaluated, with a strategy created to minimise energy use, reduce energy wastage, improve efficiency and ultimately help in the fight against climate change.

6. Install a smart meter

Smart meters have become increasingly popular among small business owners over the last few years. If you’re not already using one, there are plenty of good reasons to consider it. They provide you with accurate real-time data about your business’s energy usage and allow you to make adjustments to control your energy spend.

Smart meters can usually be installed at no additional cost. If your business operates out of rented premises, speak to your landlord about getting one installed. Your energy supplier will arrange to install one at a date and time that is convenient.

7. Block draughts and improve air flow

If you work in an old building, you’ll probably have already noticed it can get quite draughty. Whilst it might just be tempting to turn up the heating, a better solution would be to investigate and eliminate the draughts.

Investing in double-glazing is a great option for reducing heat loss. And don’t forget that draught excluders and other types of insulation are also really affordable ways to maximise your energy efficiency.

Another tip we recommend is to improve your office’s air flow. Your current workspace layout could be blocking heating and using up more energy without you realising. Moving filing cabinets, desks and sofas away from radiators will help to improve your air flow.

Regular cleaning of filters, fans and vents of any air conditioning units will also help improve their efficiency.

Energy saving opportunities

Whether it’s LED lighting or energy auditing, Volta Compliance is on hand throughout Leeds and the UK to help small businesses save money. We can also assist with ESOS assessments, auditing and improvements for larger businesses who want to stay compliant and save money.

Want to find out more? Request a quote today to get the ball rolling.

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Richard Carr Volta Compliance
Richard Carr
Managing Director
Richard is the Director of Volta Compliance. He is a fully qualified approved electrician graded with the JIB. Richard has over 20 years electrical experience working on commercial and industrial installations.