Simple strategies to help you reduce your small business energy costs
Ask any small business owner to name their most unpredictable expense. They’ll almost always answer, ‘energy costs’. For context on this market’s economic value, small businesses make up 99% of all UK business and 60% of total UK employment. They’re an enormous part of the economy.
They’re also very likely to overspend on their energy. For instance, office buildings overspend by around £60 million a year on energy costs. And the UK overspends by over £800m when factoring in non-commodity fees, according to recent estimates.
So, what’s a SME business owner to do? Here, we’ll break down some simple strategies to reduce your small business energy costs.
1. Energy Audits
You need to consume energy, clearly. That’s what it’s for after all. But many SMEs don’t implement simple energy saving measures that help get the most out of their energy.
An often-overlooked solution is an energy audit. An energy audit has a positive effect on your consumption patterns and helps prevent inefficient energy habits.
There are misconceptions that energy audits are invasive and time-consuming. That’s not true. An energy audit provides a clear overview of your business’ current consumption. This gives you an insight into the financial impact that energy usage has. With feedback, you’ll be able to form a plan to correct any inefficient usage or spend.
Remember, to save money in the long term, you should have awareness of where energy is being wasted. Additionally, with feedback from an energy audit, you’ll be able to reduce your consumption, cut costs and lower your carbon footprint.
If you’d like to consider an energy audit for your business you can contact Northern Gas and Power, who offer advice and support on the next steps for your business. Northern Gas and Power’s audits are compliant with BS EN 16247 which is the British Standard for energy auditing. Visit: https://ngpltd.co.uk/our-services/energy-management for more information.
2. Prevent ‘Phantom Energy’
It’s well-known that energy is still drawn, even when equipment is idle. We’ll call this “phantom energy”.
It’s obvious, but when devices are fully powered, they should be unplugged for greater energy saving.
On your business premises, it’s worth checking to see if any equipment is left charging overnight, or for extra hours during the day. The savings made can be substantial. For instance, it’s estimated that 10%-20% of a business energy bill comes from ‘phantom’ energy!
A guide to phantom energy
3. Engage Employees
Engaging your employees will have long-term energy-efficient results for your business. The more awareness there is on energy efficiency, the more likely you are to improve your energy saving.
If you’re looking to enhance sustainability credential or lower your carbon footprint to meet reduction targets, an increased awareness amongst your workforce is definitely an advantage. As energy reduction mandates affect more businesses, it’s worth giving your company the best chance of success.
If you’d like to consider energy awareness training for your staff, you can visit Northern Gas and Power, who provide energy training for businesses. Training can be completed on an ‘all-staff’ or individual level and includes long-term mentoring and support.
Find out more at: https://ngpltd.co.uk/our-services/energy-management/
4. Green & Renewable Solutions
A low-carbon surge has started to become more apparent. It’s been intensified by the surplus in renewables and the lack of dependency on gas, carbon and coal. Not only are they a finite source of energy which harm the environment, but we’ve seen signs that we could operate without them.
The benefits to SMEs are significant. It’s reported that up to 75% of businesses who have ‘gone green’ see commercial benefit as a direct consequence of taking action.
The benefits don’t stop there. As well as meeting mandated carbon reduction targets, green businesses are eligible for a raft of grants and tax breaks. And with cheaper, greener energy, it means this step is a very cost-effective option.
If your business is looking at steps it might take towards going green, switching to a green energy supplier might be the best option for you.
BusinessEnergyQuotes.com is an online business electricity cost comparison service designed to make energy switching swift and seamless for SMEs and microbusinesses. They provide a ‘green only’ search option which offers electricity through entirely renewable sources.
If you’re looking to switch towards using green energy, visit BusinessEnergyQuotes.com for a 10-second quote. Simply enter your postcode and monthly spend to view quotes from green energy suppliers in less than 10 seconds.
5. Invest in Technology
Energy management technologies have massive benefits for SMEs. Energy management leads to savings in both cost and consumption. They can help SMEs save anywhere between 5% – 30% on their energy bills.
ClearVUE Systems provides the most leading energy management service currently on the market. Its proprietary energy Software as a Service (eSaaS) provides affordable solutions for all businesses, allowing them to view energy data within minutes of subscription.
ClearVUE Systems offers two levels of energy management. Firstly, there’s ClearVUE. Lite, which gives businesses a simplified but detailed analysis of their energy fundamentals. Complex algorithms are able to detect and target specific instances of energy wastage in your business within moments of signing up. Upon subscribing, 14 months of historic data on past energy consumption is available to clients.
There’s also a more granular, real-time proposition in ClearVUE. PRO. Here, you can see everything from your costs to consumption in simplified layouts. The innovative software uses AI and machine-learning to analyse your usage patterns across all your energy assets. It’ll remember your energy trends and spot anomalous behaviour in real-time. Early notifications will prompt you to take preventative measures, saving you costly consequences down the line!
Previously, the collection of this much data would take weeks. You’d have to source data from multiple meters, sometimes in different formats, and then unscramble the code yourself. It was almost impossible to run any meaningful analysis. But with ClearVUE Systems, it’s all done for you. Monitoring energy and power consumption of all your circuits and devices couldn’t be simpler.
There are many different ways of saving energy for your SME business, and we’ve only just scratched the surface here.
For more information, visit our website: BusinessEnergyQuotes.com.