Business Energy Efficiency Guide

Comparing business energy suppliers is a quick and easy way to cut your energy bills, but if you want to make even more sustainable savings then you need to work on the energy efficiency of your business.

How to make your business more energy efficient

Making sure your business is more energy efficient can involve doing as much as getting double glazing and a new boiler installed or as little as switching off your computers at the end of each day. Whether you run a busy office or work in a small shop, our business energy efficiency guide will tell you all need to know to save energy and cut costs.

Carry out an energy audit

Before you put any energy efficiency measures in place, it helps to get an idea of how much energy your business is using and work out where you can easily make the most savings.

An energy audit will help to highlight where and when most energy is being used and identify where it might be being wasted. If, for instance, you seem to be overspending on heating then you'll need to consider things like double glazing and door seals, but if most of your money is going on electricity costs during working hours, fitting energy efficient light bulbs or replacing old equipment could be the priority.

You can either carry out an audit yourself or get in touch with your energy supplier, who will send an expert round to run a professional audit. It might also be worth fitting a smart meter or energy monitor, to help you keep a handle on your usage.

Get employees to go green

Energy efficiency is a team effort, so it makes sense to get your staff involved and embrace a culture change across the business - not least because it's ultimately your staff who'll be using the most energy.

It's probably best to start with some small changes, such as simply turning lights off in empty rooms and fully switching off equipment at the end of each day, before moving onto more impactful changes such as a ban on staff changing the thermostat to an office reshuffle to maximise energy efficiency.

And encourage feedback from your staff - more involvement means more ideas and a greater willingness to take part in your energy efficiency measures.

Get your equipment serviced regularly

Ageing and inefficient appliances can be a big drain on energy and your finances, so make sure all equipment is regularly serviced and well maintained - everything from office computers to heating systems - and consider replacing older, outdated equipment with newer, more energy efficient versions.

With all the basics in place, it's time to work out how best to save energy in your business premises. Here are some ideas for a range of small businesses.

How to save energy in the office

It's likely that lighting and heating make up most of the energy usage in your office, so putting in place the following measures could help cut the amount of energy you're using:

  • Install energy efficient bulbs and motion sensors
  • Make sure radiators aren't blocked by desks or drawers
  • Turn off all non-critical equipment at the end of each day - nothing left on standby
  • Fit draught excluders to all windows and doors
  • Keep lights and computer equipment free of dust and grime
  • Discourage staff from printing documents

How to save energy in a cafe

If you're a cafe owner, it's likely that most of your energy costs will be taken up by cooking appliances and heating, here are some ways you can cut your consumption:

  • Set the thermostat to around 20 degrees and time it to come on an hour before opening and go off an hour before closing
  • Keep the elements at the back of your fridge free from dust
  • Only use a full load in the dishwasher
  • Keep lights free from dust and fit energy efficient bulbs
  • Remove anything that could be blocking radiators, such as sofas or curtains
  • Avoid leaving the oven or gas rings on unnecessarily, even during busy times
  • Draught-proof doors and windows

How to save energy in a salon

Salons often use a lot of energy intensive equipment, so as well as making sure everything is well maintained and replaced as it reaches the end of its shelf-life, you should also put the following measures in place:

  • Drop the thermostats by a degree or two. Salon equipment generates a lot of heat, so you can afford to lower the thermostat a little.
  • Keep lights free from dust and install energy efficient bulbs
  • Draught-proof doors and windows
  • Switch off all equipment when not in use
  • Only use washing machines when you have a full load
  • Never leave taps or shower heads running

How to save energy in a shop

Heating, lighting and refrigeration costs will make up the majority of your costs as a shop owner, so consider these ways to make your business more energy efficient:

  • Keep the elements on fridges and freezers clean and free from dust
  • Switch off all non-critical equipment when not in use
  • Keep lights free from dust and fit energy efficient bulbs
  • Set the thermostat to around 20 degrees and time it to come on an hour before opening and go off an hour before closing
  • Draught-proof doors and windows

How to make your building more energy efficient

Making sure your building is as energy efficient as possible is the perfect way to supplement other energy efficiency efforts, so consider making the following changes to your building:

  • Install double glazing
  • Draught-proof all external doors and windows
  • Fit self-closing doors so none are left open
  • Fit energy efficient lighting and motion sensors
  • Install an energy efficient boiler and smart thermostat

With all those energy efficiency measures in place, the final thing you need to do is make sure your business is on the best deal for gas and electricity. To start a business energy price comparison, enter a few details at our business energy page and we'll get right back in touch.

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