Don’t let energy costs become a drain on your business’s turnover
When you run a small business, every penny counts. Staying in a positive financial position is a daily battle that is faced by the majority of small businesses up and down the country. In fact, keeping a close eye on the day-to-day running costs like rent and utilities can be a crucial consideration when forecasting for the future.
From heating an office space to powering multiple electronic devices, it’s easy to let electricity and gas costs get out of hand, but keeping them in check is vital if you want to get the most out of your company’s efforts.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can keep a handle on business energy costs and improve efficiency in the process.
How much energy should a small business use?
Energy providers tend to calculate small business tariffs on a business-by-business basis because energy requirements can be markedly different depending on the size of an organisation, the kind of work being undertaken and the hours being worked by staff on the premises.
This can make it challenging for those running the businesses to know whether their company is energy efficient or not.
If you have been running for some time, comparing annual usage year on year is the obvious starting point. If your own usage has fluctuated significantly over time, think about what has changed to cause such patterns – longer opening hours or an increase in staff working at computers all day, for example. From here, you may be able to identify some obvious steps you can implement to lower your usage. An average estimate for small business energy usage is a maximum of 30,000 kWh for both gas and electricity. However, if your business is particularly small, this should be closer to 15,000 kWh.
You should also check your unit cost, as this will give you an idea of whether you’re being charged a lot for a typical amount of usage. Compare these unit costs to other providers to see how highly you rank.
How can you lower your energy usage?
Improving your business’s energy efficiency is the most effective way to lower your average business energy consumption. And there are several straightforward ways to make an initial saving. Here are a few:
1. Make time for energy audits
Start by making a list of all the appliances used regularly at your business, then consider if they need to be turned on for the length of time you have them currently running each day. Next, check whether the lighting at your premises uses new energy efficient bulbs, such as LEDs, or more traditional filament bulbs.
2. Stay on top of your heating
Heating systems and air conditioning units are among the most expensive features of an office. But by introducing timed thermostat you can program them to switch off during unnecessary periods, such as over the weekend.
3. Complete regular meter readings
Meter readings are used by all energy providers to calculate how much energy your business is using. If they don’t have accurate readings, they’ll simply estimate them, and this can lead to you paying more than you need to. Most companies allow you to enter your readings online, so be sure to check them regularly.
4. Make your staff aware
It’s impossible to master energy efficiency on a business scale when acting alone. It needs to be a team effort, which is why you should ensure that they are aware of energy costs in order to inspire them to be more responsible. Little changes like always switching off monitors and plugs, closing doors and windows and switching off lights in unused rooms can make a big difference over time.
Finding the right energy supplier is another crucial step to improving your efficiency. Taking the time to switch your energy to a more suitable deal could lead to significant savings for your business in the long run. If you’re thinking of changing your supplier, let The Energy Check help you. Click here to find out more or call us on 0191 691 18 02.