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How can I make my business more energy-efficient?

A major cost and overhead for many businesses is energy usage. Heating, lighting, and powering equipment all incur a cost. Finding ways to bring that cost down can be hugely beneficial for a business.

We explain how businesses can identify ways to be more energy-efficient, and the changes they can make to accomplish this.

How can I make my business more energy-efficient?

Insight

Before you make sweeping changes to your business’s energy usage, it pays to gain some insight into areas where you could make the most impact. You can then direct your time and efforts there.

Having an energy audit carried out can help you to fully understand your business’s energy usage. These audits, which can be carried out by energy suppliers or independent companies, assess your current energy usage and identify the key areas where efficiency could be improved.

This information can be used to help you focus on areas of your business where the biggest savings can be made by taking a more energy-efficient approach.

The changes a business can make to improve its energy efficiency can range in size, from simple tweaks to larger and more budget intensive changes.

Simple changes

Cutting down your energy usage and becoming more efficient can, in many cases, involve simple changes or maintenance.

Energy-saving lights, for instance, while not sounding like a major consideration, can help to cut down electricity costs for a business.

Likewise, taking the time to assess simple fixes, like prevent heat loss around windows, or identifying other areas where heat tends to escape and ensuring they are properly insulated, can help.

Other simple changes a business can make, include:

  • Checking windows are properly sealed
  • Checking for draughts and heat escaping around doors
  • Checking ceiling insulation is adequate
  • Checking lights are using energy-efficient bulbs
  • Ensuring equipment is switched off when not in use
  • Adjusting the timing on heating systems to only be on when necessary

These changes are based on your business premises only needing minimal work to improve energy efficiency. The time, effort, and budget involved in auctioning these points should be fairly minimal.

Major changes

Sometimes, in order to be more energy efficient, extensive work will need to be carried out on your business premises.

This could be due to the age of the building. Older buildings, for instance, can frequently suffer from inferior insulation, old window frames, and older heating systems.

Repairing these, or bringing them in line with a more energy-efficient way of operating as a business, can be expensive due to the need for building work and replacement parts. Our blog, about what support there is to be more energy efficient, explains the help available to help businesses fund their steps towards being more energy efficient.

Heating and windows

Removing an old heating system in its entirety and replacing it with a modern, energy-efficient boiler, pipes and radiators, not only takes time, but it is also a significant cost up-front to complete. The savings on heating and bills are worthwhile, but it can take time before a business begins to see a return on that investment.

The same goes for installing new energy-efficient windows. The improved glazing and insulation they provide should be beneficial. However, again, the cost of buying and installing the windows, along with the disruption that extensive building work can cause to a business, should be taken into account.

Stronger windows do, however, serve a dual purpose. Not only are they better from an energy efficiency perspective, but also in providing additional security. For instance, they are more likely to be sturdier than old windows, which might have worn wooden frames and thin panes of glass.

Insulation

Insulation presents its own challenges too. Depending on the size of the area that requires insulation, this can be expensive. You could be restricted by different health and safety requirements, such as certain types of insulation, and in some cases your premises might require more than just new insulation. For instance, the roof of your building could have fallen into disrepair over time and extensive work will be needed, not only to help it retain heat, but also make it structurally sound again.

Equipment and processes

Your business might also have different processes and ways of working in place, which could be changed to be more energy efficient. This could include choosing not to print documents and becoming a paperless company, or putting procedures in place to prevent staff wasting energy. This could be something as simple as turning off lights in a room that nobody is using.

To improve the energy efficiency of your business, equipment could also be replaced with more modern, efficient tools and machinery. This could include types with low voltage.

How can FSB help with my business energy costs?

Making your business operate in a more energy-efficient way can save you money on overheads and costs. But it isn’t the only way to make your energy usage more cost-effective.

FSB members are given access to our Energy Service. It aims to help them save money on their energy bills by securing lower and better rates for their business.

The service includes:

  • Prices from a panel of 19 business energy suppliers
  • Support and advice
  • Access to surveys and audits
  • Access to funding to assist in improving energy efficiency
  • Energy procurement

To find out more about energy efficiency or how the FSB can help with your business’s energy needs, get in touch with a member of the team or visit our FSB Energy page.

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