The cost of energy is a significant expense faced by many businesses. There is a lot you can do to control it, however. You are unlikely to be able to eliminate it completely, but with a few simple steps you can reduce the amount of energy you use.
1. Switch Off
Many businesses waste large amounts of energy by leaving equipment running when it is not in use. In fact, it is not unusual for equipment to stay on at weekends and other times when the business is closed.
The first step you should take to save energy is, therefore, to encourage your employees to switch off equipment when it is not in use. This includes computers, lights, the microwave in the staff kitchen, and any other equipment or machines in your business.
You may have to conduct training in some situations, or provide your employees with information. This is because some employees may not know what can be turned off and what has to stay on for operational reasons.
That said, this is an effective, free, and easy way of saving energy.
This one is also easy to implement – it simply involves unplugging chargers when they are not actually charging a device. This includes laptop chargers and mobile phone chargers as well as chargers for other devices.
Chargers sometimes use energy just by being plugged in to the socket, so it is best to keep them unplugged.
A lot of the equipment (such as computers, photocopiers, printers, and laptops) in your business will have a sleep mode or hibernation function. This is an automatic function that is activated when the device is not used for a certain period of time (which you can adjust).
There are two main benefits of using these features. Firstly, when the device goes into hibernation mode, it is not using power so you will save energy. Secondly, when you wake the device up again, it will return to point where you left off. This is different from shutting down a computer, for example, where you have to start opening programmes, websites, etc again once you turn it on. Hibernation is, therefore, more convenient to use.
4. Check the Heating
Heating represents a significant proportion of the energy bill in many Irish businesses, but there are a couple of ways that you can reduce the cost of heating. This includes:
- Lowering the temperature – sometimes it is possible to lower the temperature of the heating without making the working environment less comfortable for your employees. Even a one-degree reduction in temperature will have a significant impact.
- Checking the timings – does your heating run when there is nobody in? Does it start up too early? Does it run too late? These are all questions you should look at. For example, you might be able to switch the heating off one hour before you close without reducing comfort levels.
- Not opening windows – encourage staff to turn the heating off rather than open windows while the heating is on.
5. Update Equipment
The final tip is the most expensive on this list, but it is also one that can make a considerable impact. It involves replacing older, less energy efficient machines, equipment, devices, and appliances with more modern alternatives. In particular, it involves replacing them with energy efficient alternatives. The potential savings are substantial.
For more help and advice with your business, please contact a member of the Gilroy Gannon team today.