Seven ways you can save your small business more money when it comes to energy

Saving money is essential in the current economic climate. Every penny is hard-earned, so every outgoing cost needs to be closely managed.

While energy costs have stabilised, they still represent a massive investment for any small business. It is also an area of your expenditure where small actions to reduce costs can add up to significant savings. Here are seven of those opportunities for your business.

1) Check your deal

Often the most significant savings can come from being on a competitive energy tariff. 

If your business has been on the same old energy tariff for some time, the chances are you won’t be getting the best deal on the market – and just like with domestic energy, switching tariff or even provider can help to instantly cut costs. All businesses, even SMEs and Micro companies, usually consume more electricity and gas than the average home, and it’s often possible to find a better deal.

2) Measure and monitor energy use

Making an effort to monitor business energy consumption is becoming more of a necessity. According to the Carbon Trust, typically 20% of all business’ annual energy costs are wasted through the use of inefficient equipment.

It is possible to install energy monitors across a business or with individual pieces of equipment. Increasingly smart metres through real time reading (or half hourly) will show when and where most energy is being used. consumption recording  

Although smart metres or energy monitors will not reduce energy use in themselves they can be an invaluable tool for determining where you are spending most on your energy bill. 

3) Install solar panels

Generating your energy rather than pulling from a central supply is a sure way to reduce your bills. Solar panels can not only provide your energy, but you can also make money for any energy generated and not used. Your unused solar energy can be fed back into the central supply, and the energy companies pay you for its use.

The bonus of solar panels is that your company represents itself as being concerned with the environment. You will lower your carbon footprint and, by extension, improve your brand’s reputation.

4) Turn appliances and lighting off

The best way to avoid spending money on energy is not to use energy. We have grown accustomed to the convenience of instant light and heat that we lack care for when we inhabit spaces. Not all rooms in your business need lighting or heating.

Encouraging employees to switch lights off and turn the heating down a notch can significantly affect your bills.

5) Block draughts

There is nothing more money-wasting than heating a draughty room. You might as well take a tenner from your wallet and let it drift away in the wind.

Consequently, insulating your doors and windows will help you save this money. It will block heat from escaping and keep cold air out. If reglazing your business is an investment too far, you can buy window film, which acts as temporary secondary glazing and can stop heat loss through the glass. This window film is available in hardware shops and online. 

6) Change your lightbulbs

If all these changes sound like a significant upfront cost that you cannot stretch to this year, try changing your light bulbs instead.

Halogen bulbs use a significant amount of energy compared to LED bulbs, and LED bulbs last longer. While they cost more to buy, the cost-saving over three years on replaced bulbs will outweigh this. Plus, they use less energy to give you more light.

7) Service your boiler and radiators

Keeping the service up on your heating system is also a way to avoid wasted money. If your boiler needs a service, it uses more energy to give you the same heat. If your radiators need bleeding or the pipes need servicing, the efficiency of your system is severely compromised. Consequently, the yearly visit by the engineer feels like money spent, and it is money saved over the boiler’s lifetime.

Small investments, big savings

The management of your energy bills is not the most exciting part of running a small business. Chasing deals and partnerships and getting your brand out there is far more alluring. However, sound businesses are run on efficient practices, and your energy bills could be costing you the success you deserve.