Energy bills are a significant expense for any business. There are plenty of ways to save money, but the onus is on your to do the legwork and look for areas where savings can be made without affecting productivity.
Here are some tips to save on business energy costs.
Carry Out an Energy Audit
The first step is to look at your energy expenditure in more detail. Conduct an energy audit and see what you spend each quarter. The figure may surprise you. Look for patterns in your annual expenditure. There will be differences between summer and winter costs, but check if there are any other noticeable peaks and troughs, as this will help you find ways to cut costs. If your business operates in multiple locations, conduct an analysis of each one to see if there are any differences.
Once you have the figures in hand, the next step is to make some savings.
Negotiate Better Deals
There is always room for negotiation when you want to save on business energy costs. Most energy supply companies will put you on the most expensive tariff unless you look for a better deal. A good rule of thumb is to review your contract annually and see if there are savings to be made. If you operate out of normal working hours, look for firms that offer peak and off-peak savings.
Saving Energy in the Workplace
There are plenty of small ways to reduce energy consumption in the workplace and save on save on business energy costs. These include:
- Switch to LED lights – swap inefficient incandescent lights for energy saving LEDs and compact fluorescent bulbs. They cost more in the short-term, but they will save money in the long-term.
- Turn off lights when nobody is in the room. It’s a simple thing, but an important one.
- Don’t leave electrical equipment on standby all the time. Office workers are often guilty of leaving printers and PCs on standby when they head home at the end of the working day. However, switching off will save energy and increase the lifespan of the equipment, so remind all employees to hit the “off” button.
- Install window blinds – air-conditioning costs are higher in rooms with large windows, as it is harder to maintain a comfortable temperature when sunlight is streaming in. It is also very uncomfortable for employees working in full sunlight on a hot day, so have blinds fitted to filter out the sun and keep your air-conditioning costs down.
- Keeping the sun out is important, but pay attention to keeping the heat in, too. Where possible, block drafts and don’t leave exterior doors wide open in the middle of winter
- Turn the temperature down a notch. How hot are your offices? Turn down your office thermostat by one degree and it will save you money. It is also sensible to turn the thermostat down low when the office is empty.
- Maintain heating appliances and HVAC systems regularly, to ensure they are operating efficiently. Older appliances are less energy efficient, so consider replacing with a newer A+ appliance.
- Allow employees to work from home as long as it does not affect productivity. The fewer employees you have in the workplace, the lower your energy costs will be. You may even be able to relocate to a smaller office, which will save you money in other areas, too.
Being proactive about your energy tariffs is only part of the story. After all, your cost saving potential is limited if your employees are blasé about wasting energy in the workplace.
Using less energy is not just about saving money. Reducing energy expenditure is good for the environment, so if your business is keen to go green and reduce its carbon footprint, you need to make sure everyone is on board, from the lowest level employees, right up to senior management level. That’s the best way to save on business energy costs