25 Winter Energy Saving Tips for Businesses

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    Guide Author

    James Longley

    Managing Director

    min read
    Last Updated February 23, 2022

    Here in the UK, winter brings colder weather and darker days and, as a result, higher energy bills due to the need to consume more electricity and gas to light and heat our workplaces and homes. In fact, energy consumption is 36 per cent higher in winter than it is in summer, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

    So what can businesses do to counteract these seasonal cost increases and save energy for the good of the planet and their bottom line? Read on to find out.

    How to save on business energy bills in winter

    In this article, we provide you with winter energy saving tips that every business should know.

    General

    Ensure you’re on the best tariff

    First and foremost, you should ensure that you’re on the best energy deals for your business. You can compare business energy contracts from a range of different suppliers to find ones that suit you. If you skip this step but implement other energy-saving measures, it’s possible that you’ll still be forking out more than you need to on your gas and electricity bills.

    Get a smart meter

    If you don’t already have one, it’s a good idea to have smart meters installed. These next generation gas and electricity meters can help you to get a handle on how much energy your business is using and how much it’s costing you. The real-time nature of these meters could also prompt you to take more responsibility when it comes to your business’ energy consumption.

    Promote a sustainable culture

    Encourage staff to take personal responsibility for their own energy at work by providing information on the steps they can take to protect the planet and create a greener working environment. You could also incentivise employees by creating a points based system where personnel can work towards rewards such as an extra day of annual leave or a special eco Christmas bonus.

    Encourage remote working

    If it isn’t necessary for your employees to be based in your business’ premises full-time, consider introducing a flexible or remote working policy. Allowing workers to work away from the office for even a day or two a week could have a significant impact on your company’s energy usage.

    Invest in renewable energy

    Reducing your reliance on fossil fuels can create big savings for your business. While there may be an initial cost associated with installing renewable energy technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines and biomass solutions, green energy could save you a lot of money in the long run.

    Heating

    Aim for the lowest comfortable temperature

    While the temperatures may be plummeting outside, there’s no reason to have your thermostat any higher than the lowest comfortable temperature during the colder months. This is usually about 18-21°C, depending on the environment . However, many businesses have their thermostats set at much higher temperatures. By turning it down by just one degree, you can reduce your energy consumption by up to eight per cent.

    Set temperature controls to match occupancy

    You may need to set your thermostat to come on earlier in winter as it may take longer to heat up the space, however, you should not have the thermostat programmed to be on when your building is typically unoccupied. If you don’t operate during the evenings or weekends, for example, your thermostat should be programmed to turn off during these times. Similarly, if you close for Christmas, you should ensure your heating will not come on unnecessarily when the building is vacant.

    Draught-proof your workplace

    There’s little point in you paying more to heat your business if heat is escaping through gaps around doors and windows. Trap as much warm air inside your workplace as possible, and reduce your bills as a result, by draught-proofing. Depending on your business, you can choose to use a professional draught-proofing service or you may be able to do this job yourself. Bear in mind, however, that you’re likely to save more money by using a professional as they will know exactly what materials work best and where they should be used.

    Keep heaters and radiators clear

    When arranging a room, be careful not to position furniture or office equipment in front of heaters and radiators. If you were to place a filing cabinet or a bookshelf in front of a radiator, for example, it would prevent heat from travelling freely around a room, which would make the space feel cooler.

    Keep doors and windows closed

    This is a quick win that may seem obvious but if you allow heat to escape through open doors and windows, you’re going to pay the price when your energy bill arrives. Put up posters gently reminding staff to shut doors and keep windows closed during the winter months to minimise the cold season’s effect on your gas and electricity invoices.

    Aim for the lowest comfortable temperature

    While the temperatures may be plummeting outside, there’s no reason to have your thermostat any higher than the lowest comfortable temperature during the colder months. This is usually about 18-21°C, depending on the environment . However, many businesses have their thermostats set at much higher temperatures. By turning it down by just one degree, you can reduce your energy consumption by up to eight per cent.

    Set temperature controls to match occupancy

    You may need to set your thermostat to come on earlier in winter as it may take longer to heat up the space, however, you should not have the thermostat programmed to be on when your building is typically unoccupied. If you don’t operate during the evenings or weekends, for example, your thermostat should be programmed to turn off during these times. Similarly, if you close for Christmas, you should ensure your heating will not come on unnecessarily when the building is vacant.

    Draught-proof your workplace

    There’s little point in you paying more to heat your business if heat is escaping through gaps around doors and windows. Trap as much warm air inside your workplace as possible, and reduce your bills as a result, by draught-proofing. Depending on your business, you can choose to use a professional draught-proofing service or you may be able to do this job yourself. Bear in mind, however, that you’re likely to save more money by using a professional as they will know exactly what materials work best and where they should be used.

    Keep heaters and radiators clear

    When arranging a room, be careful not to position furniture or office equipment in front of heaters and radiators. If you were to place a filing cabinet or a bookshelf in front of a radiator, for example, it would prevent heat from travelling freely around a room, which would make the space feel cooler.

    Keep doors and windows closed

    This is a quick win that may seem obvious but if you allow heat to escape through open doors and windows, you’re going to pay the price when your energy bill arrives. Put up posters gently reminding staff to shut doors and keep windows closed during the winter months to minimise the cold season’s effect on your gas and electricity invoices.

    Office equipment

    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.

    Switch off

    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.

    Workplace kitchens

    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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    ? What does this mean?
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