When it comes to your business overheads, energy is one of those nasty necessities that contributes to most of the costs. Unfortunately, energy bills are unavoidable, but there are ways to reduce your spend and give your business more breathing space.
Energy wastage and uncompetitive tariffs are two of the most common culprits behind inflated energy bills. By conducting an energy audit at your business, you can identify ways to save energy and money by improving your usage habits.
‘Auditing’ isn’t as formal as it sounds and you can complete it in three easy steps. Find out what an energy audit is, the benefits and how to conduct one at your business.
A business energy audit involves analysing your company’s energy spend and identifying ways to improve it.
To conduct an audit for your business, you’ll need to examine your company extensively, from the materials your premises is made of, to lighting and controls, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, electrical systems and machinery.
A full business energy audit will also include a review of your business’s electricity and gas tariffs. This should help determine whether you’re using the best plan and supplier for your company’s unique needs, and, it will guard against straying onto expensive out of contract rates.
Here are three simple steps for you to complete an energy audit at your business:
Step one: Identify your high energy usage months You should start an energy audit for your business by looking at data from your previous bills about the cost per quarter. This will help you to identify the months when the most energy is used - usually during winter - and where to focus your attention.
Step two: Identify the causes and ways to reduce Once you've done this, try to find reasons to explain any high periods of usage and begin to plan where and how to reduce this. Making the change to energy efficient lighting and improving your insulation are two easy places to begin.
Step three: Create an energy-saving checklist Next, compile an energy-saving checklist. This is an important part of a business energy audit and will help you to break down usage between buildings, rooms and departments. Do a walk around your workplace and examine lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, and equipment use in each area. For example, is heat is being lost through windows or draughts? Are lights in one particular area left on unnecessarily?
From this you should be able to form a manageable plan to reduce your energy usage. Make sure your staff are part of the solution by providing training on best practices for energy use, such as turning off computers at the close of each day.
If your costs seem high compared to your usage, it might be time to change your tariff. To compare prices, you can call us on 0800 970 0077. Lines are open Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.
A professional, over-the-phone business energy audit involves speaking to an energy expert who will use a detailed questionnaire to review your company’s energy usage. Over the course of a short phone call, you’ll be asked a series of questions about your building, working patterns, energy consumption and current energy plan.
If you choose to conduct an audit for your business over the phone, it will be helpful to have a recent energy bill to hand. The energy expert will then use this information to draw up a report detailing your current consumption figures. Based on this report, they’ll create a comprehensive and costed plan that you can follow to reduce your energy usage and make savings. You should get a hard copy of the report and plan by email or post.
If you opt for an on-site energy audit for your business, a qualified and accredited energy surveyor will come to your place of work and undertake an extensive review. Over the course of a day, they’ll look at a wide range of things, from the layout and construction of your premises, to how you use your equipment, the efficiency of things such as air conditioning units, lighting and heating systems, the habits of your operations and staff and your current energy tariff and supplier.
From this, they’ll draw up a full report and an action plan that outlines ways to improve how your business consumes energy. A professional energy audit for your business should also tell you how much any changes will cost and the effect they’ll have.