A simples guide

Energy savings for small businesses

When you run your own business, every penny counts – frivolous spending just eats away at your bottom line and who can afford for that to happen? But thinking about how and where to make savings can be daunting. So we’ve put together this guide about energy savings for small businesses – cutting energy costs doesn’t mean powering down your business, it just means making sure you’re getting the best deal and the most out of the energy you do use

How much should I be paying for my energy?

There’s no hard and fast rule about how much you should pay for your gas and electricity. It’ll very much depend on what your business is – a hairdresser using straighteners, hairdryers and hot water will probably use more than an estate agent for example.

It’s worth knowing the two components that make up your bill; the unit cost of the actual energy you’re using – shown in kWh (kilowatt hour) and the standing charge which is a bit like your phone’s line rental – it pays for the supply of gas or electricity to your home or business. Knowing what you’re currently paying for each will help you compare the market more effectively.

Energy savings for small businesses

How can I save money on my energy?

We all try to be more mindful about how we use energy at home, like switching off lights and not leaving the fridge door open for ages. But when it comes to energy efficiency at work, that’s often another matter – leaving the lights on all day, not turning off the photocopier at night and leaving computers on standby are all common workplace inefficiencies.

So if you’re the boss and this sounds like your workplace – do something about it and make your workplace more efficient. Here are some quick energy saving tips – they may not sound like much but added together they could make a real difference to your bill:

  • Get tech savvy – we live in a digital age so why not embrace it? Modern systems can be controlled or monitored using apps – such as Hive or Nest. This can help you manage your heating remotely and also just make you more aware of what you’re using (and how much you’re spending).
  • Switch to greener alternatives – simply switching to energy saving lightbulbs such as LED lighting could save you enough for a few rounds of printer ink.
  • Turn off the lights – whoever’s the last to leave should make a point of switching off the lights – your business premises isn’t a lighthouse.
  • Draught proof – much like you’d do at home, make sure there aren’t any gaps in your insulation that’s sucking up energy, plug the gaps and save money.
  • Switch off not standby – switch off monitors and equipment, don’t leave them on standby, you’ll be surprised at how much it’ll add up to.
  • Control your heating and air conditioning – turning down your heating by just 1° could save you nearly £100 a year
  • Invest in new appliances – sometimes you may need to spend money to make money, if you’ve got a creaky old boiler that uses more energy warming up than it gives out, perhaps it’s time to think about replacing it. Moderns systems and appliances are usually more energy efficient in the first place meaning you’ll save even more in the long run.

What energy saving options are there?

Comparing the market is the best way to choose a tariff that suits your business. Another way of getting business energy prices down is to consider producing your own energy. Don’t automatically rule it out just because you’re a small business – if domestic properties find it pays, then so could you.

You could find that switching is the simplest and easiest way of saving money, especially as energy prices rise. To get a more accurate picture of what you could save, you’ll need what’s known as an MPRN (it stands for meter point reference number), which you can find on your latest energy bill. This identifies your individual supply point and it’ll give providers a better understanding of your energy use. So don’t standby, start comparing and start saving.