Does your small business need an energy upgrade? Six signs you need to change it up
Energy is a hot topic at the moment. Global instability impacts energy prices, and there has been much to put pressure on the cost of gas and electricity recently.
Therefore, making sound choices about energy suppliers is a big deal for any business looking to make a profit. Yet, evidence from a Which survey suggests that 40% of businesses have never switched and have stayed with the same company long past the end of a negotiated contract.
With such a shocking number of businesses sitting back and allowing energy companies to cash in, we offer these hints and tips for when you might want to upgrade your service.
1) Casting out old resources
As well as working with your supplier, you might also want to look at the age and reliability of the facilities you are using. It is possible that an old boiler could be costing you a fortune. It will be inefficient and you will burn a lot more energy for limited results.
Signing up for a regular service or the installation of a new boiler could make all the difference. Equally, your aircon unit might be burning energy while it keeps you cool. It is sensible to have it cleaned out each year and might benefit from an upgrade too.
2) Switching to smart technologies
Smart tech is all about putting you more in control of your energy supply. A smart metre helps you see where you are draining resources and a smart thermostat allows you to set different temperatures in different zones.
While investment in smart technology feels like a significant cost at the moment, it is worth doing a cost-benefit analysis to explore the savings it will make you in the end.
3) Turning off not standing by
Upgrading your energy might be a matter of changing attitudes. Investing in technologies serves a purpose of proactively investing in your business, but there are ways of working that can achieve results for free. Working with your team to link behaviours in the workplace to efficiencies and higher net profits can work wonders.
A place to start with this energy saving is to insist that monitors and computers are switched off at the socket and not left on standby. The electricity that is continually sucked to these devices is a huge waste of money.
If you are worried that this behaviour will be difficult to insist on, you could always invest in smart sockets that are timed to switch off at a certain time. Yet, helping your employees be mindful of their impact on energy use is a more solid long term solution.
4) You haven’t switched supplier in a while
One key indication that you need to upgrade your energy is that you have no idea when you last changed supplier. Very few of us keep a check on who supplies us our utilities, as we pay the bills monthly. Yet, it is possible, even probably, that having not switched means you are overpaying for your energy.
A simple search on an energy comparison site can offer your insight into how much money you could save. Making the move has been made so much easier and you will barely notice the changeover – except in your bank account.
5) Small changes that make a big difference
Time and money are always short and these upgrades of your small business energy use seem challenging. However, there are small choices you can make that will make a difference over time.
For instance, changing from the old halogen bulbs to LED lighting can save you a few pence per bulb per day. If you do the maths, you can easily see how this would add up to a significant saving. LED bulbs also last longer, so you won’t be changing bulbs so often either.
6) Managing costs, maximising profits
Upgrading your energy is a mixture of efficiencies and smart investments. From changing your supplier to encouraging best practices in your employers, the efficiences are there to be made. However, there are investments you can make that will pay for themselves overtime.
Getting rid of old and inefficient heating and cooling systems will pay dividends. Yet, if this is too much in a time of scarcity, then a simple change of lightbulbs is a solid first step.
Laura McLoughlin is a Digital PR based in Armagh, Northern Ireland. She has previous experience as a website editor and journalist, and currently works with Power to Switch.
Photo by Doris Morgan