Each and every business must work to improve its energy savings. This will not only have a positive impact on the environment, but also improve companies’ cost savings and energy efficiency. And it is often a simple thing to do, with positive changes in energy usage having the ability to reduce a business’ energy bill by around 20 percent.
However, before your business begins its journey to improved energy consumption, you must appreciate the uniqueness of your business and understand that certain measures are not appropriate; if a change seems impractical it may be the wrong option at this stage of your business’ development.
Today, we are going to look at some simple actionable steps that your business can use to improve its energy efficiency.
First things first, walk around the office and take time to identify areas where energy is being wasted. Then put some actionable steps in place. This can be something as simple as making sure the windows are clean and enough natural light is getting into the office, turning down the heating (reducing the temperate by 1 Celsius can cut heating bills by 10%), installing movement detectors to adjust lighting in infrequently used areas such as the kitchen, and ensuring air conditioning and heating are not left on when the office is empty. It is these simple changes that can make a big difference – but perhaps start small by making sure office equipment is switched off at the end of the day.
Monitoring how your business uses energy can help in identifying where energy is being wasted and putting a stop to it. Such data can be gathered from smart meters that provide the ability to compare data and put actionable steps in place. This can allow businesses to make changes that have real cost and energy savings.
Speak to colleagues
A business is not based on any one individual as there are often a number of employees involved in the day-to-day running of a company. Make sure to take advantage of this knowledge by speaking to colleagues and learning where they think energy consumption can be improved. Encouraging feedback will lead to changes based on the unique needs of your organisation. Also, to help colleagues or employees improve their energy efficiency, consider putting a switch-off campaign in place or providing actionable steps to help them improve their efficiency while travelling to and from work.
Appoint an energy champion
This is pretty much the next step from speaking to colleagues and will provide your company with a beacon through which to improve cost and energy savings. Give them the job of walking round the business site and identifying changes that need to be made. They should have the authority to identify energy waste and to contribute ideas for changes. They will need to be in a position of responsibility to do this and have the authority to influence colleagues in matters of energy efficiency.
In the UK, the government has set a target of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. In order to make this possible a range of government incentives have been introduced to help businesses improve energy efficiency. One of the main incentives provided by the government is the Green Deal. This helps companies to make energy saving improvements to their business without having to pay all of the costs upfront. This can include the implementation of cavity wall insulation, draught-proofing and double-glazing. There is even the potential for investment in renewable energy technologies.
Remember to start simple
Your business is unique and the changes it should implement to improve energy efficiency need to start simple. Trying to make major changes without first testing the water is likely to result in failure and see any future changes stumble at the first hurdle. To begin with just walk round the office, monitor business energy usage, speak to colleagues and hear what they have to say; keep it simple.