6 actions you can take right now to reduce your energy bills….and save the planet.
Are you building an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Strategy for a business? Maybe you are conscious of the rise in energy costs? Whatever your reason for understanding your energy consumption there are many practical steps you can take.
We’d always recommend speaking to an expert to give you advice on energy usage, voltage rundown and renewables. If you are, however, just starting to think about how to reduce your energy consumption and are looking for energy-saving tips here are some things to consider.
1. Start with your employees
People-led policies will deliver better results and climate change is at the front of many people’s minds. Get your staff involved from the outset, share your vision and listen to your employees to understand their feelings. You’ll be surprised by the fresh thinking and enthusiasm they will bring. A consultative approach will give your people ownership and encourage action, whether it’s switching off equipment or being more tolerant of office temperatures.
Being a sustainable business is also more attractive to potential employees. Robust people-led policies about carbon and climate will make you a more desired place to work which in the current recruitment environment can only be a good thing.
2. Close off parts of your operation that are not in use.
With more businesses opting for remote working there stands a chance that you have reconfigured your facilities. Maybe you have a corner of the factory that no one goes to or an empty office. If so close it off and turn off the heating and lighting to that area.
3. Check your production processes
Check your production and processes through an energy-efficient lens. Is there a step in the process that is unnecessary? Could the shift patterns be moved to times which have better natural light? Can you introduce lean processes to create less demand for energy? What approaches could you take to ensure efficiency?
It’s also worth looking at older machinery and equipment to see how they are impacting your energy efficiency. We encourage businesses to reduce electronic waste by ensuring their assets are well maintained but is that one machine so old that it is energy inefficient?
4. Be proactive about temperature control
You can’t please all the people all the time and office temperature control can often be a bone of contention for many workplaces. Proactive monitoring of office temperature all year round means you can change it by a degree or two and save money.
Empower your people to collectively agree and monitor office thermostats in case the temperature goes up and monitor the use of air conditioning. Encourage the use of natural ventilation and consider your current heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system (HVAC).
Older air-conditioning systems contribute heavily to energy consumption and some of the older models can produce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which harm the environment. Newer HVAC systems are more energy-efficient and some systems are solar-powered or provide ground sourced heat.
5. Consider your lighting
Lighting can be a huge part of your electricity bill particularly if you are a 24-hour business so thinking strategically about how you can use light is a good idea.
Can you optimise your facilities to make the most of any natural light sources? Not only will it help you reduce the need for artificial light and electricity, but numerous studies have shown that natural light in work environments can improve colleague productivity and satisfaction.
Can you install motion sensor lighting, so lights only come on when someone is in the office? This also links to the point above about the best ways of configuring your site. If you can’t configure your site and isolate areas, then motion sensor lighting is a good alternative.
The most practical way to save money for the longer term is to install LED lighting. They can save as much as 90% on your overall lighting costs as traditional light uses much of the energy-producing heat. They also last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs so have a better return on investment.
6. Solar installation
It seems like it could be a pricy option but there are plenty of funding options for businesses who want to install solar panels and the long-term benefits are obvious. One of our recent projects will generate enough energy to save the business £52,000 a year in energy costs and 75,000 kg/CO2 in the process. With proper maintenance and care, solar will last at least 25 years too meaning you’ll keep seeing your return on investment.
Too much to think about? Talk to an expert
Understanding how you use energy and how you can make your estate energy efficient will get you to your NetZero targets quicker and help reduce bills along the way. We do understand that it can be a bit daunting with the level of changes you could make to meet your goals. Expert consultancies like the one we provide will look at everything from your estate usage to sustainability goals. That way you will get something tailored to you and your business.