Simple steps to help businesses manage energy usage and costs…

There is no price cap in place to support businesses as the cost of energy continues to rise.

The SMEs we’re working with are typically reporting energy bill increases of up to five times the amount they were previously paying! This extra expense comes at a time when soaring inflation and supply chain issues are already presenting challenges for many businesses up and down the UK (as highlighted in this quarter’s National Manufacturing Barometer Report).   

There is no quick fix to this ongoing issue, but the following tips may help to reduce your firm’s energy costs…

Get everyone involved

Simple actions can lead to significant improvements

For example, not boiling more water than needed when making a cuppa and turning off light switches when not in use can save a considerable amount of energy over time. Encourage your entire workforce to recognise the impact of their own actions and work together to make improvements.

Don't be afraid to shop around

We often have a tendency to stick to what we know, but you may not be getting the best deal from your current energy supplier.

It’s a good idea to contact alternative companies well in advance of any contract change to secure the best deal possible. Prices are high at the moment but switching suppliers may present a cost saving and every little helps!

Check equipment regularly

Check that boilers and associated kit are fully serviced to maintain peak performance.

Boilers are likely to be covered on a maintenance schedule, but radiators are often overlooked. A £10 radiator brush can help to keep them clean and in good working order.

Power off whenever possible

If it can be switched off, make sure it is!

Do a ‘sweep’ before you leave and make sure that equipment is switched off and not left on ‘standby.’ This simple step can make a significant difference to your energy bill over time. If in doubt, why not adopt the ‘traffic light system’…

It might also be worth checking your overnight usage with your electricity supplier – the results might surprise you and could help you make simple savings.

Look for leaks

Check for leaks in both HVAC/compressor systems and any associated equipment.

A leak is not always immediately obvious but could result in unnecessary energy use and costs (not to mention the future expense and upheaval it could cause). Simply walking around at the end of the day and listening can highlight areas where you could save money.

Switch to LED lighting

Did you know that around 90% of the energy consumed by an incandescent light goes into generating heat?

Look to replace any incandescent bulbs with LED lighting – a much more energy efficient alternative that emits very little heat. Although LEDs can be more expensive initially, they have a much longer lifespan and cost less to maintain over time.

It's all about insulation

It’s a good idea to insulate any premises that you own.

Despite the upfront cost involved, this can save you money in the long run. If the property is leasehold, liaise with your proprietor to see if they can help.

Source solar power

Invest in localised energy production, such as solar, to lower your bills.

If you are able to produce more energy than you use, this could even generate additional income. Buying upfront offers the greatest benefits but it is possible to lease panels if this is a more viable option for your business. Remember to advise your insurance provider as any changes may affect your policy.

Avoid peak times

For high energy users, moving shift patterns to avoid peak loads can create significant savings.

In some cases, the grid may even pay you for reducing usage at these peak times, so it’s worth looking into the times of day where energy use is highest to see if this can be avoided or lowered.

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