Entrepreneurs and small business owners have plenty to think about, if they want to survive in a crowded marketplace. They need to develop and market their products or services, as well as thinking about costs such as the purchase of machinery and inventory and the renting of business premises. It may seem like there is no room for considerations such as energy efficiency.
However, energy efficiency is a vital consideration for any business. The price of energy is high, so it makes sense to use it wisely, in order to help reduce pressure on the business budget. There are several, relatively simple, steps that a business can take in order to maintain a high level of energy efficiency.
1. Make use of natural light
One of the easiest ways for a business to become more energy efficient is to make best use of natural light. Using light from a natural source means there is less need for artificial lighting to be turned on. It’s also important to realise that natural light can help a workforce to be more productive as it promotes good health and a sense of well-being.
In order to let in as much natural light as possible, window blinds should remain open when possible. Tinting can be used on windows so that glare is reduced but natural light can still get in. Clutter should be removed from window ledges and open plan office spaces should be used. Partitions can be used if noise needs to be reduced. Transparent partitions are especially useful.
2. Energy efficient lighting
When artificial lighting is needed, energy efficient bulbs should be used. Some businesses are put off by the relatively high purchase cost of LED light bulbs. However, investing in LED lighting can actually save a business money over time, as this type of lighting is more efficient to run than the incandescent lighting that is still in place in many businesses.
3. Smart lighting systems
With the best will in world, it’s often not possible to stop lights accidentally being left on in a business premises when the premises are not in use. Obviously, this is a costly waste of energy. Business can become more energy efficient by installing dimmer switches or motion sensor lighting. Using these lighting systems means that lights are only fully on when they are needed.
This saves lights from being left on overnight. It also means that areas such as toilets are only lit when someone is actually using them. Using smart lighting removes the wastage that can be caused by human error in forgetting to turn lights off when they are not necessary.
4. Using a smart thermostat system
Aside from lighting a business premises, heating is another substantial cost. Therefore, having a thermostat system that is easily controlled is a good idea. Thermostats in different parts of the premises should be individually controlled, so that areas are not heated if they do not need to be.
5. Making sure that heating systems are up to date
Outdated heating systems are unlikely to be efficient. Updating a heating system in a business premises may seem like a costly enterprise, but it saves money in the long term. Even in more modern systems, savings can be made by making sure that maintenance schedules are maintained and any necessary repairs are undertaken straight away. A modern, well-maintained heating system is always the best option for any business. The money that is invested in the system is well spent as the savings on energy usage and costs are significant, over time.
6. Proper insulation
Any business which spends money on heating or cooling its premises needs to make sure that the expenditure is not wasted. This is why insulating attics and crawl space and weather proofing doors and windows is so important. Correctly insulating a premises is a relatively easy and inexpensive task which can greatly improve the energy efficiency of a business premises.
No business can afford to not be energy efficient, from a financial and reputational point of view. Businesses can use all of the steps in this article to maintain a good standard of energy efficiency. The level of energy efficiency can be checked by having a commercial EPC completed. These certificates are a legal requirement if a business premises is to be sold or rented out, but any business can have one completed in order to check its level of energy efficiency and receive suggestions for improvements.
If you are considering taking the necessary steps to improve the energy efficiency of your business, give us a call or fill out the form below, and we will be more than happy to help you.