Small Business Saturday Blog

How to: keep tabs on your energy bills

Wednesday, July 15 at 10:44
Energy Savings

It’s time to rejoice, summer is finally here! As a nation of weekend sun worshippers, we couldn’t be happier to see the rays shining through our windows and warming up our homes.
Small business owners may think that the summer months is a chance to reduce energy costs, but the warmer months may actually increase the bills for some companies.
While it certainly does cost to have the heating running during the winter months, the addition of air conditioning can increase a building’s overall energy consumption by 100%, according to the Carbon Trust. It takes up to ten units of electricity to produce just one unit of compressed air!
Whatever time of the year it may be, there will always be some people within a business who want the heating on and others who wish to open the windows. This constant cooling and warming to meet employee demand can also impact your energy bills through energy inefficiencies.
In addition, brightly shining sun beaming into the office may seem pleasant at first but after spending an hour squinting at your computer screen it will be time to pull down the blinds and turn the lights on. Research by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) revealed that lighting can create up to 40% of a business’ energy consumption, so it is crucial to keep these costs to a minimum when possible.
The DECC has estimated that electricity prices will rise by almost 30% for SMEs over the next five years, so now is the time to brush up on good energy habits.
Don’t take a holiday from being energy efficient
Small business energy bills could be reduced by 18-25% by installing energy efficient measures, according to estimates from the DECC.
Staff annual leave during the summer months means that everyone in the business should be even more vigilant- while there may be less people in the office, it only takes a few pieces of equipment to be left on for a couple of weeks while people are away to significantly affect the cost of your energy bills.
Simple steps to saving money
There are plenty of simple and cost effective strategies that can reduce your energy consumption by becoming more energy efficient:
1) Reduce the cost of your air conditioning by ensuring it is switched off in rooms that aren’t in use. Many systems operate with a controlled timer, so be sure to program the timer so that it doesn’t operate during empty office hours.
2) Utilise natural light by rearranging your office so that it doesn’t interfere with computer screens or people’s eye-line. If this is unavoidable, install sensor lights that are triggered by movement so that the lights will only switch on when people are working in the space.
3) Many small businesses may find themselves paying overly expensive energy tariffs. New regulations mean that it now only takes six weeks to switch suppliers and energy price comparison sites, such as Love Energy Savings, can make the switching process even simpler. A small business can enter their postcode and estimated energy consumption before being presented with a extensive range of energy tariffs and providers, the best deal being highlighted for their business.
By implementing these actions as soon as possible, small businesses could start saving significant money today. For more information, see The Department for Energy and Climate Change’s guide to energy efficiency.
Phil Foster is the CEO of Love Energy Savings, helping small businesses to make much needed savings on their energy bills, helping business owners not only improve their profits, but also save valuable time in the process of comparing and switching suppliers.

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