Many businesses pay their energy bills without much of a second thought. But, with energy bills soaring in the past few years, there's never been a better time to think about reducing business energy costs. One of the best ways to cut costs is to reduce the amount of energy your business uses. If you aren't already considering how to reduce usage, you could be missing out on significant opportunities for cost reduction. Lowering your energy bills is a no-brainer because it frees up money that you can invest in other areas of your business. Energy efficiency can also reduce the carbon footprint of your business, which is great for the planet!
There are loads of quick and easy ways to reduce business energy costs without spending a fortune. Here's our list of the 11 most straightforward ways to reduce business energy costs.
11 Simple Ways to Reduce Business Energy Costs
1. Conduct an energy audit
You can't start reducing your energy costs if you don't know where you are currently losing money. The purpose of an energy audit is to identify areas of your business where energy use is having a negative financial impact on your company. Effective energy audits present the information in a way that's easy to understand and suggests actions that you can take to reduce your usage. They typically only take between 4 and 6 hours, although this does depend on the size of your building. A few commercial energy suppliers even give energy audits for free as part of their business offering. It may be worth checking if you can get one from your current supplier.
2. Switch your energy supplier
Did you know that you can switch to a new energy supplier within a matter of weeks with minimal hassle? Switching to a cheaper provider is one of the easiest ways to cut energy costs. Yet, as many as 1.3 million businesses might be losing out on better deals by staying with their current supplier. Suppliers nowadays offer many different tariffs; some even offer different rates for use at certain times of the day. Therefore, it's worth doing a bit of research into different suppliers and choosing one that's right for your business. Remember, although finding the cheapest deal is essential, many suppliers offer various perks and services such as free energy management software, so it's worth taking the time to look at what all the suppliers have got to offer before making your decision.
3. Replace incandescent lightbulbs with LEDs
Many businesses have already made the switch to LEDs. However, there are still some missing out on huge savings. Replacing incandescent lightbulbs with LEDs is an example where saving a little bit in lots of places can make a massive difference to your energy bills! LEDs use over 75% less energy than incandescent lighting. Also, they don't burn out like halogens or incandescents, meaning with normal usage of six to eight hours a day, your LED bulbs could last for 15 years! LEDs are fantastic because they save you money on your energy bills but also on the cost of replacing broken bulbs. Lighting projects also tend to have a relatively short return on investment period and a low initial expenditure. This makes a LED refit a great place to start saving money. Governments around the world have already passed measures to phase out the production of incandescent lightbulbs so soon you will only be able to buy more efficient alternatives.
4. Turn lights off when they're not in use
So you've followed step 3, and now you have energy-efficient LED lightbulbs, but that doesn't mean you should leave them on when they're not needed! For the most significant reduction in your energy costs, it's still important to use lighting efficiently. According to the UK government, businesses could be saving £1.1 billion by being more efficient with their lighting. The easiest way to do this is by turning lights off whenever you leave a room, and remember there's no need to light areas that are not in use, such as storage cupboards or meeting rooms. Another good practice is to take advantage of natural sunlight. If you want to take your lighting game to the next level, you could even install motion sensors in areas like hallways where 'always-on' isn't the right approach. Some lighting fixtures come with this functionality as standard.
5. Don't leave electrical appliances on standby
Although it's convenient to leave electrical devices such as printers on standby, the amount of money it costs businesses each year is staggering. Almost all electrical appliances still consume energy when they're in standby mode. The Energy Saving Trust found that the average UK home wastes £86 a year by leaving appliances on standby, so imagine what this means for your business. Switching equipment off at the plug is the best way to avoid unnecessary costs. An effective strategy here is to assign responsibility to someone to ensure all electrical appliances get switched off at the end of the workday.
6. Purchase energy-efficient office equipment
Electrical appliances with poor energy ratings could be costing your business a fortune. We don't recommend replacing perfectly decent electrical goods right away. But it is worth changing them for more efficient models once their time is up. In Europe, all electrical appliances are graded based on their efficiency, which is determined by the amount of energy the device uses each hour. The lower its consumption, the better the grade, with A+++ being the best and G the worst. Highly efficient appliances often cost a little more upfront. Still, the additional energy savings mean you should soon see a return on investment.
7. Get a programmable thermostat installed
A programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to lower your business energy costs. It can make heating and cooling much more straightforward by adjusting the temperature of your workplace by following rules that you set. Some models even let you do it remotely. With a programmable thermostat, you can make sure the heating is off when the office is empty such as on the weekends. You could even schedule the heat to turn on just before people arrive and off, about an hour before they leave. Some smarter devices also allow you to set a temperature at which the heating gets turned on to ensure you never waste energy when you don't need to. If you already have a programmable thermostat, maybe it's time to think about reviewing the controls. If you could lower the average temperature in your workplace by just 1 degree Celsius, you could save up to 10% on your heating bills!
8. Ensure your workplace is appropriately insulated
In well-insulated buildings, less warm air escapes during the winter, and less cool air escapes during the summer. Although you may think the light breeze in your office isn't a big deal, it's pretty much energy, and therefore money, flying straight out of the building. Proper insulation reduces the amount of energy required to maintain the preferred temperature of your workplace. There are some expensive and time-consuming measures you could take here. For example, you could invest in cavity wall insulation or upgrade your window glazing. But, one of the simplest things you can do to ensure your workplace is well insulated is to invest in some weatherstripping. Weatherstripping can reduce your heating and cooling bills by as much as 30% and is relatively easy to apply. As a bonus, they can also get rid of those annoying draughts.
9. Don't overfill the kettle
Before you panic, we're not saying you need to stop drinking tea and coffee. Though, the amount of money wasted by Britons each year from overfilling the kettle is staggering. When you overfill the kettle, extra energy is required to heat a greater volume of water. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that this collectively costs Britain £68 million every year. Encouraging everyone in the office to be sensible when making hot drinks will save you a surprising amount on your energy bills.
10. Get everyone involved
One of the most challenging things about business energy management is that you're usually not the only person in the building. Therefore, you can act efficiently, but if you don't educate and involve everyone else, you're unlikely to see a significant impact. Encouraging other people to be energy efficient can be difficult, but check out Action Renewables useful guide for more information.
11. Invest in energy management software
If your business is large enough and energy management is proving difficult, then it might be time to invest in energy management software. Energy management software can help you be more efficient with your energy use by helping you identify areas of your business that are inefficient. With the right software, you can also set alarms on specific areas to receive updates when you are using too much energy. As well as helping to reduce costs, energy management software also has an array of other benefits including automation and security.
Energy prices are continuing to rise. While business energy management can be challenging, your business operating costs can soar if you don't take it seriously. Sure, some energy management measures can be expensive and challenging to implement. But, there are so many simple ways to reduce business energy costs. Hopefully, this list has inspired you with ideas on how to save money for your business. Good luck on your energy-saving journey!
Further reading: Ultimate Guide to Energy Management »
Remember, using energy management software such as Surple is a great way to reduce your business energy costs. If you're interested, simply click the link below to book your demo.