A good business owner always looks for effective ways to streamline costs.
And while it might seem obvious to switch off lights and shut down computers at the end of the day to save on electricity costs, you might be missing out on crucial opportunities to save money on your gas and water bills.
If your business relies on gas central heating, it’s essential that you not only secure the best deal on both commercial gas and water, but that you take measures to ensure your business is running as efficiently as possible.
Here are our 8 top tips on how your business can cut energy and utility costs:
1. Insulate your buildings
Insulation is a great (and cheap) way to cut down on how much gas is needed to keep your rooms heated. Depending on what type of building your business is a part of, there could be potential to insulate the roof and the walls.
Even if you’ve been in your property for a while or you know it’s already insulated, check the quality of the insulation you already have. Replacing your roof insulation, for example, is an easy fix that will ensure you’re not wasting heat.
If insulation isn’t a viable option, check your windows, door and electrical fittings to ensure no heat is escaping through any hidden cracks or gaps. If there are gaps, you can use draught-proofing to keep your heat in and your bills low.
By working in a properly insulated environment, less heat is lost during the day, so it’ll take less energy to keep the building warm.
2. Keep the thermostat low
No one wants a cold, unsafe work environment — but you can still save on your gas and water costs without making everyone miserable. The good news is that reducing the temperature of your thermostat by just 1°C can cut your heating bill by up to 10%.
This small change could, therefore, result in a big difference when it comes to your energy bills, without sacrificing your staff’s comfort.
3. Heat rooms at different rates
Even if you do lower the temperature to try and save on your energy bills, you might still be wasting energy if you’re heating your entire building to the same extent.
Rooms that are used often like offices and workspaces will require a constant, comfortable temperature in which your team can operate. However, spaces that receive minimal footfall, such as storage areas, don’t need to be heated to the same level. These rooms can afford to be a few degrees colder, saving you hundreds of pounds a year.
By adjusting the valves on your radiators, you can tailor how much gas, and therefore heat, is used in each individual room.
4. Keep an eye on your water usage
It’s not uncommon for people to use water without even thinking about it, so put reminders in place to help staff become more mindful.
It could be as simple as a polite notice in communal areas, like the bathroom or kitchen to remind your staff to avoid running taps unnecessarily and to make sure they are turned off completely when they’re finished. After all, a running tap wastes more than six litres of water a minute and a dripping tap can waste more than 5,500 litres of water a year!
Plus, if your business includes appliances that use water, such as dishwashers or washing machines, make sure you choose energy-efficient appliances. They’ll save water, as well as electricity, so you could cut costs even further!
5. Get a timer
Keeping rooms heated when they’re not being used is a waste. The same goes for hot water: if it’s not needed at all times, turn it off. But it can be difficult and time-consuming to maintain everything manually.
Instead, you can use automatic timers.
By adding timers to your heating and hot water supply, you can ensure that you’re only using resources during key business hours when they’re needed. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you’ll notice the positive impact this can make on your energy bills.
6. Get smart - install meters
You might already be aware of the benefits of smart meters for tracking your electricity usage, so why not do the same with your gas and water?
Installing smart meters to monitor your gas and water supply will ensure you only pay for the energy you use, which is especially useful for SMEs that don’t typically use a lot of energy.
Smart meters are a great way to keep an eye on exactly how much you’re using - so you can make adjustments if you’re using too much.
7. Upgrade your equipment
Even if you’re careful with how much water and energy you use, your bills will suffer if your business relies on outdated equipment. Old boilers, ancient radiators and tired white goods like dishwashers and fridges in break rooms can really hit your pocket when it comes to operational costs. By upgrading to eco-friendly models you can positively impact your overall spend on utility bills.
It’s not just about the big appliances either. Any business can make a difference to their energy bills by simply ensuring their toilets and taps are up-to-date. By upgrading a toilet from a 1980-1994 model, you could save up to 16,000 gallons of water per year, whereas replacing a toilet from pre-1980 could save you 27,000 gallons per year.
Although it may be costly at first, modern appliances will pay for themselves in the long run.
8. Switch your gas and water provider
While making small changes to your day-to-day business is important, a sure-fire way to cut your energy bills is to switch to a cheaper tariff.
What holds many businesses back from switching is the worry that it is a time-consuming task, but with our help, it doesn’t have to be.