Times are tough for many UK companies, not least because rising energy costs are leaving many of us with eye-watering gas and electricity bills.
Although the government has brought in temporary support to see organisations through the next few months, the onus is still on us, as business owners, to do everything we can to reduce our energy consumption and keep our overheads to a minimum.
Here are our top 6 tips for saving energy in any business, in any sector.
Make sure you’re on the cheapest possible deal
Thanks to the current state of the market, most energy providers are beholden to sky-high unit rates and standing charges, and many of them aren’t taking on new customers for the foreseeable future. However, there are still opportunities out there, and you could save money by switching to a different provider. Use a comparison website, enlist the help of an energy broker, or speak to companies directly to find out what else is available, and whether it’s worth making the move.
Ask your provider for a payment plan, if you need one
If you are struggling to pay your bills in the short term, get in touch with your supplier to arrange a payment plan that will help you get back on track. Most energy companies will be open to helping you spread the cost.
The worst thing you can possibly do is refuse to pay what you owe – even if you’re in dispute with your supplier – as you may risk being disconnected from your utilities altogether. Plus, you’ll often face further disconnection and reconnection fees, which are added expenses you could do without.
Make small changes that could lead to bigger savings
Simple adjustments will help to keep more cash in the bank. For example, energy-saving LED light bulbs are known to be up to 80% more efficient than incandescent lighting, so it’s well worth installing these throughout your building (or even in your own property, if you regularly work from home). Have an honest conversation with your staff about ways you can conserve energy as a collective, even if it’s simply by turning equipment off when it’s not in use.
Heat-proof your building
Heating systems are notoriously expensive to run – so make sure you’re keeping as much hard-won warm air in your premises as you can. Ask your staff to keep windows and doors closed during colder months and install draught excluders and door seals if necessary. You could even go one step further by making sure the water tanks, pipes and radiators within your building are suitably insulated.
Invest in new equipment
It might seem counterintuitive to spend more at a time when you want to tighten your purse strings – but newer equipment usually runs more energy-efficiently than machinery that was manufactured several years (or decades!) ago. If you really don’t want to spend a lot of money upfront, do make sure your equipment is regularly serviced, as this will keep it performing at its best and running as energy efficiently as possible. Regular maintenance is especially important if you’re operating power-hungry appliances like air conditioning systems or commercial extraction systems.
Get a smart metre
As much as you might not want to know just how much you’re spending on your energy bills right now, having a smart metre to hand can help you spot any spikes in consumption that you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. If you can see what’s drawing the most energy, you can take steps to reduce your usage of the hardware and appliances that are the most expensive to run.
Aside from implementing these energy saving tips, make sure you do a little research into the support that’s available to you as a small business owner. For example, you can click to learn more about the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, which is designed to apply discounts on energy usage for non-domestic customers between 1st October 2022 and 31st March 2023.