Tips to manage energy use and reduce costs

As the cost of energy continues to rise, the SMEs we’re working with are typically reporting energy bill increases of up to five times the amount they were previously paying.
This extra expense comes at a time when soaring inflation and supply chain issues are already presenting challenges for many businesses up and down the UK (as highlighted in this quarter’s National Manufacturing Barometer Report).

The Government's Energy Bill Relief Scheme has been set up to help businesses address these challenges, and we have pulled together the following tips to help your company manage energy costs...

Get everyone involved

Simple actions can lead to significant improvements! 
For example, not boiling more water than needed when making a cuppa can save a considerable amount of energy over time.

image of kettle boiling enough water for one cup of tea

Encourage your entire workforce to recognise the impact of their own actions and work together to make improvements. 

Power off whenever possible

If it can be switched off, make sure it is!
Do a ‘sweep’ before you leave and make sure that equipment is switched off and not left on standby. This simple step can make a significant difference to your energy bill over time. 

If in doubt, why not adopt the Traffic Light System…

red sign equals do not turn off  Amber sign equals check first before switching off  green sign equals can be turned off

It might also be worth checking your overnight usage with your electricity supplier – the results might surprise you and could help you make simple savings.

Don't be afraid to shop around

We often have a tendency to stick to what we know, but you may not be getting the best deal from your current energy supplier. 

image of a person at a laptop

It’s a good idea to contact alternative companies well in advance of any contract change to secure the best deal possible. Prices are high at the moment but switching suppliers may present a cost saving and every little helps!

Turn down the heat

Lowering the room temperature slightly can make a big difference.

photo of a person lowering the temperature of a radiator

Setting the thermostat just a few degrees cooler can reduce energy consumption without causing discomfort to staff and visitors. Keeping the temperature constant also helps to reduce bills as heating systems don’t have to work quite so hard…consider investing in electronically controlled thermostats for more control and flexibility.

Check equipment regularly

Check that boilers and associated kit are fully serviced to maintain peak performance. 

photo of a  checklist

Boilers are likely to be covered on a maintenance schedule, but radiators are often overlooked…a £10 radiator brush can help to keep them clean and in good working order.

Look for leaks

Check for leaks in both HVAC/compressor systems and any associated equipment. 

Image of a dripping tap

A leak is not always immediately obvious but could result in unnecessary energy use and costs (not to mention the future expense and upheaval it could cause). Simply walking around at the end of the day and listening can highlight areas where you could save money.

Switch to LED lighting

Did you know that around 90% of the energy consumed by an incandescent light goes into generating heat? 

Photo of an LED light

Look to replace any incandescent bulbs with LED lighting – a much more energy efficient alternative that emits very little heat. Although LEDs can be more expensive initially, they have a much longer lifespan and cost less to maintain over time.

It's all about insulation

It’s a good idea to insulate any premises that you own.

Image of worker installing wall insulation

Despite the upfront cost involved, this can save you money in the long run. If the property is leasehold, liaise with your landlord to see if they can help. 

Source solar power

Invest in localised energy production, such as solar, to lower your bills.

photo of solar panels on a roof

If you are able to produce more than you use, this could even generate additional income. Buying upfront offers the greatest benefits but it is possible to lease panels if this is a more viable option for your business. Remember to advise your insurance provider as any changes may affect your policy. 

Avoid peak times

For high energy users, moving shift patterns to avoid peak loads can create significant savings for the business. 

Image of clock and money

In some cases, the grid may even pay you for reducing usage at these peak times so it’s worth looking into the times of day where energy use is highest to see if this can be avoided or lowered.

Make it Net Zero has been designed to help firms make simple improvements that result in immediate carbon savings, but also plan a longer term net zero strategy that’s aligned to their specific business goals......register your interest here.