Top 5 Things That a Business Can Do to Improve Energy Efficiency

The cost of energy continues to rise year on year as firms look for ways to try and reduce their costs in this area. This is a very difficult challenge as governments are also looking to encourage companies to think of their environmental impact as a priority. With this, comes some positives as there is potentially room for some government grants and other support for companies that are driving hard towards energy and environmental improvements.  Below are 5 things companies can do to improve their own energy efficiency.

 

Heating Spend

One of the most expensive outgoings for a company in terms of energy will be the amount of money they use for the heating bill. Clearly, in the winter season, this can be significant and sometimes extremely unpredictable and hard to predict. If a company does not have the energy spend monitor in place, then this is something they should immediately contact their energy company for. This will give live data on the spend that has been completed and sometimes more detailed information as to the specific areas of concern. This is invaluable information so that the accountable people can reflect on this and see if there are any improvements that can be made.

It may be worthwhile to call in a heating specialist. These people can review your current heating arrangements and if there are any opportunities to improve the overall bill and efficiency, they are there to support. There are many heating specialists in Oxford and other parts of the UK who are committed to supporting these sorts of endeavours and give help and support. They can visit the property and not only look to complete maintenance services but can look overall at the efficiency of the heating and give recommendations. This, however, may on occasion require an overall upgrade which may seem a lot of money but paying this out would give you peace of mind for better equipment but also potentially decrease your monthly bills moving forward.

If people have isolated heating equipment in their area or offices, it may be a suggestion to remove the control of these and centrally manage.  This will then allow central control to ensure a constant temperature that would be suitable for all.   In addition, it would turn the heating off at times when it is not required rather than rely upon employee disciplines to do this.   The heating specialist again are the right people who could give guidance on this and look to implement this system if you choose to do this.

 

Provider

You will see lots of adverts and encouragement from companies to change your energy provider to them.  This may seem like a sales pitch, but it is something that is worth looking into.   Unfortunately, some energy companies get complacent and instead of rewarding your loyalty as a customer, they will sneak up the prices on the plan you are on making you pay more money on what introductory offers are available or similar plans.   Generally, you will be stuck in a contract with your current energy provider for a year or so but make sure after this date you challenge your prices and look at alternatives.

The source of energy should also be reviewed in terms of gas or electricity. Clearly using things such as stand alone electric heaters are very expensive and should be avoided. Moving to gas central heating or similar tends to be the most cost effective way.

 

Solar Power

This may seem like a crazy idea, but solar power is becoming more and more common with companies. With a large amount of focus on environmental impact, solar power is something that does not rely on fossil fuels. Even if you do not live in a particularly sunny area, solar power is something that could still be used.  There are even systems connected to this if purchased that will save any of the solar power that is not used so you can use it at another time.

This is one of these programs that you may be able to get government help and support with, in terms of a grant. The local authorities are really keen that people move to these sorts of energy sources so that there is less reliance on fossil fuels which has a direct impact on the environment.  The UK government has signed up to worldwide commitments around this and encouraging business to make these changes is something that they are actively doing.

 

Energy Champions

Depending on the size of the company, they may wish to consider introducing energy champions.   These will be people that are the eyes and ears on energy and working with the employees and leadership on opportunities to improve upon this.  Empowerment of these people are key to the success so that if they come up with ideas, the leadership fully support them.  This can include really simple things such as creating posters for joint areas that they will put up reminding people of the importance of energy to actually promoting things like cycle to work schemes so that people can reduce their carbon footprint whilst travelling to the workplace.

Not all companies will be big enough to have energy champions and this in this case it is really important that there is a clear line of accountability for someone to review these costs and ensure that there are improvement options to reduce them. This will then generally sit with someone at the company leadership level but may involve support and help from Trade Unions.

 

Motion Sensors

Implementing motion sensors into the workplace is something that does not cost a lot of money but could have a large impact on reduced energy costs.  How may times are people told to turn off lights when not in use but forget to do so?   It is a discipline in the workplace that is not well adhered to and relying on the employees to do this is not really effective.  Some companies will ask the security team or others to go round the areas at night to make sure all lights are off and if not, turn them off.

The motion sensors can be placed almost anywhere, whether this be an office, factory or even toilet.   If there is no-one moving in that area, then the motion sensor will pick this up and then automatically turn off the lights in this location.   As soon as someone comes into that area, the lights will then go back on.   Who needs light switches and reliance on humans anymore?   This technique is now implemented in a large number of areas and becoming more common practice.

 

Summary

With companies continuing to challenge themselves in terms of cost, energy costs could sometimes be a good opportunity.  Reviewing the current energy plan, source, heaters and disciplines combined could see a good reduction with the monthly energy bill.   Not to forget the motivation to do this as part of supporting the government (and the world) in terms of reducing environmental impacts. Make sure to take all of these tips on board to make some improvements this year.