Did you know that energy costs are forecast to increase by 25% in the next 10 years?
There are plenty of ways in which your business can save energy, slashing carbon emissions and utility bills in the process. Don’t be surprised if your ‘green’ measures win you new business too, as many customers and partners are actively seeking out businesses which commit to sustainable measures! Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Switch off lights
If staff get into the habit of switching off lights behind them, utility bills can drop by as much as 15pc. Don’t forget to swap any old-fashioned incandescent bulbs with energy saving lightbulbs too. They cost more to buy initially, but are cheaper to run. The latest models offer fantastic energy savings and are incredibly bright.
- Turn off electrical appliances
If your team members are leaving on their appliances and computers at the end of the day, the costs – and carbon – start to rack up. Figures suggest that a single monitor and PC will cost the business over £50 annually if it is never switched off! Get everyone into the habit of powering down at the end of the day, removing chargers when they aren’t in use and turning off printers, scanners and the like too.
- Buy frost free freezers
If you have a staff freezer, invest in an energy efficient model, or defrost it regularly to make sure it’s safe and running efficiently. Similarly, it is well worth looking for A+ appliances for your kitchen areas and installing a dishwasher rather than having everyone use copious amounts of hot water for individual items.
- Get a new heating system in place
Newer heating systems are far more effective than the older ones. The expense will be offset by rapid cost savings. The latest range of modern heating pumps are very energy efficient and match heating needs incredibly effectively. Advice and guidance is always provided on the right type of system for your business.
- Adjust the thermostat
Offices typically are hot, so just turn the thermostat down a little and see your bills drop by 10pc or more. Remember too that air conditioning is very expensive and it’s often better just to open windows to ventilate a building. You’ll find it much healthier too! As long as you aren’t in a polluted area, fresh air running through an office is energising and healthy and can help to reduce workplace sickness. Complement it with some indoor plants to absorb C02 and release oxygen into the atmosphere. You’ll start to feel a real upsurge in energy!
- Look at water usage
Get everyone to be vigilant for wasted water, whether it’s a toilet that doesn’t flush properly or dripping taps in the kitchen. It’s also well worth installing a hot water tap in the communal drinks area rather than using a kettle, as these are more energy efficient than constantly reboiling a full kettle just for a single mug or two!
- Get insulated
Figures suggest that 35pc of all building heating just disappears through the walls and another quarter goes through the roof! Make your building more energy efficient by getting double glazing installed, for a 50pc efficiency gain. Even keeping office doors shut will slash bills by 10pc. There may be energy insulation grants available, if you speak to your energy supplier for guidance.
- Look at renewables
Whether your building is suitable for solar PV, biomass, energy from waste or another form of renewable, it is worth contacting an accredited microgeneration specialist to see what’s possible. Government subsidies are available to help with the costs of installation and also to provide an additional income via feed in tariffs.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle
Encourage your staff to adopt a ‘green’ ethos that sees them challenging inefficient practices across the business and implementing better approaches. You’ll find that staff will have fantastic ideas which can get everyone engaged and enthused on the topic, especially if they can see the benefits. Why not get everyone into teams and incentivise them to come up with ideas to save carbon. The best at the end of the year could win a sustainable gift, such as an organic fruit and vegetable box.
Look too at schemes that help your staff to be greener and healthier, such as the Bike to Work government scheme, which offers staff discounts on new bikes, via employer schemes. By reducing the number of cars driving to your workplace, you will cut your business’s associated carbon emissions and reduce the need for car parking too.