Gas and electricity can be a major expense for households in the UK. In fact, according to figures provided by Ofgem, the average variable yearly tariff for a dual fuel customer was £1,254 as of May 2019. This represented around five per cent of a typical household budget. Given how expensive energy can be, it pays to find ways to cut back on your spending. One action you can take is to scour the market for the best deals from domestic energy suppliers, and switch to a more competitive tariff if one is available.
There are also certain steps you might be able to take at home to reduce the amount of gas and electricity you use.
Take advantage of natural sunlight
While we see a drop in the number of daylight hours in the UK during the winter months, it’s a good idea to still take advantage of any natural sunlight we get by opening up blinds and curtains and positioning work stations near windows where possible. With lighting accounting for 40 per cent of all energy used in buildings, if you can make the most of natural lighting, you could see a difference in your bills.
Switch to LEDs
Businesses stand to save as much as 80 per cent on their lighting bills if they switch from incandescent bulbs to more energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) technology. These more up to date bulbs also last on average 25 times longer than their conventional counterparts, making them a much more sustainable choice. Implementing this one simple change could keep those winter energy-bill increases to a minimum.
Install occupancy sensors
Cut down on energy wasted on lighting empty rooms by installing occupancy sensors. These clever pieces of technology should be installed in unobstructed spaces where they will be able prompt lights to come on when motion is detected.
Simply turn lights off
If you can’t afford to invest in occupancy sensors right now, simply switching off lights when they’re not needed will have the same effect. It is particularly important to do this overnight. If office lights are left on overnight for 12 months, the energy wasted would be enough to heat a home for five months.
Provide desk lamps
Giving your workers the option to use desk lamps instead of overhead lighting could help to keep your costs down. If a few employees are working late, for example, instead of illuminating the whole office, they could save energy by simply lighting their own workstations.
Use power management features
Power management features help to lower energy usage by putting monitors and computers into a sleep mode after a period of inactivity. By choosing hardware with power management features and managing your settings correctly, you could reduce your electricity bills.
Upgrade to more energy-efficient models
When purchasing new office equipment, pay attention to energy efficiency. To avoid using more energy than you need to, avoid higher spec PCs with large screens if a basic computer will do the job just as well. Also, if feasible, consider using laptops as they require a lot less energy than desktop computers. When replacing monitors, go for flat-screen versions, which only use one third of the energy of older models.
Adopt a paperless approach
There are many benefits to a paperless working environment and not least among them is the potential for saving money. By encouraging staff to email meeting minutes, presentations and reports to each other instead of printing them out, you will be able to cut down on the use of photocopiers and printers and, as a result, save money on your energy bills. Doing this will also help you to save money on paper, which can be another costly resource.
Don’t leave chargers plugged in
If phone, tablet or laptop chargers are not in use, unplug them. Chargers consume energy when plugged in, regardless of whether they are attached to a device or not. While your energy bills may not be slashed dramatically by following this rule, it’s important to realise that when it comes to saving energy, every little helps.
Turning computers, monitors, printers, plasma screens and other equipment off instead of leaving them on standby could help to lower your energy bill by between 10 and 55 per cent.
Only boil what you need
The workplace kettle can use a lot of energy. Encourage staff to organise tea and coffee rounds rather than boiling the kettle just for one cup. Also remind staff to only boil the amount of water that they need.
Defrost the fridge freezer
If your fridge freezer isn’t defrosted regularly enough, it will consume more energy. As a general rule, you should defrost it when you see a quarter of an inch of ice build-up on the walls.
Opt for energy efficient appliances
When replacing old appliances, go for A-rated ones. Some A-rated white goods are categorised as either A+, A++ and A+++, with A+++ being the most energy efficient. Choosing the most energy efficient model can help to reduce your power bills.
Unplug the microwave
When a microwave is left plugged in, you could be using energy to light up the display or clock. Put up posters asking staff to unplug the microwave after each use to create a greener workplace and keep those bills down.
Wait until the dishwasher is full to run it
Whether you only wash a few dishes or you clean a whole load, your dishwasher will use about the same amount of water and energy. Wait until your dishwasher is full before running it to save resources and money.
Saving money through energy saving measures can really cut down your energy bills, particularly during the winter months. However, if you still think you can save more, why not let Utility Bidder help? We make it easy to find and compare the best energy deals on the market for your business. Who knows? We might save you a small fortune.
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