Everyone’s energy bills are high right now. But should you really be paying that much? Many companies have started to realise that they are overspending on energy as a result of bad habits and failure to assess their contract. By making a few changes, you could find that you are able to save hundreds or even thousands on your energy bills. Below are just a few examples of ways your company could be overspending.
Lights on in empty rooms
Lighting accounts for 20% of all energy used by commercial buildings. While good lighting can be important in business for many reasons, there are times when energy is wasted on lighting – such as illuminating spaces in which there are no people present.
Quite often lighting can end up being left on in spaces such as bathrooms or meeting rooms for hours at a time with nobody even using these rooms. While you may be able to ask employees to turn off lights in these rooms when not in use, motion-sensing lighting could be a more effective option for rooms used by customers (unfortunately you can’t expect all customers to manually turn off the light in a bathroom after using it). When it comes to outdoor security lighting, motion-sensing lighting could also come in use by preventing you from having to keep lights on all night.
Machines on standby
Leaving machines plugged-in on standby when not in use could be using up energy. Most modern machines are designed to use minimal energy while in standby mode. However, this extra energy consumption can still add up – especially if you have lots of machinery that is kept on standby 24/7.
When you no longer need to use machinery, get into a habit of turning it off at the wall or unplugging it. Some machinery may require a lot of time, effort and energy to boot up again, in which case it may be better to keep it on standby, but this is not the case with most machines.
Today’s appliances and devices are so much more energy-efficient than those that were manufactured 20 or 30 years ago. Wear and tear of old tech can further contribute to reduced energy efficiency. As a result, some machines that are 20 years old could be using twice as much energy as a modern version.
While many businesses keep on top of replacement of key tech like computers or POS display machines, some other types of machinery like office kitchen refrigerators and printers can sometimes end up getting overlooked. Consider whether this tech could be using up unnecessary amounts of energy, and whether it’s time to replace this tech.
HVAC usage in the workplace can be controversial. It’s a well known fact that women prefer a slightly warmer room temperature to men and that turning down the temperature to save money can therefore be seen as unfair to female employees.
However, there are many times when your HVAC may not need to be quite as warm or as cold as you think it needs to be. Many HVAC systems blast at a continuous temperature without taking into account the natural changes in room temperature from the amount of people, use of machinery or outside temperature. At certain points of the day, it therefore may be possible to turn down the HVAC and let the workplace warm or cool itself.
Upgrading your HVAC system could also save you money but could be a big investment. If you do choose to upgrade, consider features such as HVAC zoning (including thermostats in different rooms) to save energy.
Energy debt interest
Falling behind on energy payments could result in late payment charges or debts from loans. Make sure that you are paying energy bills on time to reduce paying unnecessary interest fees.
Many companies fail to pay energy bills on time because they come out once or twice per year in large chunks. Paying your energy bills in smaller instalments could make them easier to pay.
Mis-sold energy contracts
If you use a broker to find the cheapest plan, it’s possible that you could still be paying unnecessary money on your bills. Many brokers charge commission which can make up anything from 10% to 50% of your energy bill charges. This commission should be clearly outlined in a contract – however there are some brokers who have been caught out charging hidden commission fees.
Mis-sold energy claims may allow you to claim back the money spent on this commission if it was not clearly stated in a contract. This is worth looking into – some companies have claimed back thousands in past hidden commission fees.
Automatically renewed contracts
Does your energy contract automatically renew each year? You could be failing to save money by not taking the time to shop around.
Energy providers are constantly bringing out new plans and deals. What may have been the cheapest deal a couple years ago may no longer be the best deal on the market now. Make a note of when your energy contract runs out so that you can take time to shop around before for potential better deals.