Small business owners are always on the lookout for new ways to save money, and one easy way to strengthen your bottom line is to reduce the amount you spend on your business’s utility bills.
There are a number of ways businesses can cut energy costs, and chief among them is switching to a better deal. However, even once you’ve switched supplier, you can still lower your bills further by encouraging some new habits in the workplace.
Below are some simple steps you can take to help modify your day to day routines, reducing the amount you spend on energy – and none of them will cost you a penny.
According to figures released by the Carbon Trust, 58% of the energy consumed in a standard sized building is used for heating space. Remembering to close doors when entering or leaving a room reduces the size of the area that needs to be heated, meaning it takes less time to reach your desired temperature. In addition, it can help to reduce draughts, and means you can choose not to waste energy heating rooms that are rarely occupied.
One of the best ways to start reducing the amount of power you use is to ensure you - and your staff - understand the way your business's energy consumption works.
When you turn off an appliance at the end of a working day but do not switch it off at the mains, it's still using energy. The amount of power used differs between appliances, but as an example, a standard computer on standby still typically draws around 10% of the current that it uses when on full power. This may not seem like a lot, but when you multiply this across a place of work, the cost of leaving appliances on standby quickly adds up. Get into the habit of ensuring all work stations are properly shut down at the end of the day and reduce this hidden drain of electricity.
How often do you go to the kettle and half fill it for one cup of tea? Well, boiling too much water could be costing your business a fortune every year in wasted energy. By only boiling the water that you need, you can substantially reduce the amount of energy used by your business, which will quikcly translate into savings. Many modern kettles have useful indicators to help prevent over filling, but on average, boiling a quarter-full kettle is enough to fill two cups.
Leaving lights on in unoccupied rooms is another common workplace problem, and a serious waste of money and electricity. To solve this problem, it’s a good idea to place notices by doors to remind employees to be vigilant of leaving lights on unnecessarily.
The average setting for a thermostat in the UK is 21oC, but by reducing this by just one degree your business could stand to save up to 10% off your annual heating bill. Such a small change in temperature should go unnoticed, but the impact it will have on your energy savings won’t. You can also encourage staff to wear jumpers in the work place to help stave off the need for excessive heating.
In short, the best way to reduce the amount of power you use is to ensure you - and your staff - understand the way your business's energy consumption works. Making the extra effort will result in lower energy bills, which ultimately leads to a healthier bottom line for your business.
Images: Resized image courtesy of Nic Walker via Flickr
James is an online content creator at Make It Cheaper. Having previously created a variety of content for a number of websites and media outlets, James focuses on making it easy for SME owners to find interesting and engaging content - as well as useful guides and online tools.You can email James at firstname.lastname@example.org
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