Winter demands can generate expensive energy bills for any business. From keeping the property well-lit in the dark evenings to keeping staff warm, the cold weather often means significantly increased energy usage.
However, there are many effective energy saving initiatives that can be implemented across your business before spring comes around. These can ensure the winter bills don’t affect your bottom line as much as it could.
WP Group Gas and Electricity have compiled their top seasonal business energy saving tips so that you can reduce energy usage, improve energy efficiency and see savings on your energy bill.
- Smart use of the thermostat
Installing a seven-day time switch on the thermostat will allow you to adjust different setting for each day and make adjustments accordingly. Ensure your thermostat is in an appropriate location, keep it aware of draughty areas, in direct sunlight or radiators or fireplaces as this will give a misinterpreted reading.
- Don’t heat what you don’t use
This may seem obvious but it is easy to oversee, only heat the rooms and areas of the building which are in use every day. Stationery cupboards, meeting rooms or other rooms which have low usage should have their heating turned down or off until they are in use. You can also keep temperatures low in hallways and corridors as they are never used for more than a couple minutes at a time.
- Light bulb moment
With shorter periods of daylight, we use our lightbulbs more than ever during the winter months. However, there are lots of ways to make sure this doesn’t mean you receive an expensive electricity bill.
One simple way to do this is to switch to compact fluorescent bulbs as they last longer and burn just as bright. Another initiative worth exploring is the installation of motion detectors to control lighting, especially in areas of low usage such as bathrooms, stationery cupboards and meeting rooms.
- Small changes around the property
Making small changes to reduce opportunities for heat loss can result in improved energy efficiency. Checking windows, doors and duct systems for any leaks or draughts and ensuring all doors are closed where possible will prevent heat escaping. Ensure your property is properly insulated and consider upgrading to double-glazed windows; you will be surprised by how much heat can escape from your property due to poor insulation.
- Install a smart meter
Businesses often find they lack the required control over their energy supply in order to manage their energy costs effectively. With increasing usage over the winter months, this may prove to be an effective time to upgrade your meter and start seeing the benefits of no estimated billing, increased control and insightful consumption data. To see how these benefits can turn into real savings, read our previous blog on how smart meters could help your business improve it’s energy efficiency.
- Watch the temperature
Did you know that heating costs increase by around 8% for every 1°C increase? This means that turning down the thermostat by 2°C could see a £140 saving for every £1,000 spent on heating costs. It may take a little trial and error but experimenting with the thermostat could see significant savings on your energy usage.
18°C is a good starting point to trial how your property and staff perform; this should be an appropriate temperature for most people. However, if it still feels too cold bring the temperature up in stages, starting at a comfortable temperature and going up one degree each week to give your staff and customers time to adjust. Even small changes to the thermostat can result in savings.
- Motivate and involve staff
Keep employees motivated and encourage them to think about their energy usage during the cold snaps as well as involving them in the wider efficiency objectives of the company. It takes time for people to adopt to changes but highlighting their usage during times of peak energy usage is an optimum time to do so. Don’t forget to regularly review your initiatives and share your findings and invite feedback.
- Efficient equipment
If you are due to upgrade your equipment and computers, the Christmas sales are the perfect time to get some great deals. New technologies are constantly looking at new ways to reduce energy consumption – be on the lookout for the ‘Energy Star’ logo on all equipment you use. In addition, try to use laptops where you can, they consume 90% less energy than desktop computers.
- Speak to your supplier
If you are approaching your renewal of your contract, now is the perfect time to secure some real savings by making sure you get the best deal on your contract. Asking the right questions when comparing suppliers will ensure your energy bills are as low as possible. To make the most of your negotiations, read our previous blog on 8 questions you should ask before signing your contract.
- Explore your options
With a large number of electricity and gas contract options available for businesses, it is important to understand what each offers and whether they are right for your needs. Take the time to explore what options are out there on the market for your business, some may present some real saving opportunities. For an overview on the varying contracts and tariffs currently on the market, read our guide.
Although energy efficiency can be a real challenge for businesses during the winter, the increase in energy usage shouldn’t necessarily mean a huge spike in your gas and electricity bills. From quick changes around the building, to long-term sustainability strategies of the business, efficiency initiatives could see real impactful savings.
To see how much your business could be saving on its energy bills, speak to WP Group Gas and Electricity on 0333 241 6900 or email at .