One of the easiest things you can do to reduce your businesses environmental footprint is to reduce your energy usage. Conservation is the first major step to sustainability, and has the additional benefit of being a cost saving exercise.
Before you do anything to reduce your energy usage, make sure you can accurately track and assess your energy usage, install a smart meter if you haven’t done so already and assess where your energy costs come from and how they can be reduced.
Energy costs are going to be different business to business and reducing energy waste will be circumstantial, however some general rules and tips can help give you a place to start.
- Using energy efficient lighting is a great place to start. 40% of an average business’s energy use is spent on lighting, installing energy efficient bulbs, such as LEDs will have a big impact, while they may have a higher upfront cost you’ll save money in the long run as they use less energy and last longer. Keeping lights off wherever possible and using natural light instead is another great strategy.
- One thing that’s easy to do that people often overlook is using light or motion sensors to turn lights on when needed rather than keep them on all the time in hallways or toilets.
- Consider how much you use your climate control system more sparingly, even a 1C decrease in temperature can save you 8% on your energy bill, consider using it less on warm days and look at insulating your office, or installing curtains where appropriate.
- Make sure you turn off devices when not in use, idling devices use a lot more energy than people think, try to keep things turned off when not needed, and consider using timers to automatically turn things off at the plug overnight. A laptop idling at night can cost up to £35 per year per employee.
- Keep doors and windows closed as often as possible, this may seem obvious but getting into the practice of keeping heat in will reduce your overall energy usage and costs.
- In terms of an office kitchen, or if you run a kitchen as part of your business. Try to leave microwaves and other kitchen appliances off at the plug wherever possible. Leave dishwashers until they are full to run a load through. Regularly check fridge and freezer fittings and clean filters regularly to make sure they run efficiently. Ensure your oven doors and gaskets are fitted properly.
- When a device needs replacement consider using A+++ rated appliances where possible, a A+ Fridge Freezer will use £360 more energy over its lifetime then a A+++ one, replacing your appliances with more energy efficient versions will often save you money in the long run.
These are just some general tips and tricks to get you started and by no means a comprehensive list of all the ways you can conserve energy, but hopefully some of these will give you ideas and how to reduce your business’s environmental footprint and save some money.