No matter how much you save by comparing business energy deals, there is always more to be done when cutting down your business energy costs, According to the UK government, savings of 39 per cent were made possible through energy efficiency improvements across non-domestic buildings in 2014-15. But not only can increasing energy efficiency massively reduce your business’ energy bills, but it can also help you to strengthen your brand. As climate change becomes an increasingly worry, threatening our planetary health, more and more consumers are turning to businesses that are doing their bit to cut down their carbon footprint. Renewable technologies are ever-evolving, and are becoming an increasingly accessible option for those looking to cut down on their energy bills, and do their bit for the planet.
Generating your own renewable energy rather than sourcing it through energy suppliers has a number of benefits. It removes the worry of fluctuating prices in an unstable market, and gives you greater energy security, as you aren’t relying on fossil fuels, which won’t last forever.
Until recently, producing your own energy has been quite expensive. But the latest generation of solar, wind and combined heat and power (CHP) technologies now work in tandem with power storage. This means that renewable technologies are now providing feasible on-site power solutions for many businesses.
Installing solar panels, which gather solar energy and cut down your reliance on imports from the grid, is a great way to cut your power bill down. What’s more is that any surplus energy can be sold back to the grid, boosting your revenues.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
However, during the winter months especially, the UK doesn’t receive a lot of daylight. So, if you’re interested in generating large quantities of energy for yourself, then a CHP solution may be more beneficial to your business.
CHP allows you to capture heat that would otherwise be wasted by other processes, and has been known to reduce energy bills by 20-30 percent.
One example of a large-scale CHP solution is EON’s recent work with Reckitt Benckiser. They replaced a 7.5-MW gas plant with a more efficient 1.5 CHP plant. This new plant is estimated to cut Reckitt Benckiser’s local operation’s energy costs by one fifth. Additionally, their CO2 emissions will be cut down by 4300 tonnes per year.
However, the initial installation costs for CHP power plants is very expensive. Costs for on-site power generation will vary according to what type of site you have, and what technology is being installed. If your business is part of a cluster of office or retail buildings thart require a lot of heat and power, CHP could be of benefit to you. This is because it gives you the ability to control energy production, based on your needs.
For many smaller businesses, generating their own renewable power may be too costly a step. But there are a number of small changes that can be made across the board, that can add up to a big difference.
Lighting consumes around 20 percent of overall electricity used in commercial and industrial UK buildings. It plays an even bigger role in sectors like retail and hospitality. A noticeable improvement can be made by switching to LED bulbs. LED bulbs use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. As they only emit light in a specific direction, they are incredibly efficient when used for downlights or task lighting.
Using advanced lighting controls, like sensors and timers, can further reduce energy wastage. Their usage prevents lights from being carelessly left on for hours on end, creating significant energy savings.
Even without installing new lighting controls, you can reduce wastage by ensuring computer monitors are left in “sleep mode” or turned off overnight. You could make it someone’s nightly routine to check the premises at the end of the day and turn off any idle equipment. This includes kitchen equipment like microwaves, radios, TV’s and coffee machines too.Make sure these appliances are plugged into a single powerstrip, so that they can all be turned off at once when the last person leaves at the end of the day.
You could reduce your energy costs by as much as 10 percent by installing a building management system. Such a system enables you to control and monitor your heating and ventilation. This sort of management solution is best suited to non-domestic businesses that have large premises which are difficult to monitor.
E.ON provides a wide range of services concerning site energy optimisation. For example, they can provide remote fault support and management, and performance-tracking.
Many utility companies offer energy audits, which can help you figure out where your money is going every month. Once you know this, you can work out how to increase energy efficiency, and where you can make adjustments to lower your electricity bill.
Installing a thermostat allows you to adjust your workplaces’ temperature when the building is empty, for example, during weekends and holidays. You can set it to turn on the heating 30 minutes before people arrive, and 30 minutes before they leave. Reducing your workplace’s temperature by just 1 degree during winter can reduce your energy usage by up to 10 percent.
Fixing air leaks and draughts around your workplace’s doors and windows will keep heat energy trapped in, and ensure that you aren’t wasting energy. Also ensure that outside doors are open as little as possible. If you’re a retail outlet with manual rather than automatic doors, make sure these are kept shut when you’ve got your heating switched on.
Laptop computers use less energy than desktop ones, so they’re cheaper to use in an office setting. If you can’t afford to replace all your computers at once, do it one-by-one. If you aren’t already using cloud computing, switching will save you a lot of money. Powering computer servers and keeping them cool is expensive. Moving operations to the cloud eliminates these costs.