With news that the UK is set to be colder than Iceland in the coming days it’s likely businesses up and down the country will need to crank up the heating a couple of notches. Whilst it’s fair to say this level of chill is certainly not the norm, new research has revealed that small business owners are struggling to keep their energy costs down. The reason for this? According to ScottishPower it’s not because of unusually cold weather but a lack of basic energy saving measures.
They carried out a YouGov survey of 1,000 SME business owners and found that only 1 in 10 claimed to have decreased their energy consumption over the past 12 months. The same number said they’d carried out an annual energy audit and 60 per cent admitted they don’t regard energy efficiency in the workplace as a key priority.
Mark Bowen, Marketing Director from ScottishPower, said:
“Adopting simple energy efficient measures as a SME business owner may sound easy enough, but as the survey findings highlight the reality is very different.
“Many businesses we talk to admit they could be doing more, but are put off because they believe that steps to incorporate energy efficiency into their business will be time consuming and difficult. We’re keen to work together with businesses and the Carbon Trust as part of this innovative new partnership to understand how we can help break down some of these barriers.
“Making smarter energy choices makes perfect business sense and will help firms to become more sustainable and efficient, while reducing bills which could allow investment elsewhere.”
So how can you make energy savings in your business? Here are our top tips…
Save the ‘lightbulb moment’ for good ideas
It may take you back to your teenage years when your parents followed you around the house switching off lights as you left the room but turning off lights in spaces when they’re not in use can actually save small businesses over £100 a year. Of course you won’t want to discourage your most conscientious workers from putting in the overtime but a polite reminder to ‘turn off the lights’ when they leave in the evening could save you cash. On the topic of lights why not change to energy efficient ones such as LED light bulbs rather than halogen or fluorescent light sources?
Keep your cool
Heating and lighting are prime culprits when it comes to swallowing up energy. Ensure that your heating and air conditioning aren’t set to the same temperature and on at the same time. The settings on the two systems should be around four degrees apart. Thermal tape can be used to draft proof single-glazed windows and door frames and thermostats should be set lower in corridors and store rooms than in offices. It sounds obvious but you should check the layout of your workspace to make sure radiators aren’t being blocked by furniture. Moving a few desks or a filing cabinet could really help and (let’s face it) the admin team may actually be able to type faster once they can feel their fingers again!
Clean up your act
Keeping the staff kitchen clean can do more than just prevent germs spreading and banish foul smells – it could actually save you money too! Clean appliances are more energy efficient especially when the build-up of dust is removed from behind fridges. Pulling the fridge out and cleaning off any dust could save you up to a fifth of the energy used by the fridge. It’s also worth bleeding radiators and dusting off light bulbs. When planning to reduce your energy spend on kitchen appliances why not schedule a regular tea round? Not only will it stop people switching on the kettle every 5 minutes it’ll also encourage positive staff communication!
Energy proof your technology
Switching off any unused mobile phone chargers and turning off your GPS and Bluetooth when they’re not needed can help you make small savings. While it may sound pedantic it will save you money and become a habit very quickly. Reducing the time saving delay on your computers can also stop the costs from ramping up. 46 per cent of electricity used in offices, for example, is outside of standard operating hours so make sure that monitors, copiers, printers and vending machines are off.
Compare energy suppliers – you could save money!
There are big financial savings to be made for small businesses owners who switch their gas and electricity suppliers to access a better tariff. Whilst it might sound like a headache it’s a fairly quick and easy process if done through a broker and the average company could potentially save up to £1000 a year off their bill. If you want to find out how much you could save for your business why not compare deals with Businesscomparison.com? We do the hard work by comparing the deals on offer so you can find the best energy tariff for you.