Managing a business or building has many hidden costs that need to be maintained in order to keep things running smoothly. It comes at no surprise that the Governments projection is that energy prices are due to rise between now and 2020. We understand that every business is different and has different requirements, and it can be a challenge to identify where we you can save energy. Thats why we’ve put together a list of simple but effective tips that will work for you.
What is it worth?
One of the biggest questions asked is ‘How much will I save?’ Simply put, there is no one answer. Every business will have varying degrees of saving but the bottom line is, if you’re saving energy you’re saving money.
For a company with a 5% profit margin, over 3 years a £750-a-year saving from energy efficiency, will generate the same profit as £45,000 in sales.
Not only are you increasing cash flow and profitability you’ll be improving your business green credentials at the same time.
What can I do?
Lighting is a necessity for almost all businesses, and can be responsible for up to 40% of a building’s electricity use.
- Switch it off. Sorry, I know it’s the most obvious but its also the simplest and often the most effective. Turning lights off in places that its not needed such as store cupboards and unoccupied rooms can be a great place to start.
- Replace older bulbs. By replacing older incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or even better light-emitting diodes (LEDs) you can make huge savings.
By replacing a traditional lightbulb with a CFL of the same brightness you will save £50 over the lifetime of the bulb. 
Heating, and cooling, are often taken for granted and most of us expect our workplace to be set at a comfortable temperature. The higher the thermostat is, and the longer its on, the higher the bills will be. Now think of how many times you hear your employees saying how hot it is in the office.
- Set the timers. Make sure the timers are set to the right date. Don’t forgot when the clocks change! Set the controls to match occupancy.
- Use recommended temperatures. The recommended temperature for heating in offices is 19°C and cooling is 24°C or higher. 
- Turn the AC off! Ensure that the AC is turned off in meeting rooms when people leave. Air Conditioning can double your energy bill!
Heating costs increase by around 8% for every 1°C increase. Turning it down 2°C would save £140 on a £1,000 bill.
Office equipment can be some of the biggest energy users. They are also very easy to save energy on by changing a few simple bad habits. 46% of electricity in businesses is used outside of standard operating hours , and is often computers being left on amongst others.
- Switch it off. Seems like a trend switching it off but it is the easiest way to save energy. There is no benefit to leaving a PC or monitor on overnight. Make it a company policy to turn computers off over night and you will be making one of the easiest big energy savings.
- Screen savers! Screen savers aren’t needed. In the past they were used to stop screens being burned by a constant image but modern screens don’t require them. Set the monitor to sleep or even using a blank screen saver is better.
- Monitor brightness. Ensure that monitors are set at an optimised brightness. Not only do brighter monitors cause eye strain, they also draw more energy.
- Standby uses energy! It is a myth that standby mode uses no energy. If you’re leaving the office for a while, turn your PC off instead of standby and you’ll be saving energy.
Energy savings can even be made in the workplace kitchen. It’s easy to forget about communal areas when people are focusing on their own tasks. By following these simple steps your business can start cooking up some big savings.
- Boil what’s needed. The kettle loves eating energy. It’s easy to boil too much water but by boiling the right amount you can save time and electricity.
- Turn them off. Ensure all kitchen appliances are turned off at the end of the day. Things like dishwashers and microwaves can draw energy even when idle.
- Get A rated. Using A or AA rated appliances will help your business use less electricity as they are often far more energy efficient.
Look out for the Energy Star logo when purchasing equipment. This is endorsed by the European Union and guarantees a minimum level of efficiency.
 CTG065 – Heating control Technology guide/Carbon Trust/October 2011
 British Gas – http://www.britishgas.co.uk/blog/articles/businesses-in-the-dark-on-electricity-usage-up-to-1-in-every-2-spent-onelectricity-could-be-wasted
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