The 10 easiest ways to save energy at the office
Any sensible business owner should have their eyes on two key objectives:
And while the first point is something businesses have no problem focusing on, the second is just as important, especially in today’s economic climate.
One area that’s costing SMEs more than they think is their energy costs. According to The Guardian, the average small business energy bill comes in at £2,600.79, representing 0.39% of total turnover.
The good news is that reducing your energy expenditure doesn’t have to be difficult. We’ve compiled a list of our 10 easiest ways to save money at the office that you can start implementing today to reduce your business energy bills.
1. Get the brews in
Getting in a round of tea and coffee for your team doesn’t just make you look good; it also helps save energy.
By boiling the kettle only once to produce five or six beverages -- rather than six times individually -- you’ll save a huge amount of energy throughout the year.
Try implementing a rota for each team. Not only will you save energy, but you’ll also find employees will be a little more productive, since they won’t need to leave their work for refreshments as often.
2. Switch off the lights
This sounds obvious, but in practice people aren’t great at flicking the lightswitch when they leave a room. This can be especially costly if lights are left on in rooms that aren’t often used, as it can be hours or even days before someone gets round to finally turning them off.
Have a “lights off” rule in your office. Any room that isn’t being used should be left without the light on. The last person to leave a room should be responsible for keeping the “lights off” rule. And if they leave the light on, maybe they should make the brews as forfeit.
3. Use energy-saving bulbs
As useful as a “lights out” rule can be, you’ll still need to put the lights on in rooms your staff do use on a regular basis.
The good news is you can minimise these costs by using energy-saving LED bulbs rather than standard incandescent ones. LEDs have a reputation for being expensive, but the truth is that prices have dropped drastically in the last few years, meaning that they’re cheaper than ever to buy.
The amount you’ll save on your energy costs each year will more than make up for the price of purchase.
4. Go paperless
Photocopiers and printers don’t just use energy; they use paper, too, which is another precious (and costly) resource.
Having a “paperless” rule in your office saves the energy that you would have spent printing off things for people ahead of meeting. Add any documents you want to share with others to a shared drive instead of printing out a copy.
That also means no one will have to re-print any documents they lose; they can just find them again on the cloud.
5. Replace old heaters
Old heaters are bad at two things: heating the office, and being energy-efficient.
If you’re still using old heaters, consider swapping them for newer ones. Not only are newer designs better at circulating heat around a room, but they also use up far less electricity doing so.
6. Turn down the AC
It’s not always heating up the office that we expend energy on; in the heat of summer, cooling things down can be just as costly.
Changing your AC settings by as little as 1 degree celsius could reduce your annual bill by up to 8%, according to the Carbon Trust.
Consider setting a minimum or maximum temperature on your AC to easily regulate how much you spend on it.
7. Upgrade your appliances
Keeping employees refreshed is important, but in the long run it plays a huge role in your energy bills.
Check the energy efficiency ratings of your appliances; if they’re sub-standard, you could be using far more energy than necessary. The fridge, for example, is always on, so upgrading to one more energy-efficient can have a significant impact on the amount it costs to run each year.
Plus, you can always sell old appliances to recoup some of the costs on installing new ones.
8. Get double glazing
Double glazing is something now so common that many business owners simply expect that their office is kitted with it.
Yet older office buildings can be overlooked when it comes to renovations. Offices with single-glazed windows are losing heat energy every day, making it twice as hard to keep them warm in the winter.
Upgrading from single to double glazing is essential if you want your office to be more energy-efficient in the long run, and can be installed out of hours to ensure minimal disruption to productivity.
9. Switch everything off at night
Laptops have now replaced the majority of desktop computers, and though this comes with plenty of benefits -- increased mobility, ease of access -- it also has its flaws.
One problem laptops create is that people become accustomed to leaving them on standby, rather than shutting them down completely. This can add up to countless hours of energy being wasted every year.
Encourage employees to switch off their laptops or take them home with them: this is especially important at the weekend. You should also make sure you switch off appliances like vending machines, which would otherwise simply waste energy if left on throughout the night.
10. Switch your energy supplier
As much as all of the above will help you reduce the amount of energy you use, there’s only one way to cut the amount you pay per unit of that energy.
Many businesses avoid switching energy supplier because they’re worried it will be a big hassle with little-to-no tangible benefit. However, by using an energy comparison website like Love Energy Savings, you can find a new business energy supplier at a cheaper rate in a matter of minutes.
It’s hassle-free, and is by far the most effective way to reduce your energy costs.
What’s better than that?
For more energy-saving tips, check out the Love Energy Savings Help Centre.