Business Energy Audit - Lowering Commercial Energy Bills In 2023
A business energy audit is a great way to assess energy efficiency and lower utility costs. No matter the size of the business, energy auditing is an extremely useful way to find any energy waste - which is increasingly important with rising wholesale energy costs.
Even those who have switched to the best value business energy deal could be losing money. This is typically down to a lack of energy efficiency.
We’ve created this guide to help you carry out your own simple energy audit, or help you determine when you should get a professional in.
What Is A Business Energy Audit?
A business energy audit assesses your current gas and electricity use against your current business needs to look for any waste.
Energy efficiency audits for business explores everything that uses energy on your premises with considerations of any employee habits that could impact overall energy efficiency.
It looks at everything from the structure of your building to the equipment you use. This will give you an in-depth understanding of current energy usage. This will feed into a plan and identify areas where you can make energy savings.
Things that are typically included:
- Lighting in the building
- Computer usage
- Energy-intensive activity (production/ manufacturing companies)
- Heating/ cooling systems
- Hot water
- Insulation/ heat-loss
- Employee awareness
How To Conduct Your Own Commercial Energy Audit?
The first step to becoming more energy-efficient and saving money on your energy bills is to properly understand how your company uses energy. This involves walking around your building and making notes.
We’ve put together this checklist to help you identify energy-saving opportunities as you walk around your building.
It’s important to make sure you have assessed any potential risks before walking around the building and adhere to safety protocols.
You can print this page off for guidance and simply bookmark it for later as your go-to energy auditing guide.
Heating & Cooling Equipment
Here are some questions to think about as you think about how your business premises is heated in the winter and cooled down in the summer.
- How old is your boiler and would it be beneficial to upgrade?
- Is your heating system maintained annually?
- Are you covering any radiators with any office furniture?
- Do you have adjustable radiator valves?
- Do your employees use any electric heaters?
- Is your heating on a timer to match the building occupancy?
- Are any unoccupied areas being heated all day? (meeting rooms for example)
- Are windows and doors left open when the air conditioner is on?
- Is the air conditioner maintained?
These may seem like really obvious questions to assess, but we often overlook them when we’re busy working on the business. It’s a great idea to take a notepad to answer these questions and jot down opportunities to fix each issue at the end.
All these fixes may seem trivial but add them all together and they make a huge difference to your annual business energy bills.
Lighting is a fast and cost-effective way to reduce your electricity bills.
- Are any lights being left on in unoccupied areas? (hallways, meeting rooms, bathrooms)
- Have you installed LED lightbulbs?
- Could you install motion sensor lighting in intermittently used areas?
- Are manual switches clearly accessible?
- Are windows cleaned regularly?
Electrical Equipment/ IT
- Is all equipment energy efficient?
- Do employees switch off computers at the end of the day?
- Is refrigeration equipment cleaned and maintained regularly?
- Are fridges rated highly on the energy efficiency scale?
- Have any elevators been inspected for energy efficiency?
- Do employees have guidance displayed to remind them of energy-saving practices?
- Is energy efficiency included in new employee inductions?
Safety is extremely important in this section. Do not attempt to do anything unsafe.
- Is the roof insulated well?
- Are there any damp marks on walls or ceilings?
- Are there any ait leaks at doors or windows?
- Do automatic doors close quickly?
- Are any loading doors left open?
- Does the building have double-glazed windows?
- Do you have a recent energy bill to hand? (make some changes and compare the new energy bill to this to see how much you have saved).
- Are you on a suitable business energy tariff that matches your business’s needs? (think about when your company is using the most energy - off-peak usage may benefit from Economy 7).
- Make a plan to implement some of your findings. This should start with the quickest wins: moving the office around, LED lightbulbs, switching energy suppliers and employee education, for example).
Why Should Your Business Carry Out Any Energy Audit?
A business energy audit is a legal requirement for commercial enterprises with more than 250 employees. Even though SMEs are not legally required to carry out an energy audit, they can be incredibly beneficial.
Research by Green Alliance found that wasted energy across just 5 UK cities was costing businesses £60millon in energy bills.
Energy efficiency improvements do not need to be expensive. So, any business can take steps to become more energy efficient. Even something as simple as changing your lighting can be a great energy saving measure to reduce your expenditure.
A business energy audit can also have a huge upside towards environmental benefits. Something that most modern businesses are keen to get involved in.
The UK has set a target of reducing carbon emissions to net-zero by the year 2050. This has put pressure on organisations to reduce emissions where possible.
Taking steps to reduce your energy wastage will reflect positively on your business. It allows you to demonstrate your environmentally friendly credentials.
You can find out how much you can save when switching by completing our online energy comparison tool.