It makes sense that you should try and be more energy efficient at your business. However, many people never take the steps necessary to make this happen. In this article, we'll review why this is the case and give you concrete ways to move forward with your own plans for energy efficiency.
Why Should Your Business Be More Energy Efficient?
When you save energy, you save money. Even if you only take small steps to become energy efficient, you can save quite a bit of money for your business. In fact, in the United Kingdom, businesses could save more than 400 million pounds a year (total) simply by making their hot water boilers more efficient.
It also makes a lot of sense to conserve energy in the United Kingdom because businesses are charged a tax for each energy unit they use. The Climate Change Levy and VAT are responsible for this.
There is more to all this than simply saving money, though. It is about complying with legislation and also about being eco-friendly. Businesses that show care and concern for the environment are often seen by the public in a positive light.
One survey indicated that more than 80 percent of companies with an energy efficient plan saved a substantial amount of money. In addition, more than fifty percent of these companies felt that they were seen in a more positive light as a result of their programs.
Of course, not all companies are the same size or have the same resources. Still, there are certain pieces of advice that can be applied to all businesses, no matter how big or small they are.
The Economist stated that businesses do not always realize how much their investors appreciate energy efficiency. In fact, “going green” is a concept that both customers and investors appreciate. They often look to see how eco-friendly a business is before they make a final decision about whether they are going to buy from them or invest in them.
There is no way to figure out how much the reputation of a company will grow when it switches to a greener way of doing business. However, it is possible to look at how much money a company can save when they become more energy efficient. It is important to note that the size of the business really has no impact; they can save regardless of whether they are very large or very little.
Where To Begin
You don't have to spend a lot of money initially. In the beginning, you only need to examine your business to look for places where you can save energy (and money). Take a look at how you match up with your competitors when it comes to energy consumption. The Carbon Trust can assist you in getting the data you need and may be able to provide you with some advice on how to proceed as well.
Don't be afraid to bring in a professional. The Carbon Trust can assist you in this area as well. You can talk to them on the phone to get advice, and they will even come out to you if your energy consumption is very high.
Look at your meter often to see how much energy you are using on a daily and weekly basis. Doing so can also help you figure out where you can cut back. If you really want to simplify things, consider putting in smart meters.
Talk to your energy supplier and see if they have any advice that they can share with you. They might have valuable information, so it is worth a few minutes of your time.
It was mentioned above, but it is worth mentioning again: think about getting a smart meter. Smart meters show you how much energy you are using. They create a report and assist you in figuring out how to bring your numbers down.
Bring an independent broker on board. An independent broker can help you dig deeper and figure out how energy efficiency can help you grow. He or see can discuss green energy, embedded generation and smart meters with you.
Finally, choose someone on your staff to be in charge of energy saving measures. Make sure they are not overwhelmed with other projects so they can focus on their new role. Also make sure they have the resources they need to accomplish their goals.
That doesn't necessarily mean that you have to carve out an area of your budget to support this new role. There are things you can do to get behind those efforts, like encouraging interested staff members to get involved.
If you can get your employees on board with your initiatives, you are much more likely to succeed. Not only are these individuals likely to have great ideas, but you also need them to help out with what you are doing. Talk to them. Find out what they think. Get them invested in the process before you do anything else. In addition, you should realize that if an initiative is hard or doesn't make sense for the work environment, it won't be very successful. Going forward, it will be even harder to cut back on energy consumption as a result.
Therefore, getting your employees to buy into what you are doing is crucial. Assigning one of them to be an energy champion is also essential. The Carbon Trust has advice on how to handle this new role in your company.
The energy champion should be responsible for noting any energy waste around the company. For example, equipment that is not powered down when it is not being used is a situation that would warrant a mention. Also, the energy champion should look out for equipment that is not working properly and come up with ideas on how to run things more efficiently. Overall, this person should push change among the staff and find tips on how to save energy overall.
If you truly want to cut back on your energy consumption, look for ideas that won't cost a lot and are simple to implement. A few ideas include:
1. Adjusting Your Thermostat
What is your thermostat set at in the winter? Going down by one or two degrees makes a significant difference on your heating bill. The same concept applies in the summer as well. Also, check the placement of your thermostat; you may get an erroneous reading if they are in direct sunlight or are exposed to draughts.
2. Cutting Back On Waste
If your heater is on, don't leave doors and windows open. Evaluate your insulation to make sure you are keeping heat in rather than letting it escape.
3. Keeping Equipment In Good Shape
All of your equipment needs to be maintained properly if you want it to use as little energy as possible. Keep windows and lights clean. Check your air filters regularly. Fix holes and door seals. Ensure that heating systems are looked after. Businesses often overlook heating systems. If you own a rental boiler then ensure that it’s in the contract of the rental company to look after it.
4. Using Natural Light
When you turn on the lights, you use energy. Instead, allow the sun to light your business. Ensure that your windows are clean so that as much light is allowed in as possible. Turn off lights that are not in use or when you leave a room, and talk to your staff about doing the same.
5. Turning Off Equipment
If you do not power down your machines, they will use energy, even if they are in “sleep” mode. Talk to your staff about turning all electronics off when they leave the building for the day.
There are a lot of ways to save money on energy. Use these ideas to create a plan that works for your business.