According to John Allan, Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, almost a third of small businesses highlight the cost of energy as a barrier to growth and success. The SME Guide to Energy Efficiency, released by the UK government, stated that the average SME could decrease their energy bill by up to 25% by actively improving measures within their business. The average payback would be less than 1.5 years, whilst 40% of the savings would require no capital cost.
By focusing on your energy efforts, the benefits are two-fold. You can decrease business costs, as well as help to promote an eco-friendly working environment.
To work alongside statistics and data released by the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change, we have created a list of the best energy saving tips you can adopt right away.
Monitor your heating and lighting
According to statistics, the average office temperature should be set to 19 degrees Celsius. By raising the temperature just one degree, heating costs increase by 8% for every degree increment. Temperature controls should not be regularly changed so consider choosing a member of staff to be responsible for temperature controls.
Approximately 30% of costs can be saved by preventing cold air from entering your office. Simple measures can be taken such as ensuring that doors are not kept open unnecessarily, major draughts are sealed and encouraging staff to change behaviour and promote an eco-friendly environment.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, a smart meter can allow you to view your gas and electricity usage in real-time. By viewing your usage and cost, you can adjust your eco-friendly decisions based on these measurements.
Lighting is considered to be responsible for up to 40% of a building’s electricity use. Light sensors can help to decrease the amount of electricity used throughout your office and money is saved whenever possible. Although they are priced at approximately £200, their potential savings prove they are an investment worth making.
Try solar power
Businesses are increasingly investing in solar power as it can provide a multitude of benefits including water heating, lighting, electricity, water-cooling and ventilation. Introducing solar power can be a means of generating income, as any extra energy you can create can be sold back to the National Grid. Although the initial cost of installation can be significant, businesses can reap the rewards of the financials involved with generating extra energy.
Establish an eco-friendly office policy or recycling guidelines
Avoid promoting a new eco-friendly office policy during your busiest time of the time. Consider introducing a set of guidelines at the start of the year. Think about rewarding actions for creating an eco-friendly work environment, as this gives employees the potential for both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Once guidelines and changes have been introduced, ask for feedback as staff will respond better to consultation rather than being instructed and always remember to provide appropriate recycling bins throughout your office. Create a feedback system in which employees can note down any potential strategies towards making their office better for the environment.
Use energy efficient equipment
One of the biggest drains in energy throughout a typical office is electrical equipment such as computers, kitchen appliances and photocopy machines. Whilst leaving equipment on standby may seem convenient, 46% of electricity consumed by a business is used outside of office hours. Ensure that you have turned off all equipment via the sockets as this is one of the main examples of inefficient energy use. Similarly, decreasing paper, toner and energy needed for a photocopier could save your business £50 a year.
Make sure to consider every aspect of how your officer operates in terms of energy efficiency. You will be surprised what little changes can make, and for very little cost.
Following these tips can dramatically impact the ecological footprint of your business. What is your top tip for energy saving in your office? Let us know over on our Twitter page at @Viking_Chat