Emily Molloy, Group Head of Facilities at Daisy Group, shares her top five energy saving tips.
We all know that saving energy is good for the environment, but for small businesses in particular, cutting down on wastage is also brilliant for the bottom line. In an economy which is forcing the majority of companies to consider reducing their overheads and carbon footprint, there has never been a better time to get smart with your energy usage.
Experts suggest that businesses in certain sectors can save up to a quarter off energy bills by being more efficient. So although owners have to lead the way, energy saving isn’t just a one man job, it requires all staff to play their part. Internal plans are essential to ensure that everyone gets on board.
To realise a greener future and make considerable savings, follow these top five tips…
1. Don’t leave things on standby
The most obvious way to save energy, but one which is often ignored, is by switching off equipment and machines when no one is using them. This includes lights, monitors, chargers and PCs.
It’s been suggested that leaving a single computer on for 24 hours can cost over £50 a year. As a telecoms firm, Daisy is dependent on technology. And when you consider we have hundreds of PCs, the £50s soon add up to a substantial amount of money! It takes roughly a minute to shut down a computer or a few seconds to switch off a light – there’s no excuses for laziness.
2. Timing is important
For technologies which a number of staff use, such as photocopiers or water coolers, it can be difficult to keep on top of switching them on and off. In order to help, I’d suggest investing in timers which will shut down the machines out of hours for you. Air conditioning is another example; there’s no point in cooling your building if there’s no one inside it, is there?
3. Let there be light
If you have the money, I’d suggest most businesses invest in fitting motion-activated lights. This takes away the hassle of having to switch lights on and off as the technology does it for you. This will ultimately help shave pounds off your monthly electricity bill; however I wouldn’t recommend installing them in rooms which are usually populated.
It’s also a no brainer to invest in LED light bulbs. Although they have a higher initial cost, over the long run they will help your business make considerable savings.
4. It’s getting hot in here
During winter, heating bills can often get silly. Did you know that turning up the thermostat by just one degree will increase your heating costs by approximately 8% every time? That’s a staggering amount of money for just the one extra degree. You should always try and keep your thermostat at a constant 19 degrees.
Without meaning to sound old fashioned, why not ask employees to wear jumpers when it becomes slightly chilly?
5. There’s always help…
If you make the effort to invest in energy saving technology, the government will help you subsidise your expenditure. Check out the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme, which helps write off the cost of equipment against taxable profit as a 100% first-year capital allowance; Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) which give energy-intensive industries discounts on tax on energy use, providing they meet government-agreed energy efficiency improvement targets; and the Green Deal which lets businesses pay for some or all of the cost of energy-saving improvements through savings on their bills over time.
They’re there to support you.