Most business owners are aware that lowering carbon emissions helps to reduce pollution, but did you know that sustainability can bring about more than just environmental benefits? Making your business more energy-efficient can be a great way to enhance the green credentials and reputation of your company, which in turn, should help you increase sales and improve your bottom line. Plus, boosting your energy performance could significantly lower your utility bills and give you more capital to invest in key business areas. With that in mind, here are some top energy-efficient tips for businesses in 2021.
Book a commercial energy audit
Booking a commercial energy audit is a great starting point if you are trying to make your business more energy-efficient. A fully trained energy auditor will visit your business site and assess the energy performance of your property and business operations. Then, you can complete the recommended upgrades to make your building more energy-efficient. Some of the most effective ways to improve the energy efficiency of your commercial property include replacing old windows and doors to eliminate cold drafts and installing additional insulation material to help prevent heat from escaping. You should also book any other energy audits that are needed in your business. For instance, you will need to arrange a TM44 inspection at least once every five years if you own an air conditioning unit with a cooling capacity of more than 12kW. This is a legal requirement, but it is also a fantastic way to identify opportunities to make your cooling system more energy-efficient and cost-effective.
Replace desktop computers with laptops
Replacing desktop computers with laptops can be an excellent way to reduce your energy usage and save money on your business utility bills. According to Business Electricity Prices: “Standard desktop computers cost around £140 per year to run whereas a new laptop costs roughly £7 or less.” So, making the switch could save you around 90% in energy each year! Another great benefit of laptops is that they are portable and can be used anywhere. This makes them extremely convenient if your employees work from home.
Avoid leaving devices on ‘sleep mode’
Many people think that devices don’t use energy when they are left in sleep or standby mode, but this is not the case. Most electronics will continue to use electricity if they are plugged in but not in use; this is known as phantom power. Plugged-in appliances are a huge waste of energy and money. Getting into the habit of unplugging devices from the wall could save your business hundreds of pounds each year and significantly lower your carbon footprint. Encourage your staff to unplug devices like laptops, computers and printers when not in use and avoid leaving electronic appliances on sleep mode. You should also check that all electronic devices are switched off before you go home for the day. When electronic devices are left on, make sure that they are set to the most economical mode, i.e., computer screens should be set to go onto auto-standby saver mode after five minutes of no use.
Save energy on office lighting
Office lighting is a big expense for many businesses. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to make your office lighting more energy-efficient. Taking steps to improve the efficiency of your office lighting will reduce harmful emissions and save you money on utilities each month. Here are some ideas to save money on office lighting:
- Make the most of natural sunlight by placing workstations next to windows.
- Install larger windows or skylights to increase the amount of natural light in your office.
- Replace lightbulbs with energy-efficient alternatives such as LEDs or fluorescents. Switching to LEDs could save you 85% on your lighting costs according to EON.
- Install motion sensors so that lights only switch on where someone enters the room.
- Encourage employees to turn lights off when they leave a room. You can place signs near lights to remind people to turn them off.
- Keep blinds open during the day and remove any obstructions from windows, i.e., books or files.
Successful business owners should continuously look for ways to make their processes more efficient, including when it comes to their energy usage. Becoming more energy-efficient will reduce your company’s carbon footprint, improve your green credentials and reduce your business energy costs. The best part is that there are dozens of simple ways to boost your energy performance and small changes can have a big impact. Use the start of 2021 as an opportunity to try some of the above suggestions and make your business more energy-efficient.