What Businesses Can Do
It is estimated that most businesses can save 20% of their energy costs simply through adapting an energy saving routine at no extra cost to the business. Lower energy costs can result in immediate increases in profitability of your company, and you may also pay less tax, in the form of a reduced Climate Change Levy, so it makes sound economic sense to cut your energy use. Furthermore, by reducing your overheads you can increase the competitiveness of your products or service; whilst promoting yourself as a resource efficient business has a strong marketing message. So what are you waiting for? Get energy saving!
Easy energy savings can be made in the following areas:
- Heating and Air Conditioning
- Office Equipment
- Turn off lights in empty rooms, corridors and toilets when not in use
- Use low energy light bulbs where possible.
- Keep windows and skylights clean and clear from obstructions so that you can maximise the daylight.
- Clean light fittings annually to maximise light output
- When leaving for lunch or meetings switch off desk lamps and office lights if possible.
Heating & Air Conditioning
- Set thermostats at the recommended temperatures of 19°C for offices. The recommended temperatures are 16°C for workshops; and 10-12°C for stores and warehouses.
- Use thermostatic radiator valves on radiators.
- Ensure the thermostat and radiators are not blocked by furniture.
- Don’t heat empty rooms – keep doors closed between areas of different temperatures or fit automatic closers.
- Keep windows closed when heating or air-conditioning is on
- Make sure external doors and windows are draught-proofed.
- Maintain your heating system regularly.
- Switch off all equipment at night, and when not used.
- Turn PC monitors off when not being used.
- Only photocopy or print necessary documents.
- Ensure energy saving features on equipment are activated.
- Don’t place printers, PCs, or photocopiers underneath temperature sensors.
- When replacing office equipment, look for energy efficient products with the Energy Star logo.
Need Help or Advice?
The Environment Agency provides details of legislation affecting this area.
Further Advice can be found from the Carbon Trust www.carbontrust.com and the Sustainable Business Network.
Grants are available to support businesses including the Emphasis3 CO2 Reductions Project and LOCASE (Low Carbon Across the South East). Through these schemes, small and medium enterprises may be able to access free energy efficiency audits, energy efficiency grants, and research and innovation grants.
If you are considering making alterations it is important to find out whether or not you will need to apply for consent / permission for example through Building Regulations or Planning Permission. If the alterations would be to a listed building you may also need Listed Building Consent for any works. If Planning Permission or Listed Building Consent is needed, you could also seek pre-application advice for the works.