An expert has shared five ways that businesses can reduce their energy bills and become more sustainable by making just minor adjustments to their working environment.
The average small to medium-sized UK business could reduce their bills by 18-25% if they implemented energy efficient measures, and with commercial energy not included in the price cap, many will be particularly invested in reducing their usage.
However, new research by ElectricalDirect has found that the majority of UK businesses could be doing far more to cut back on their energy consumption, so it has partnered with Claire Watson, Managing Director at Airmatic, to share ways that companies can save.
- Regularly maintain your lighting – 86% of businesses don’t
Businesses waste energy and money by not regularly maintaining their office lighting, as without frequent checks, light levels can fall by almost a third over a couple of years. Regular maintenance can help reduce costs by up to 15%.
Claire says, “Lighting maintenance can not only help to identify fixtures or bulbs that may be losing power or need replacing, but also keep fittings clear of dust, which can weigh them down and potentially cause damage over time. You can also check which lights may need upgrading to energy efficient bulbs.”
- Reduce the heating temperature in the office – 85% of businesses don’t
UK businesses can also save money by reducing the heating temperature in the office, and a reduction of just 1°C can cut fuel consumption by 8%.
Claire advises, “Even by lowering the thermostat by a degree or two can save plenty of money – potentially up to £200 a year – especially given the current prices of energy. As we move towards the summer, this will become less of an issue, but next time you have to warm the place up, set it a degree lower.”
- Keep radiators clear of obstructions – 85% of businesses don’t
If items are placed in front of a radiator, this will cost your business money and energy, with the heat generated mainly warming up the obstruction, rather than the room.
Claire says, “Radiators stuck behind any object, from desks and cabinets to sofas and curtains, are only going to cost you money. Unless you’re looking to only heat up these items, make sure your radiators are completely unobstructed, which will in turn heat up your space much faster.”
- Set the heating at a constant temperature – 85% of businesses don’t
Keeping the temperature at a constant level will help reduce your office energy consumption, as repeatedly moving it up and down will only increase your bills.
Claire advises, “Keeping your heating at a constant temperature can also be a good way to save that many don’t consider, as the cost of trying to quickly heat up a cold room or cool down a room in the summer can end up being more costly. This is because your heating and air conditioning doesn’t have to try to work overtime to counteract the temperature you’re trying to correct.”
- Make use of natural light from windows and skylights – 84% of UK businesses don’t
Using natural light rather than switching the lights on and off on a sunny day can help save money and energy in the office. By reconfiguring your office space, you can make the most of the natural light that comes in by moving workspaces to naturally well-lit locations.
Claire says, “Now that we’re finally in the spring, the increase in natural light will be a lifesaver when it comes to cutting down your energy costs. If your premises has plenty of windows, you may have days where you don’t need the lights on at all, especially around midday. It’s worth periodically checking if the amount of natural light your space is getting throughout the day warrants the lights being on or off.”
“It’s thought that a good day-lighting design and setup could save you up to 75% if you’re able to greatly reduce the amount of lights switched on.”
Dominick Sandford, Managing Director at ElectricalDirect, says, “We hope these tips prove helpful and businesses can start making small changes to save both money and energy.
“It’s important that companies of all sizes engage in these types of behaviour, but our research found that small businesses are far more likely to implement simple everyday changes than larger organisations, who instead invest in expensive measures, like solar panels. We know that small actions make a difference as they all add up, so we’d encourage all business owners to consider changes wherever possible, no matter how minor.”