Heating may add a sizeable chunk to a business’ winter bills regardless, but there are ways to cut this cost down. In preparation for winter, it is important for a business to make sure the heating system is cleaned, as this will reduce the amount of effort (and energy) that the system needs to put into keeping the workplace at a certain temperature. The same goes for air-conditioning in summer; keeping your systems running smoothly and cleanly saves energy and repair costs over the long run.
Once winter has descended, heating costs can be kept down by setting the temperature to be a bit lower in areas that are hardly used, such as hallways, storage rooms or unused offices. The temperature also does not need to be kept on high during the night; putting the thermostat on a timer means you could set the temperature to around 10℃ at night, which should be enough to make sure nothing freezes and that the system won’t need to put too much effort into heating up in the morning.
Depending on the kind of workplace you run and the normal heating temperature in winter, it could also be possible to reduce the temperature by just 1℃. As long as your employees (or shoppers) don’t mind the slightly reduced warmth, you could save quite a lot over the winter months with this one small adjustment. Remember though that keeping your employees happy is always more important than reducing your heating bills.
To compensate for the higher gas bills in winter, now might also be a great time to see about reducing your electricity usage. There are considerable savings to be made by switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs or LEDs (if you haven’t done so already), and by making sure you have the most top-notch rated equipment and appliances (don’t forget about the company fridge and microwave!) when it comes to energy efficiency.
Another small change that can add up is to install light sensors in lesser used areas, so that the lights are only on when someone is actually in there. Asking employees to turn off their computer when they go home, instead of leaving it on standby, can also save a lot more on your electricity bill than you might think.
Reducing paper waste might not seem like something that reduces your electricity bills, but when you think about it this would not only decrease your printer paper budget and help save some trees, but also reduces the amount of power (and ink) that printers use and in turn helps the printers last longer. Wins all around!
A more radical option would be to allow employees, where possible, to work from home. By staying in their own house, they would only be using up their own energy, saving yours. This has the added bonus of eliminating commuting time and costs for the employee, so even if you don’t subsidise their commute, most employees would probably be happy to be given the option of flexible working, making them more likely to stay with your company.
Another radical option is solar panels. These can make a big difference to your electricity budget, and you might be eligible for a Government rebate so that you wouldn’t need to cover the full cost of buying and installing them yourself. They may take a few years to pay off, but they are certainly worth considering if you are serious about reducing your energy bills in the long term.
Are you happy with your current provider?
Bills can also be reduced by changing your gas and electricity suppliers – you wouldn’t hesitate to change suppliers if you were to find goods cheaper or better elsewhere, so why would switching energy suppliers be any different? It may seem like a momentous task, much more so for a business than it would be for an individual consumer, as it can involve getting new meters installed and other hassle. But given the savings that could be made, it might just be worth it.
To find out how you can switch suppliers, check out our business-specific guide on the subject, and if you’re ready to see what you could save, feel free to use our partner’s business energy comparison tool to get a quote.
If after implementing the above tips (at least those that are viable for your business) you still think your energy bills are too high, you can always consider having an energy audit done to get some tailored professional advice.