Energy is one of the biggest concerns facing both businesses and individuals this winter, as, in spite of government intervention, bills remain extremely costly. The ravages of inflation on essential overheads have rendered many businesses quite simply unable to operate; in order to survive ever-rising costs, businesses must adapt. Reducing energy consumption is one vital way to remain competitive in this costly period of time, but what are some of the more effective ways to achieve this for your business?
Sustainable Energy Sources
The first and most direct way in which you can engage with your business’ energy consumption is through addressing your key energy sources. A large majority of businesses will rely on conventional energy sources, using business accounts with energy firms that source electricity and natural gas from the national grid. It is this energy that is costly, and carries relatively unchangeable pollutive potential.
By altering your energy sources, you can lessen your business’ reliance on the grid – thus lessening the overall cost, and giving you more control over your business’ carbon footprint. Installing solar panels is a strong way to reduce energy expenditure in this way – and battery arrays can be used to store energy for the future, ensuring no energy is wasted. Alternatively, certain energy firms might be able to guarantee sustainable energy supply, in the form of carbon offsetting or guaranteed zero-carbon sources.
Of course, the above is not directly addressing the consumption of energy in your business. In order to do this, there are two key areas for you to consider: lighting and heating. With regard to the former, office buildings often use hundreds or even thousands of individual bulbs to illuminate offices and communal spaces.
Many of these bulbs are inefficient, whether incandescent or older models of fluorescent bulb. Refitting your offices with energy-efficient forms of bulb, such as LEDs, can majorly reduce office energy expenditure and bring your office closer to contemporary standards.
With regard to heating, conventional gas boiler systems serve many commercial and administrative buildings across the UK – and, despite leaps in design, remain relatively inefficient and pollutive. Newer heating system designs are not only available, but actively subsidised through government net-zero programmes, giving even businesses with smaller budgets an opportunity to reduce their energy consumption.
Lastly, the impact of staff habits on energy consumption should not be underestimated. Little things like the leaving of computer monitors on standby overnight, or the leaving-open of windows and doors that enable draughts, can add up to significant energy consumption over the course of a year.
As such, training measures can be used to reinforce positive habits across your business’ departments, and at relatively low cost for the potential weight of change incurred. Training might simply be a refresher on how to be energy-conscious in the office, with specific pointers in the form of equipment and the office; further training might explore ways in which staff and departments can actively contribute to your business’ wider sustainability values.