Energy efficiency improvements for small businesses
Whether you run a business from home, an office, or a warehouse, there are many energy efficiency improvements that can save your business money. Making these changes can reduce your energy bills, carbon emissions and protect your business against rising gas, oil and electricity prices in the future.
No matter the industry you operate within, there are many energy (and money) saving options available to you:
- Air source heat pumps (ASHPs):
ASHPs generate heat and hot water for businesses by absorbing the heat from the air outside the building, and delivering it into the building for the central heating or hot water.
They are ideal for off-gas grid businesses, businesses who wish to reduce their energy bills, and buildings with low energy efficiency ratings. ASHPs are also a cost-effective alternative for new sites, when compared to installing new gas mains.
Although ASHPs use electricity, if designed correctly they deliver three times more heat than the electricity used to power the heat pump, and are still considered a renewable energy source which qualifies for the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
- Ground source heat pumps:
Ground source heat pumps absorb low level ground heat by pumping water through a looped pipe buried underground. Ground source heat pumps can provide your business with continual low level warmth, which is perfect for larger workspaces and buildings. They have higher energy efficiencies than ASHPs, and similarly, require electricity to power the heat pump.
These ground pumps reduce operational costs, remove your business’s reliance on fossil fuels and have permitted developmental rights so long as you have sufficient land space for the heat pump to be installed. Ground Source Heat Pumps are also available through the Non-Domestic RHI.
- Biomass boilers:
More and more businesses are converting their heating systems to biomass, due to the financial advantages offered by Renewable Heat Incentive payments. Biomass systems provide enough energy for your business’s central heating or hot water supply all year round, by burning fuels such as wood chip, wood pellets and logs.
These fuels are far cheaper than fossil fuels. Commercial businesses can achieve sustainability, CSR targets and significant financial energy savings by changing their traditional heating systems to biomass.
Insulating your business’s workspace is one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective energy saving investments for your business, with very short payback periods. Ensuring your workplace has adequate insulation ensures that your energy efficiency will be greatly improved just by that simple alteration.
Installing cavity wall or loft, external or internal insulation your business building will feel instantly warmer, making the workplace more comfortable to be in. Insulation can also reduce your heating consumption, and considerably reduce your energy bills.
There are a couple of Government funded schemes available to help your business to pay for insulation. Find out more about the schemes that your business may be eligible for here.
- Solar panels:
Solar panels are a good investment for commercial or public sector businesses, despite the high initial set up costs. Businesses would be able to benefit from free, 100% renewable solar power that can provide your business with electricity.
Commercial solar PV has a high yield energy capacity and is virtually maintenance free for up to 25 years, and for most premises, requires no planning permission.
Your energy saving is further enhanced by the Government Feed In tariff scheme – a fixed rate of payment for every unit of energy created from the solar array for a minimum of 25 years. Businesses can use energy onsite, dramatically reduce energy costs, become green and sustainable, protect themselves against rising electricity prices and quadruple their capital investment due to the Feed In tariff scheme.