As the plot of our energy crisis continues to thicken, more and more emphasis is being placed on improving the eco friendliness of both our home and business lives. Every day, tonnes of co2 are pumped into the atmosphere by companies all over the world, not all from being particularly irresponsible with their energy usage, but from the general operation of their business. Unfortunately, electricity is now an integral part of our daily lives, making it completely indispensable. What we can do, however, is reduce the amount that we need. Just like at home, there is a huge number of ways through which you can reduce both your consumption and your financial expenditure. Read through this article and do your bit for the environment (and your pocket) today!
- Switch your energy tariff
Ok, this doesn’t physically reduce the amount of electricity that you will use as a company, but it does have the potential to reduce your carbon footprint and drastically reduce the amount that you pay for energy. Due to the abovementioned energy crisis, energy companies throughout the UK are beginning to offer more and more renewable energy tariffs. This means that every bit of energy that you use will be generated through renewable sources, such as wind, solar and hydro.
Obviously this is a great move for your environmental image as a company and drastically reduces the amount of pollution that you are contributing towards, but what does it do for your bank balance? Energy tariffs for businesses are just like residential ones: there are hundreds and thousands of pounds-worth of savings waiting to be made just by switching the tariff that you’re currently on. It’s likely that If you have never switched your business tariff, you could save up to 25% on your current gas and electricity bills.
- Switch to LED lighting
If you work in an old office building, or some new-builds for that matter, it is likely that you will have older, incandescent light fixtures installed, unless you’ve done something about it already. Over the last 5-10 years, lighting technology has come on an unbelievable amount, increasing usage efficiency by incredible levels.
The average office electricity bill is made up of around 25% lighting, which means that constant efforts should be put into reducing the amount of money heading to this category. Switching to LED bulbs from incandescents will, on average, reduce your lighting consumption by up to 75%. Considering how cheap bulbs are, this seems like a pretty smart investment.
- Reduce printing
Crazy amounts of money, in both electricity and supplies, go towards office printing each day. In the technological age that we currently live in, such levels of printing are completely unnecessary. Of course we aren’t yet at the stage where we can totally remove printing from offices, but we can certainly reduce our reliance on it.
Some businesses now entirely operate on the cloud , storing all documents online for both ease of accessibility and eco friendliness. Trialling a no-printing policy for certain elements of your business could really help decrease the amount of electricity you use, not to mention the countless amounts of money you’d need for paper and ink.
- Generate your own electricity
Once again, although this doesn’t technically reduce the amount of electricity that you use, if you generate your own electricity, it doesn’t matter how much you use. Renewable energy generation such as solar is increasingly popular for both residential and business properties. Reducing or completely removing your reliance on energy companies is a great way to solidify your public status of ‘green company’ and you can also receive discounts and tariffs through the government to help you install your panels.
Of course, the more electricity that you use as a company, the larger your installed system will need to be, but in any case, the initial investment size will be greatly outweighed by the potential returns in the future. Depending on the amount of floor and roof space that you have at your disposition, it may be worth looking at wind energy, not just solar.
- Utilise energy saving settings for appliances
Certain appliances within the office, such as water coolers, computers and printers are amongst the highest contributors to your company’s electricity bill. Items such as computers are impossible to wipe from your electricity bill, but their usage can certainly be reduced. Taking advantage of energy saving settings, such as application management and for when people leave their desks is a key way of slashing your electricity usage.
There are also other ways of managing the energy usage of some of your static appliances, such as water coolers, vending machines, microwaves, printers, etc. Using a timed plug socket that will allow you to set the times you wish to have your appliance in operation will remove any needless energy usage during the middle of the night. Most offices will have their water coolers switched on 24/7, meaning electricity is being used constantly to maintain the temperature of the water, but unless someone happens to pop by the office at 4am for a quick glass of water, what is the point behind this?