Business Energy

Business Energy Efficiency

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Shopping around for a better deal on your business energy is a great way to bring your costs down. But, you can save even more on your business energy bills, and do your bit for the environment, by making your business more energy efficient. There are lots of ways to do this - here’s everything you need to know about going green.

How to identify where energy savings can be made

To work out where you can save energy, you need to start by looking at how your business is currently using energy. Doing a walk round with a checklist will help you see:

  • What’s happening on the ground
  • Where energy is being wasted
  • Opportunities for savings

It will also show that you’re committed to improving your business’s energy performance.

When you do your walk round, focus on heating, lighting, office equipment and, if applicable, factory and warehouse equipment. The pattern of energy use will vary throughout the day, so it’s useful to do more than one walk round at different times of day, such as:

  • When the cleaners are on duty
  • At lunchtime
  • At night or over the weekend
  • At a time when you would expect to be using little or no energy.

Varying the times of walk rounds will give you a better picture of when and where energy might be being wasted. You might find it helpful to plan future walk rounds for dates like when the clocks change, and at the beginning and end of the heating season.

This will make sure that controls are set correctly for the time of year. It’s a good idea to get key members of staff involved with walk rounds, both to help identify problems and opportunities, and to make sure they feel part of the process.

Compare what you find on your walk round with meter data to help to pinpoint areas of high energy use.

When you’ve got a list of energy saving actions, prioritise what to do first, rather than trying to do everything at once. Usually, the things that have the biggest savings potential, or that will cause the least disruption to the business, will be the highest priority.

How to make your business more energy efficient

There are lots of steps you can take to make your business more energy efficient, including:

  • Get your staff involved: helping your staff to become more aware of the energy they use can really help in your efficiency efforts. Work with your team to educate them about the small ways they can cut down on their energy usage during the day – you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference these small changes can make to your energy costs.
  • Shut down: don’t leave computers and monitors on standby overnight or at the weekend, as when they’re on standby they use around 70% of the energy they’d use if they were switched on and being used normally.
  • Use energy efficient lighting: wherever possible, try to use energy efficient light bulbs. Also try to keep light fittings clean and free of dust, as this can affect your lighting’s efficiency.
  • Check your temperature: try to keep your office working environment between 16C and 19C. It’s a good idea to put the heating in your building on a timed thermostat, as this will make sure the heating is only being used when it’s needed. If your business is only open Monday - Friday, then make sure the heating is switched off over weekends and bank holidays.
  • Stop draughts: check all your windows and doors to make sure there aren’t any draughts where heat could be escaping. If you find a problem, a simple draught excluder could do the trick.
  • Don’t block heat sources: when you’re using radiators or heaters on chilly days, make sure they’re not blocked by desks or equipment. This is important to make sure the heat can circulate properly and heat the room effectively.
  • Get regular boiler services: it’s important to make sure the boilers in your workplace are serviced regularly so that they’re working properly and are fit for purpose. Getting a service once a year is ideal.

What renewable energy technology for business is available?

As well as taking these simple steps to make your business more energy efficient, there are a number of technology options that could help.

  • Air source heat pumps (ASHPs): these generate heat and hot water by absorbing the heat from the air outside, and delivering it into the building for the central heating or hot water. They’re ideal if your business if off the gas grid, or if your building has a low energy efficiency rating.
  • Ground source heat pumps: these absorb low level ground heat by pumping water through a looped pipe buried underground. They can provide a continual low level warmth for your business - ideal for larger workspaces.
  • Biomass boilers: biomass systems burn fuels like wood chip, wood pellets and logs, which are far cheaper than fossil fuels, and provide enough energy to power your business’s central heating or hot water all year round.
  • Insulation: installing cavity wall or loft, internal or external insulation will instantly make your building feel warmer, making the workspace more comfortable and cutting your heating bills.
  • Solar panels: these can be expensive to install, but they’re a good investment, as your business can get electricity from free, renewable solar power. For most premises, you don’t need planning permission, and there’s virtually no maintenance needed for the first 25 years.

MoneySuperMarket has teamed up with Bionic to help you save time and money when comparing business energy deals. Give them a call today on 0800 088 6986 to hear more about how they can help you save money on your business energy bills by comparing suppliers.