Conserving Energy

How to conserve energy

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How to conserve energy

What is meant by conservation of energy?

From lighting and heating your premises to running computer and phone systems, your business needs power to function. According to figures on the Statista website, on average, medium-sized businesses in the UK consume around 35,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year, and the same number of kWh of gas, while large businesses typically consume 90,000 kWh of electricity and 75,000 kWh of gas. Industrial businesses, meanwhile, often use much greater quantities than this.

Although all companies rely on energy to greater or lesser extents, many use considerably more gas and electricity than they actually need – which is bad news for their bottom lines and for the planet. This is where business energy conservation comes in. The term simply refers to minimising the amount of power used by a business.

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How can my business save energy?

Conserving energy doesn’t necessarily mean restricting functionality in your workplace. There may be a variety of steps you can take that allow you to cut your electricity and gas usage without limiting your operations.

 Conduct an energy audit

One of the first actions any business should take when looking to improve energy efficiency is to carry out an audit of power use. These audits can range from simple to extremely detailed, and they can be carried out by expert third parties or internally within your organisation.

At the most basic level, an energy audit provides you with a clear overview of your business’ energy usage. At the most advanced, these assessments are all-encompassing, taking all details of your business premises into account – from specific appliances and pieces of equipment to the energy efficiency of your building. However detailed your energy audit, it will help to flag up potential areas of wastage and inefficiency.

Take concrete actions to cut your usage

Once you have information on the possible areas of wastage in your business, you can start taking concrete actions to address these issues. For example, if your building is wasting a lot of energy in heating and air conditioning, you may benefit from implementing measures such as improving draught-proofing and insulation. You might also want to upgrade your heating and air conditioning systems to more efficient solutions. Think carefully about how you use your temperature control systems too. According to the Carbon Trust, a rise of just 2°C in the heating temperature of an office could create enough carbon dioxide (CO2) in a year to fill a hot air balloon.

Also, If you are spending a lot on lighting and you currently rely on traditional bulbs in your workplace, now could be the time to make the switch to more energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs).

You might also find that you can save considerable amounts of energy by changing the habits of your employees, for example by getting them to turn appliances off when they are not in use, rather than leaving them on standby. To reinforce this message to your staff members, you could display posters or stickers with guidance on energy efficiency around your workplace.

Some of these changes may require an initial investment, but they should more than pay for themselves thanks to the long-term energy savings they can bring.

How does conserving energy reduce air pollution?

There are obvious financial benefits to companies of cutting energy usage. By being savvy when it comes to managing your gas and electricity consumption, you stand to make potentially significant savings. But the benefits extend far beyond your organisation. Conserving energy also helps to reduce air pollution and global warming.

Air pollution refers to the mixture of gases and particles released into the environment through various processes. Its effects can range from rising temperatures across the world to higher disease risks among people and animals. Pollutants in the air include everything from CO2, to methane, to soot. One of the main contributors to rising levels of air pollution is energy production. The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil releases a variety of substances into the atmosphere, including CO2, one of the main contributors to global warming. For example, the burning of coal accounts for 44 per cent of CO2 emissions around the world. Power plants and the extraction of fossil fuels can also release a variety of other pollutants into the air.

By conserving energy, your business can help to lower the demand for electricity and gas – and therefore play a role in cutting the emissions created by fossil fuels. Another action you can take to benefit the environment is to switch to green energy sources that use renewables rather than fossil fuels.

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