Saving energy in the workplace: Practical tips
The UK’s SMEs are said to be missing out on energy bill savings of up to 25%, just from easy-to-implement, low or no cost improvements. Samantha Nicholson is head of low carbon at Greater Manchester’s Business Growth Hub, which has saved businesses more than £335 million through award-winning advice.
with Samantha Nicholson, Business Growth Hub
She shares the following three energy-saving steps:
1. Monitor your consumption
Take regular meter readings to establish a baseload and track progress. The more information you have, the more accurately you can calculate savings.
2. Quick wins
• Heating – Every 1˚C rise increases heating costs by 8%. Set thermostats accordingly, ensure controls are not tampered with and check timers are correct.
• Lighting – It’s responsible for around 18% of energy use in commercial buildings. Switch lights off in unoccupied areas and install low-cost timer switches, movement sensors or daylight sensors to reduce unnecessary use.
• Office equipment – 46% of energy in businesses is used outside of standard operating hours. Turn PCs, printers and other equipment off at the end of the day.
• Staff awareness – Motivate your workforce to take action, for example through competitions, establishing ‘green champions’ and showing support from senior management.
3. Next steps
• Upgrades – Identify priority areas for new equipment. For example, LED lighting uses up to 90% less energy and lasts up to three times longer than traditional lamps, while a boiler more than 15 years old probably needs upgrading.
• Consider purchases – Establish an internal policy that ensures lifetime running costs are taken into account when purchasing new equipment.
• Publish policy – Develop a publicly-available environmental policy to guide long-term change and ensure energy saving principles are embedded across your business.