Businesses exist to make profit, but an often overlooked way of increasing your bottom line is to save on unnecessary expenses. Energy management is one of the biggest costs for small and medium UK businesses.
A study carried out by the Competition and Markets Authority found that a whopping £7 billion is being wasted by small and medium-sized enterprises which have been overpaying on their energy bills. So if you want to reduce your expenses, then your energy bills are a good place to start.
Here we will help you with some ideas on how you can improve energy management for your business.
What You’ll Find Here
Make a Plan
Before you actually decide to implement changes in your organisation, you need to know where and how you need to improve. The four main steps to kick-starting your energy management plan are:
- Usage Baselining : Start by setting a benchmark as to how your energy consumption compares to other businesses in your vicinity. You can ask around or search for this information online, but unless you have a starting point, you will not know where you stand in terms of your average energy usage.
- Make a calculation for energy saving: You might consider hiring a qualified energy management professional who can look at your usage baseline and help do the math to calculate how much energy your business could potentially conserve each month. If not, you can even consider installing smart meters on your premises to track usage more accurately.
- Implement measures for energy management: Start upgrading your office equipment to energy-efficient alternatives that are easy to install, energy-efficient, and durable. Get your employees to help – start encouraging them to use energy responsibly and reward them for contributing to energy saving initiatives.
- Monitor and record: Time to measure the efficacy of the steps you have taken! Make sure you continuously monitor and record how much your energy use decreases (or increases) and set new benchmarks for your business to improve energy management.
Run an Energy Audit
Carrying out an energy audit is the first step in efficient energy management. This step is useful to give you an idea of how much energy you routinely consume, and where to start cutting down. More benefits of energy audits include:
- It helps you identify where to your maximum energy costs lie.
- Effective management of business energy can also result in increased comfort levels in your office space.
- An energy audit also discovers unaccounted and hidden consumption in your business from areas that you may not have considered.
Upgrade to Energy Efficient Lighting
Your business facilities need to be well-lit, so it’s critical that energy-efficient lighting is installed. Industrial compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) can help your business use less energy.
Another consideration is to turn off or remove lights in non-essential areas. For example, if your business has a vending machines, consider placing it in a well-lit area, and removing individual light bulbs to help you reduce energy consumption.
Manage Peak Hours of Equipment Usage
Maximise your energy efficiency by looking at hours when the most energy is consumed. Reducing consumption at peak hours, knowing at what time the most equipment is used, and spreading energy use over operating hours is an important step in energy management.
Try to make strategic adjustments that allow employees to use equipment only when necessary. By doing this, you will see that your business’ energy consumption automatically goes down and you will receive a far lower bill next month.
Incorporate Natural Light
Natural light is a gift. If you can incorporate this in your office, then not only will you reduce the amount of lights you install, but you can also boost employee morale – people love open spaces!
By using skylights, strategically placed windows, and open corners of the office, you can make your business less reliant on artificial lighting and improve your energy performance
Regular Equipment Checks and Replacement
Your office equipment is one of the biggest hindrances to overall energy efficiency. Old and outdated equipment could very well be a cause for high energy usage and consumption.
Audit all the technology that your business uses – not just air conditioning and kitchen appliances, but computers, lighting systems, technology, and more. Then you can either decide to keep, upgrade, or completely replace them, depending on how energy efficient they are.
Office Design and Landscaping
A well-designed office is not only visually appealing, but can also help you increase savings on your monthly energy bill. Most organisations focus more on organisational efficiency and comfort for their employees, but it is easy to align these goals with more efficient energy management as well.
For example, situating your office near shady trees can reduce the amount of air conditioning required by providing indoor shade.
Many pieces of equipment and technology that your business commonly uses have smart modes to help with energy management. For example – laptop computers have hibernate or sleep modes, which you can encourage your employees to use more frequently.
A programmable thermostat has the capability to automatically adjust the temperature of your workplace when no one is working. Less air conditioning can result in significant savings for your business. So do your best to upgrade your equipment to versions that have smart features to take the onus of energy management off your hands.
With just a few of the changes mentioned above, you will definitely be able to see changes in your energy bill the next month. Employees often underestimate the little things they do at work that add up to major energy expenses, so promoting awareness and consciousness about energy issues is equally important. We wish you luck in attaining your energy management goals.