Saving energy can:
- save your business money, e.g. reduce lighting bills
- help you offset escalating fuel costs and environmental taxation
Most energy in the UK comes from non-renewable fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas. However, these resources are polluting and are running out. Burning fossil fuels contributes to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and to global climate change.
Taking steps to improve energy efficiency is not currently a legal requirement, but with the recent energy price increases reducing consumption now makes even more sense.
Some small changes can have a major contribution to reducing energy use. Here’s some advice from the netregs.co.uk web site, but there are a lot more practical tips there so take a look.
Heating and cooling
- If you reduce the temperature in your buildings by 1°C you can cut your heating bills by 10%.
- Check that thermostats are positioned and set correctly, e.g. between 16 and 19°C.
- Set thermostats, timers and radiator valves correctly and ensure that radiators are not obstructed.
- Turn off or reduce heating outside working hours. Reduce the heat in areas that need less heat, such as store rooms.
- When the heating is on, close windows and outside doors. If it is too warm, turn down the heating instead of opening windows.
- Do not have cooling and heating systems on at the same time. If it is too warm, turn down the heating. Sounds common sense but this can often be seen in some offices!
- Minimise air-conditioning by using mechanical, e.g. fans, or natural ventilation.
- Reduce the temperature of stored water. However, you must keep the temperature above 60°C to prevent Legionnaire’s disease.
- Regularly service your boiler.
- Draught-proof or insulate windows, doors, lofts and pull curtains or blinds when the sun goes down.
- Switch equipment off when it is not in use, e.g. turn computer monitors off at lunchtime.
- Do not leave computers, lights, copiers, printers, vending machines or water coolers on overnight. Leaving a photocopier on overnight uses enough energy to print over 5,000 A4 copies.
- Share printers wherever possible. Printers standing idle still consume energy.
- Avoid leaving equipment on ‘stand-by’ mode. This wastes energy, which would be saved if you switch the device off.
- Ensure all equipment with ‘power-down’ devices have them activated.
- ‘Screensavers’ don’t save energy, they only protect the screen. Turn your monitor off instead.
Lastly when you buy equipment, consider buying the most energy efficient option. Energy consumption can vary greatly depending on equipment age, model and manufacturer.