Making your business more energy efficient
Energy prices are at the forefront of everyone’s mind as we head toward autumn. With energy bills already soaring, the upcoming energy price cap rise is expected to push payments even higher for households, driving inflation higher and leading to fears of a recession across the UK.
While the energy price cap does not apply to businesses, its fallout will undoubtedly indirectly affect many SMEs. With energy prices predicted to keep rising for the foreseeable future, innovative companies are reviewing their energy efficiency measures and looking at ways they can cut their energy usage.
At Create Business Properties, we’re home to over 60 businesses of varying sizes. Create is much more than a landlord and it’s our mission to support our tenant businesses in any way we can to help them to thrive and grow. We’re always on hand to support business owners and in the current climate, that includes helping them become as energy efficient as possible as well as directing them to any grants or funding available.
In this short article, we’re outlining some of the measures businesses can take to become more energy efficient as well as signposting some resources available to help with the associated costs.
Energy efficiency tips for businesses
Get an energy audit
This is the first step in helping your business to use less energy. Taking a look at your current situation will help you identify ways you can save. You can conduct the audit internally, there is a really helpful checklist here from Business Energy Scotland. They also offer a host of free advice for businesses and this may include an on-site assessment. Take a look at the reasons why your business should contact them for help here.
Check your business tariff
As with households, businesses can compare their electricity and gas tariffs to make sure they aren’t paying more than they need to. Comparison sites such as MoneySupermarket have dedicated Business Electricity and Business Gas sections.
Get energy-efficient appliances
Businesses can save a lot of money on their energy bills by ensuring all their appliances are as energy efficient as possible. From small switches like energy-efficient lightbulbs to bigger items such as boilers, fridges and even photocopiers and printers, replacing old appliances with newer ones is likely to positively impact your energy efficiency ratings and save you money in the long run.
Power down computers
If your staff use computers and monitors, encourage them to turn them off at night, at weekends and when on holiday. The more computers your business runs, the bigger the saving and rebooting computers by shutting them down completely can be beneficial to their performance too. The same applies to monitors, if they’re turned off completely, they will be using less energy.
Make a team policy
Work with your team to create an energy efficiency policy for the workplace. People are much more likely to be on board if they have been consulted and feel part of the process. Discuss and invite ideas and circulate the results. It could be lots of little things that make a big difference to your energy bills! Make sure all team members have a copy of the policy, when it’s agreed upon, you can even place posters around the workplace as a reminder.
Turn down your thermostat
This energy-saving trick applies as much in the workplace as at home. Simply turning your thermostat down a few degrees will result in big energy savings. Make sure employees are comfortable and not sitting anywhere draughty. Similarly, if you have air conditioning, be careful not to overuse it.
Support and grants available
Business Energy Scotland
Business Energy Scotland is an organisation that is funded by the Scottish Government to provide free, impartial support and access to funding to help small and medium-sized enterprises save energy, carbon and money. They offer advice and fantastic resources as well as loans and cashback grants for energy and carbon-saving upgrades for your business. Take a look at their website for help and inspiration.
Zero Waste Scotland
Zero Waste Scotland provides free sustainability advice for businesses, including their Circular Economy Business Support Service which delivers tailored, expert, one-to-one consultancy to small and medium-sized businesses in Scotland that want to develop circular business models. They have a Circular Economy Investment Fund that businesses who have tried and tested a circular model in place can apply to grow and develop. Visit their website to find out more. Advisors from Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service can also provide advice at events and information sessions, including Presentations, Workshops and Q&As.
For social enterprises, charities or community organisations, funding help may be available through Foundation Scotland to improve your energy efficiency among other things. They have an impressive track record, over the past 11 years, more than £12.5 million has been invested to help 72 organisations around Scotland. Find out more here.
Whether you are making a big energy efficiency investment for your business like installing solar panels or simply looking at simple ways to reduce the energy you use, every action will have a positive impact on the planet and your pocket. The support is there to help you take the first steps to make your business more energy efficient for the future.