Consumers and Business to Business companies (B2B) are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental costs of commerce. People are placing a greater emphasis on the consciences of the companies and organisations that they connect with. Knowing a company has an environmentally-conscious approach is becoming as important as brand principles.
Business owners are increasingly looking for ways to become more energy efficient – and a reduction in overhead costs is not always the prime motive.
Although every business is different in their resources and how they use them, there are some obvious factors that apply to every type of business.
Here are the most common energy management mistakes businesses make:
Not Getting an EPC
Although an Energy Performance Certificate is a legal requirement for specific circumstances, it is also of great benefit for any business looking to become more energy efficient.
The certificate is a report on key areas (such as water, heating, air conditioning, and lighting), how they are performing, and how much they cost. The EPC also gives suggestions for improvement and indicates the cost of the improvement as well as an estimate of the savings that can be realised.
Not Using Renewable Energy Sources
As a result of actions against climate change and the growing scarcity of fossil fuels, energy companies are pouring greater resources into renewable energy sources.
The gap between tariffs for legacy/biofuel energy sources and renewable sources is narrowing all of the time. It is possible to find tariffs from energy companies using renewable sources that are comparable to your existing supplier.
There are also options for businesses to consider for producing their own energy with solar panels probably the most accessible. Other forms of renewable energy sources are:
- Biomass energy
But obviously, access to these very much depends on the nature of the business and their availability.
Not Using Energy Efficiency Lightbulbs
Lighting is a big factor for most businesses. Any space where people work or provide a service needs to be well lit. It can be an expensive exercise to replace all old incandescent bulbs and strip lighting with more energy efficient lightbulbs, but it is a key player in having an eco-friendlier business. The most budget friendly way to replace lighting on a big scale is to do it in phases.
It is important to understand the differences in the types of lighting and why they are better for the environment. When it comes to energy efficiency lighting, it doesn’t automatically translate into a cost saving action. Energy efficiency is also about the carbon dioxide emissions of lightbulbs.
Information is available online that details the cost of running the various types of bulbs and their respective emissions. Generally, LED bulbs are the cheapest to run and also have the lowest carbon dioxide emissions.
Not Running Your Air Conditioning or Heating Efficiently
One of the most common mistakes any business can make is to not make the best use of heating and air conditioning systems. For example:
- Opening windows when the air conditioner is running
- Heating rooms that are not being used
- Heating or cooling the premises at times when it is not being used
- Not getting air conditioning and heating systems serviced annually
There is a lot of smart technology and digital assistance that can be used to address the most common problems.
- Systems can be set to automatically turn on and off at set times
- Systems can be made more reactive to changing temperatures
There is also manual invention. Turning the heating thermostat down by just one or two degrees can save a surprising amount of money and energy, without affecting the comfort of employees.
Not Recycling Enough
It is easy to think that because you are recycling plastic, paper, and glass that you are doing your bit to help the planet. Of course this is important, and it’s the easiest recycling as most local councils will collect these items.
Depending on the nature of your business, there might be a whole heap of stuff that you are throwing away that could be recycled. Take a look at the materials you are using in quantity and learn whether there are recycling options.
As well as commercial enterprises offering recycling facilities for specific items, there are UK charities who will take things off your hands either to be recycled, repurposed, or reused.
For a business to become more energy efficient, much can be achieved without onerous effort. Even though each business is unique, the principles of an environmentally-friendly conscience are the same. With some thought, planning, and action, every business can be more energy efficient.