If you run a business you will know the importance of keeping costs down. One way of doing this is to reduce your spending on energy bills. This can seem like quite a daunting challenge if you have large premises but making some very simple changes can lead to a substantial reduction in the overall energy consumption of your business. In fact, The Carbon Trust believes that most businesses could use a lot less energy and that
- Low and no cost actions could reduce energy costs by 10%
- A 20% cut in energy costs is equivalent to a 5% increase in sales for many businesses.
Here are four main areas where business energy costs can be most easily reduced
It has been estimated that lighting accounts for approximately 40% of all energy used in business premises. Easy ways to reduce this are
- Switch to energy efficient light bulbs such as CFLs and LED lighting. They use a fraction of the energy and have a much longer lifespan
- Install motion sensors, or light sensors so that lighting is only on when it is required
- Keep windows, skylights etc clean to allow maximum natural light through
- Switch off lights when not in use
2. Office Equipment
- Power off all IT equipment when not in use and at the end of the day
- Encourage staff to not leave PCs, laptops and monitors etc on standby as this consumes significant amounts of energy
- Laptops use less energy than PCs, so it is worth considering switching when it is time to replace
- Always choose electrical equipment with a high energy efficiency rating. It may cost slightly more to buy but will save you money in the long run.
60% of businesses’ energy consumption can be on heating and hot water so improving efficiency here can lead to substantial saving.
- Turn the thermostat down. Even lowering the temperature by 1⁰C can reduce your energy costs by 8% over the year.
- Replace old boilers with energy efficient ones
- Reduce drafts to stop heat escaping from the building. Seal doors and windows and install automatic doors
Even in Scotland it can get warm in summer. In addition, the extra heat generated by IT equipment such as pcs, laptops and in particular servers can be substantial. Air conditioning is used by many businesses to keep business premises at a comfortable temperature for both staff and clients. Unfortunately it uses a lot of energy. To reduce consumption and save money
- Never use air conditioning below 24⁰C
- Invest in ‘free cooling’ air conditioning. When the temperature outside is cooler than the temperature inside, this type of air conditioning is able to use the cold outside air as a free cooling source. This can lead to substantial savings in running costs.
In addition to the areas mentioned above, it is also a good idea to try and get your employees on board with any changes. Changing employee behaviour can also be helped by investing in some good quality energy efficiency posters and putting them up around the workplace. They are a visual reminder that little changes count and that saving even small amounts of energy reduces carbon emissions and helps the environment.
Capital City Electrical are NICEIC approved electricians. We carry out a full range of electrical services for domestic, commercial and industrial businesses throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians.