Top tips for managing energy costs and consumption

Top tips for managing energy costs and consumption

Energy can represent a significant outlay for businesses of all sizes, and this is only expected to continue as costs grow ever higher and demand increases in the coming years. Although this is potentially a worry for businesses, the good news is that energy is not a fixed cost and much can be done to reduce usage and therefore outlay.
Here are our five top tips for reducing energy use across a business:

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Carbon and energy management

Cited by the latest BEES report from the UK government as one of the areas with the largest potential savings, carbon and energy management can have a significant impact. A good first step here is to create a carbon management plan that details your medium- to long-term strategy. Give yourself a target for energy reduction and highlight the strategies you will develop in order to achieve this. Many of the world’s biggest corporates are moving ahead of governments and aligning their operations with the most ambitious parts of the Paris Agreement, so don’t be afraid to be ambitious.

Lighting replacement and control

Investing in energy efficient lighting alongside BMS control systems that adapt to occupancy levels in buildings can have a major impact in many sectors, especially offices, retail and hospitality. Where it can perhaps have the most impressive results, however, is in the field of manufacturing where facilities are less likely to undergo regular upgrades and improvements. As lighting typically consumes 20 percent of the electricity used in commercial and industrial buildings, the opportunity here is significant. But make sure you do your research; not all LEDs are created equally and, for example, if the wrong LED control software is installed the performance of the unit will be inferior so always employ a trusted supplier. Also when it comes to lighting, consider installing motion detectors so lights only power up when someone is using a particular space. This works particularly well in meeting rooms and corridors where there isn’t a need for lights to be on permanently.

Consider alternative energy sources

This could either mean buying from a green energy supplier or, if you own your premises, installing renewable energy technology, such as solar panels. Both options can shelter your business from the uncertainty around fossil fuel prices, making it easier to plan your energy use and needs. It also means you won’t have to pay the Climate Change Levy, and it may be possible to receive subsidies depending on how extensive your plans are.

Invest in maintenance

Keeping systems such as your running smoothly means they will operate more efficiently. Regularly change filters and make sure units are checked and maintained. Keep areas in front of the vents free from blockages such as furniture or paper as these barriers can significantly increase the amount of energy required to distribute air.

Always power down

Perhaps the simplest, but often overlooked, way to reduce costs is to make sure devices such as displays and printers are turned off (check out our recent blog:How office equipment influences energy managment) when not in use and turn off lights when rooms aren’t occupied. Consider making it company policy to power down computers, monitors, printers and other devices each evening, and open blinds to take advantage of natural daylight where possible.

While all of the above ideas will help you use less energy, it’s important to know your starting position and what you want to achieve. Here, a building energy management system can prove useful, allowing you to easily monitor and control energy-related building services such as HVAC and lighting.
By monitoring energy through a single, centralised system it is possible to have greater control over energy use, something which can translate into significant savings.
To find out more about the latest tools and technologies available to make your journey towards energy efficiency simpler, contact us here.

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