No-one likes waste. Whether that’s time, money or productivity, businesses are constantly looking for ways to cut costs in the workplace where meeting targets and increasing profit is key. Energy is one cost that can prove expensive for SMEs and puts pressure on the bottom line.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has reported that the average SME could reduce its energy bill by 18-25 per cent by installing energy efficiency measures over a 1.5-year period. The best thing is that cutting energy costs may be a case of taking a few basic, but often forgotten, steps to reduce energy bills and consequently improve the working environment. It may just be a simple flick of a switch:
1. It’s getting hot in here
Businesses can typically make savings of £85 to £90 a year by turning down the heating by as little as 1°C. Now imagine if this was reduced by an extra degree or two. SME owners should take a closer look at their timers and thermostats that are often set and then forgotten about. Over-heating and cooling wastes money, so by checking that timers are set to the right date and time, while also implementing a heating strategy for bank holidays and the weekends, can all help with energy efficiency.
2. Last one out? Switch it off
We’re all guilty of forgetting to switch off a light. From meeting rooms to storage cupboards, and even corridors, lights are constantly left on and often for an unnecessarily long time – even the unwritten rule of last one out, switch it off is perishing as an informal office rule.
When it comes to lighting, encouraging staff to change the way they think will bring the best results. An alternative may include investing in lighting controls and sensor equipment to gain more control over when lighting needs to be turned off and on. For example, movement sensors in bathrooms can prevent lights being left on unnecessarily for a long period of time, while daylight sensors can automatically engage depending on the amount of natural light in the room. In fact, day light sensors alone can make a huge energy saving of 40 per cent.
3. Shut the front door
SMEs also need to ensure that all windows and doors are energy-efficient to help retain energy and reduce the amount of heat loss through draughts and cold spots. Investing in windows that are double-glazed with low emissivity glass and an invisible coating of metal oxide works by letting in heat and then trapping it. In addition, window panes should be regularly checked in accordance with its structure. For example, wooden styles need consistent upkeep and maintenance compared to uPCV that are longer lasting due the plastic composition. Just like windows, energy-efficient doors are easily available on the market and should be treated in the same way.