With rising business energy costs, energy efficiency has become much more of a necessity – no matter the size of your company.
Lowering energy consumption is highly profitable for businesses. And reducing energy costs will mean you’ll have much more cash flow available to invest in more advanced equipment, salary increases, modernisation, renovation works and more.
Here business utilities expert Love Energy Savings shares its top energy savings tips for retailers wanting to improve their energy efficiency…
Upgrade your thermostat
Smart devices are not just for domestic environments. Businesses can hugely benefit from investing in smart technology – especially a programmable thermostat. The thermostat doesn’t even need to be a smart device – simply installing a thermostat that can be programmed during business hours can help reduce heating and cooling costs by up 30 per cent, according to the Carbon Trust.
Install motion sensitive light switches
Lighting costs are usually the biggest contributors to the energy bill. Simply installing motion sensors for lighting can help your business become much more energy-efficient and help reduce those energy bills.
A great place to start is areas around your business premises that are not occupied throughout the day. This can help with saving energy by stopping employees from leaving lights on when areas are not in use.
Make the most of daylight
Maximising the amount of daylight that enters a space should be something all building owners priortise. Making use of skylight windows, particularly on the north or south side of your building, can be a great way to lower your energy bill. Operable windows or skylights are an effective solution as they allow hot air to escape when it’s warmer, which in turn reduces the cooling load.
Upgrade your lighting
LED lighting is a popular choice right now, largely because of its proven energy consumption minimising effects. So, if your lighting set-up is in need of an upgrade, LED is the way to go. Switching to LED lighting has the potential to reduce your electrical costs by up to 60 per cent, according to the Carbon Trust.
LED lighting also boasts the benefit of minimal heat generation, ultimately lowering air conditioning load and thanks to the long lifespan of LED lighting, cutting maintenance costs, too. The majority of LED lighting users note an improvement in the clarity and crispness of their lighting, which can help make for a more productive and happier workspace.
It’s also worth switching old-fashioned bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs with a low energy consumption. Lighting a typical office space, for example, costs approximately £3 per square metre each year, compared with £1 per square metre in an energy-efficient space.
Perform regular maintenance checks
HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) is one of the quickest and easiest means of elevating energy efficiency. The proper maintenance of HVAC systems will make for a building that uses 15-20 per cent less energy than those without a maintenance plan. It’s important to ensure that your maintenance plan is inclusive of refrigerant level checks.
Hot water heaters
As well as considering switching business water suppliers, investing in a more eco-friendly energy efficient hot water heater can be a great idea for all businesses.
Water heaters can usually be installed directly where the old water heater tank was kept. This conserves energy as you won’t continue to heat copious amounts of water throughout the day. You may also wish to consider the option of a solar hot water system, which pushes water through solar-heated tubes.
After hours usage
The term ‘phantom electric loads’ refers to the electricity consumed by electronic devices when they aren’t actually in use. Devices such as clocks on the oven or microwave and lights that are set up on a timer are just a couple of examples – and while these may seem fairly insignificant, did you know that they can contribute to up to 10 per cent of your energy bill?
The most effective way to minimise phantom electric loads is to unplug equipment where possible, or failing that, set up standby times. Another energy saving technique is to incorporate smart power strips to help ensure power is being consumed.
Switch business energy suppliers
On top of reducing energy consumption, switching your commercial energy supplier could save your business hundreds of pounds per year. These energy saving measures can help free up cash to be invested in other areas of your business.