In business expenses, gas and electricity bills emerge as substantial financial burdens. Recent data from the Federation of Small Businesses underscores this, revealing that 96% of small enterprises express concern over their energy bills. Moreover, 63% of these firms reported escalated energy costs in 2022 compared to the preceding year.
Developing practical strategies to monitor and optimise energy costs holds financial and environmental importance for businesses. Whether it involves selecting optimal energy tariffs or implementing simple yet impactful changes, here are essential recommendations to save money on business energy:
Timing Tariff Switches
Contracts for gas and electricity typically conclude with an automatic transition to costlier tariffs once they expire. Known as ‘out-of-contract’ or ‘rollover’ rates, this transition warrants swift action to avert unwarranted expenses. Rather than succumbing to complacency, businesses should proactively explore alternative options as the renewal window approaches. The renewal window usually falls between one and six months before the contract ends, and businesses should take advantage of this timeframe.
Engaging in conversations with the current supplier to secure the best available deal is advisable to navigate this. Simultaneously, leveraging comparison services to evaluate diverse tariffs from multiple suppliers ensures optimal selection. As energy sources are often separate, businesses should assess whether sourcing gas and electricity from different suppliers or a single entity is more cost-effective. Vigilance in thoroughly reviewing contract particulars is vital, given the absence of a cooling-off period.
Conducting Energy Audits
Maximising energy savings extends beyond tariff management, necessitating comprehensive energy audits. These audits offer valuable insights into energy usage patterns and highlight waste areas. While larger companies adhere to the government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) regulations for audits, smaller enterprises can voluntarily undertake this or enlist professional assistance. For more tips, look at some insights from Utility Bidder.
Utilising resources such as templates, checklists, and tools from sources like the Carbon Trust can facilitate audits. The Carbon Trust also provides a benchmarking tool for small and medium-sized businesses to gauge energy consumption within their sector. Employing this data-driven approach empowers businesses to identify inefficiencies and optimise energy use.
Businesses should evaluate the efficiency of their equipment, spanning IT systems, kitchen appliances, machinery, and more. These devices’ age and efficiency ratings play a pivotal role in determining energy consumption levels. Upgrading outdated equipment, establishing maintenance schedules, and regular cleaning routines enhance efficiency and reduce long-term costs.
Implementing Shutdown Practices
Examining equipment operation patterns is essential. Businesses should ensure that devices such as printers, photocopiers, lights, and computers are powered off when not in use, particularly overnight and on weekends. Although the impact of each device individually may seem negligible, the collective effect on energy savings can be substantial.
Incorporating energy-saving practices necessitates collaboration from staff members. Clear communication of energy-efficient measures across the organisation and the creation of energy-saving plans foster employee involvement. Resources such as posters and reminders can emphasise the significance of small changes in achieving energy efficiency goals.
Strategic Lighting Upgrades
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy underscores the substantial electricity consumption attributed to lighting, accounting for approximately 20% of the UK’s total. Businesses can realise considerable savings by transitioning to energy-efficient lighting solutions like LED technology. Implementing lighting controls, including daylight-linked systems and occupancy sensors, further reduces cost.
Heating costs surge by 8% for every 1°C temperature rise. Businesses should reassess heating practices, including aligning timers with occupancy hours, modifying settings during closed hours, and educating staff about optimal heating practices. Efficient use of air conditioning systems is equally vital.
Preventing Heat Loss
Preventing heat loss through open doors or gaps and avoiding excessive use of cooling systems can significantly impact energy conservation.
Identifying uninsulated areas in buildings and addressing heat loss due to cavity walls, lofts, and windows is essential. Consideration of double or secondary glazing can also enhance insulation.
Leveraging Smart Meters
Smart meters offer enhanced energy consumption insights, aiding businesses in optimising energy use. The end-of-2025 government roll-out scheme mandates smart meter availability to all businesses. These meters not only facilitate energy efficiency but also ensure accurate billing.
Embracing Self-Generated Electricity
With a surge in businesses generating their electricity, adopting solar, wind, biomass, or hydroelectric power can lead to substantial savings. This self-sufficiency not only reduces costs but bolsters a brand’s environmental reputation.
In a landscape of evolving energy challenges, proactive energy management proves indispensable. By adhering to these practices, businesses can navigate financial uncertainties and foster a sustainable, energy-efficient future.
Conclusively, it is apparent that gas and electricity costs have become significant expenses for businesses, as shown by recent data from the Federation of Small Businesses, which suggests that 96% of small enterprises are worried about their energy bills. Against this backdrop, practical strategies to monitor and optimise energy expenditure hold financial and environmental significance.
Businesses can deploy various informed decisions to curtail expenses, ranging from timely tariff switches to comprehensive energy audits. Engaging employees, upgrading equipment efficiency, and implementing shutdown practices collectively contribute to substantial energy savings. Strategic lighting upgrades, heating efficiency measures, and insulation strategies further enhance conservation efforts.
The adoption of smart meters and the embrace of self-generated electricity bolsters energy management initiatives. In an ever-evolving landscape, proactive energy conservation is critical and offers businesses the means to navigate financial uncertainties while building a sustainable, energy-efficient future.