Energy Saving Week runs from 17th to 23rd January 2023, the 8th Energy Saving Week campaign. As the name suggests, the aim is to raise awareness of energy costs, and help households and businesses save money on their bills.
Given the publicity surrounding the massive increase in costs over the last year, raising awareness is probably unnecessary. But any suggestions on how to save money on your bills is surely welcome.
This is particularly the case with businesses, who are low on the priority list for government support. While the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) will provide a discount on bills for non-domestic customers, business owners will still need to be on the lookout for methods to reduce their costs.
Clearly, your energy use is subject to the type of business you run, the size of your workspace, and the number of employees you have. Even so, there are always some simple steps you can take to reduce your bills and save money.
So here are some handy tips to help you save energy in your business and reduce your bill.
1. Have a look round your business premises
One outcome of the recent energy price rises is that everyone is more energy-aware than they have been. Papers, websites, and television programmes are constantly reporting ways you can economise.
A good starting-point is to check your business energy bills and see exactly how much you are spending each month. That will give you an idea of the scope you have for saving and also help you monitor the effectiveness of the steps you take.
Then, go around your workspace and look at how you are using energy and where some simple changes could start reducing your bills. For example:
- Are you maximising warm areas for employees, and could you use areas further away from radiators for storage?
- Are all window and door seals effective?
- Are doors being left open unnecessarily?
- Do you need heating on in your storeroom and bathrooms?
- Are empty offices or rooms currently being heated?
Once you start looking around with a view to cutting energy usage, you may be surprised how many simple changes you can make that could help reduce your bills.
2. Speak to your energy supplier
Energy companies are well-aware of the problems consumers are facing, and so many are being as supportive as possible when it comes to helping individuals and businesses save money.
It is worth speaking to your supplier to find the best possible commercial tariff, and to make sure you are being billed in the most effective way from a budgeting point of view.
Many energy suppliers will visit your premises and help you look for saving opportunities. For example, British Gas offer an innovative “Energy360” service to help you understand usage and give you better control over your consumption.
3. Switch off lights and other appliances
According to EDF energy, up to 40% of your energy costs could be lighting, so it is worth you focusing on how lights are used in your workplace.
Get into the habit of turning lights off and encouraging your employees to do the same, particularly at the end of the day.
Switching to using modern LEDs, or halogens, can save you money, despite the upfront cost of replacing them.
Make sure electrical equipment such as photocopiers and printers are only switched on when they are being used, and include them in the evening switch-off check.
4. Check how and when you heat your workplace
Carbon Trust report that a reduction of just 1% in heating temperature could save 8% on your bill. So, if your workplace is centrally heated, it is worth seeing what temperature your thermostat is set to.
Individual radiator thermostats are cheap to install and can help you control the amount of heat in different parts of your office.
Also, check the times when your heating goes on and off. Clearly, this will be subject to working hours but, for example, if no one starts working until 8am, you do not really need to start heating your workplace until 7:45am.
Likewise, at the end of the day, set the timer so it switches off your heating system around the time the last person leaves for home.
5. Check your hot water system
Unless you are using an immersion heater, you should also take a look at how long your boiler heats water and see if you can reduce both the time spent heating and the temperature it is heated to.
Clearly, this will depend on what you use hot water for, but if it is for handwashing and washing-up in the kitchen, you could easily save money by heating less, and turning down the temperature it is heated to.
As a rough guide, if you are washing your hands and have to add cold water, then the temperature of the hot water is too high. This means you can turn the boiler temperature down.
6. Switch to energy-efficient appliances where possible
You have already read about energy-efficient light bulbs, but you can also look to save money by switching to more efficient appliances across your business.
If you are buying new items such as a fridge or cooker, check the Energy Saving Trust list of top-rated appliances. There is a big discrepancy between the cost of running different items.
Laptops are cheaper to run than desktop computers, so you could save money there by providing staff with these, too.
7. Get into energy-saving routines
Once you have started ticking-off items where you can save energy and reduce costs, it is important to stick to it.
Get all staff involved in looking for ways to reduce energy consumption. You could incentivise this by offering a reward for the best energy-saving idea.
Formalise a weekly check of your workplace, to ensure cost-reduction measures are being followed.
Get in touch
If you have any queries regarding your financial planning, or just want to share your own energy-saving ideas, then please do get in touch with us at DBL Asset Management.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01625 529 499 to speak to us today.
This article is for information only. Please do not act based on anything you might read in this article. All contents are based on our understanding of HMRC legislation, which is subject to change.