How SMEs Can Save Energy Over The Christmas Break

As we mentioned in our last blog post, the 6th of December is Small Business Saturday, a day to support, celebrate and champion the UK’s 5 million small businesses.

We revealed some shocking facts regarding SMEs’ attitudes to energy suppliers and bills, finding that price was the most important factor when choosing an energy supplier, yet 40% of SMEs haven’t switched in the last 6 years and many were confused about their energy tariffs.

As a festive follow-up to the previous post, we want to provide small businesses with some helpful tips to cope with staying open over Christmas, during the peaks and lulls. When we think of Christmas, our mind is automatically drawn to manic shopping frenzies and hectic days, but many businesses either shut down completely over the festive period or lose a great proportion of their workforce due to annual leave. This is the time when businesses need to make smart decisions on how to strike a balance between saving energy without impacting production or the quality of their work.

We will be continuing our support of small businesses by providing more expert advice via a live Twitter chat this Friday at 3pm. If you are a small businesses looking for some direct energy saving advice, make sure to tweet us including the #SmallBusinessHour hashtag and we will endeavour to answer your questions.

Heating

During the Christmas period, one of the biggest chunks of your energy use will come from heating. Large spaces are notorious for becoming cold very quickly, especially if there are only a few members of staff working at any given time.

If you are at home and your partner asks for the heating to be switched on, you’re well within your rights to say “go and put a jumper on”, but this tactic won’t fly in the business world. You’re legally obliged to provide your staff with a warm environment to work in, so you have no choice but to switch the heating on. That said, you might have a Christmas jumper day, whereby your employees come in wearing nice thick sweaters, allowing you to turn your heating down a little bit without anybody really noticing.

In a cold office it is tempting for staff to blast on the heating as high as it will go, especially as they aren’t paying for it. By setting an average temperature on the thermostat, you can ensure that the temperature never exceeds what you have set, saving you money on the bill.

Additionally, make sure that your radiators have been bled recently, to ensure that they have the capacity to circulate heat accordingly. Also ensure that radiators are away from windows and doors, as this is where the heat will leak out of. If you use a timer on a central heating system, make sure that it isn’t set to come on at the weekends or on the days that you know staff will not be in.

Switch Things Off

In the excitement of departing for the Christmas holidays, many staff can forget to switch off appliances at work. On the last day before shutdown, walk around your workspace and make sure to turn every appliance off at the wall, especially photocopiers, printers and small appliances in the kitchen.  Installing a master switch can give you the peace of mind that everything is switched off.

Gently remind the employees that are working over Christmas they need to be vigilant and switch everything off before they leave, especially smaller details such as unplugging laptop chargers, as they will continue to use energy even if the laptop is switched off. You don’t want to sound like Ebenezer Scrooge, so reward their green efforts with some Christmas treats later on.

Working From Home

More companies in the UK are under pressure to allow their staff to operate remotely. While this can be a pain, it can also bring many benefits, especially at Christmas time.

If their jobs allow it, why not give your staff permission to work from home over the festive period? Not only will this give them a chance to be closer to their families, you can also make significant savings on overheads.

Once our #SmallBusinessHour live tweeting session is over, you can still contact us if you’re looking for advice on small business energy prices.

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