What Businesses Can Do
It is estimated that most businesses can save 20% of their energy costs simply through adapting an energy saving routine at no extra cost to the business. Lower energy costs result in immediate increases in profitability of your company, and you will also pay less tax, in the form of a reduced Climate Change Levy, so it makes sound economic sense to cut your energy use. Furthermore, by reducing your overheads you can increase the competitiveness of your products or service; whilst promoting yourself as a resource efficient business has a strong marketing message. So what are you waiting for? Get energy saving!
Easy energy savings can be made in the following areas:
- Heating and Air Conditioning
- Office Equipment
- Turn off lights in empty rooms, corridors and toilets when not in use – this can save up to 15% of your lighting bill. Lighting an empty office overnight wastes enough energy to heat water for 1000 cups of tea.
- Use low energy light bulbs where possible.
- Keep windows and skylights clean and clear from obstructions so that you can maximise the daylight.
- Clean light fittings annually to maximise light output
- When leaving for lunch or meetings switch off desk lamps and office lights if possible.
Heating & Air Conditioning
- Set thermostats at the recommended temperatures of 19oC for offices. Heating costs rise by 10% for every 1oC rise in room temperature above 19oC. The recommended temperatures are 16oC for workshops; and 10-12oC for stores and warehouses.
- Use thermostatic radiator valves on radiators.
- Ensure the thermostat and radiators are not blocked by furniture.
- Don’t heat empty rooms – keep doors closed between areas of different temperatures or fit automatic closers.
- Keep windows closed when heating or air-conditioning is on
- Make sure external doors and windows are draught-proofed.
- Maintain your heating system regularly.
- Switch off all equipment at night, and when not used. A photocopier left switched on overnight wastes enough energy to make 5300 A4 copies.
- Turn PC monitors off when not being used. Monitors account for 70% of the PC’s energy use, so it is best to turn them off when at lunch or a meeting.
- Only photocopy or print necessary documents.
- Ensure energy saving features on equipment are activated.
- Don’t place printers, PCs, or photocopiers underneath temperature sensors.
- When replacing office equipment, look for energy efficient products with the Energy Star logo.
Need Help or Advice?
The Environment Agency provides details of legislation affecting this area.
The Enhanced Capital Allowances Scheme provides information on capital allowances for energy efficiency for businesses.
Energy Saving Trust run a telephone advice service offering impartial energy saving advice to homes and businesses in England and Wales. They can be contacted on 0300 123 1234.