In business, it is very important to be reducing your overheads where you can. Energy efficiency is often an overlooked element of reducing these overheads. With some of the smallest businesses spending around £2000 a year on their electricity bills. There are some great savings that can be made by increasing your energy efficiency. Follow through this guide for some great ways to increase efficiency and reduce overheads.
Change your heating system
Firstly, you should look at your businesses heating system to see if there are any improvements that can be made. If you have an older heating system, 15 years or older, your whole heating system will be very inefficient and could be wasting you up to 40% of all energy that is generated. This is due to older boilers having an efficiency rating as low as 60%. Compare this to newer boilers that are 90% or above, you will be saving as much as 30% more energy.
When it comes to choosing a new boiler, you will need to make sure that your new boiler is the same type. Which is either a combi, system, or conventional boiler. Once you have worked this out you can start looking at brands. A few popular brands include Vaillant Boilers, Worcester Bosch Boilers and Ideal Boilers to name a few. While it is a big upfront investment for a new boiler, you will be increasing your energy efficiency massively.
Insulate your building
It is all well and good producing this warm energy efficiently but if you end up losing it through draughts your boiler is still going to be working to produce more heat than it needs to. This is because your office may not be draught proofed. Luckily, draught proofing does not cost much time or money to conduct. All you will need is it visit your local DIY store for self-adhesive foam strips that you can use to insulate your doors and window frames. You can also add a draught excluder brush to the bottom of doors that may have a large gap between the floor and the door. If you have wooden flooring that has cracks and gaps you can use DIY floor filler to fill these cracks, meaning no heat is escaping through the floor.
If you still find that heat is escaping it could be a problem with your roof or cavity wall insulation. So, it may be worth getting an expert to check your cavity wall and roof insulation. If you find there is a problem, you will want to hire an expert to fix this and add more insulation to your walls or roof or even both.
Turn devices off standby
If you do not already have a policy in place for turning all electrical devices such as computers and printers off overnight now would be a great time to put one in place. Devices being left on standby overnight can really start to add up by the end of the year due to them still using energy. While most devices use 1 watt an hour on standby, over a whole year with multiple devices this could end up costing you over hundreds.
As well as running devices in standby most devices now have a built-in energy saving or green mode. These modes may be worth running your devices in if you can for that extra saving.
Replace your lightbulbs
Another overlooked element of increasing your energy efficiency is what kind of lightbulbs you are using. Most businesses are still using incandescent bulbs to light their workspaces, which are great however use considerably more energy compared to an LED bulb. This is due to LED’s requiring less wattage to produce the same number of lumens that a standard incandescent bulb does. Less wattage needed means less energy being used.
While LED’s do cost a fair bit more money than regular bulbs, they are worth the overall investment. They not only result in energy saving but could last 20x longer with an average lifespan of 25,000 hours, which is nearly 3 years.
When it starts getting a bit warmer and lighter outside you can be to use this to your advantage. When it starts getting light enough during the first few months of the year you can start turning the lights in your office off and opening the blinds more. This will mean that you will be reducing the amount of energy you are using the natural light. You can also do the same with the warm sunlight and start turning your heating off. The great thing about this is that it costs no money, so you are saving without needing to invest!
Start doing rounds
Finally, start doing rounds in the office. A kettle uses around 2kw to boil water. With people drinking around 2-3 cups of coffee a day that means that your kettle could be using up to 6kw of energy a day per person. This may not sound like a lot but if you have many employees it can soon add up. Encouraging people to start doing rounds of hot drinks will mean that the kettle will be used less times. While this will not see the largest saving, it is a saving that you can make for free.
Replace old technology
Replacing your old technology, while costing a large upfront investment, is something that is worthwhile in the long run. This is due to energy efficiency being at the forefront of more manufacturer’s minds when designing products. There are also more restrictions set in place for how much power new devices can consume. So, if you are still using older technology now may be the time to have an update.
This is only the beginning of savings that can be made by making your business more energy efficient. So, once you have put these in place make sure you carry on finding ways that you can increase your efficiency and decrease your overheads!