Regardless of size or sector, all companies have fixed costs that are unavoidable and that they have to pay for everything from rent and rates to utility bills or the cost of supplies. Often, these fixed overheads place a considerable drain on companies – particularly if you’re just starting out or are one of the many Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) that form the backbone of the economies of most nations globally.
However, while many of these costs are relatively fixed (e.g., your rent or the overhead of employing staff), there are some—like energy—where you could make significant savings by just taking some savvy decisions.
If you find your energy costs and consumption at work frequently eat into your profits, below are some ideas you could try to reduce your spending.
Firstly, Check Your Supplier
Sure, there are many ways you can reduce your energy consumption, but that will make little difference if you’re already paying over the odds for your service. In addition, it’s worth remembering the majority of energy firms reserve their best deals for new customers rather than rewarding the loyalty of existing customers.
These days, there’s no excuse not to check around for a better deal. With the seemingly endless growth in price comparison sites, it’s easier than ever to get a much more comprehensive range of prices from a much wider range of suppliers – even companies you might not have considered in the past (or might not even have heard of). Sites like businesscomparison.com make it very simple to check and compare a huge range of business energy suppliers to allow you to get the very best deal.
Look for Ways to Reduce Your Energy Consumption
Once you’re sure you’re paying the best tariff for your energy, it’s time to start considering how you use power in your firm and look for ways to reduce waste. In particular, the usual suspects are often to blame in the office environment for excessive energy use – namely lighting, heating, and office equipment (e.g., computers, printers, copiers, etc.).
As a general rule, you should ensure all electrical equipment is turned off when not in use (don’t just rely on standby mode as that often still uses significant power). Also, switching to laptops has been found to cut electrical costs by as much as 80%-90% in comparison to using desktops.
As for lighting, it’s just common sense to turn off lights when rooms aren’t in use – yet it’s surprising just how many companies fail to do so. You should also replace any outdated lighting as it will use much more power than more energy-efficient, modern lights. Also, where possible, use natural light to illuminate the workplace (i.e., if you already have a lot of sunlight in your premises, there’s no need to also use a lot of artificial light).
When it comes to heating, you should install automated systems to regulate the temperatures in rooms and minimize the chances of individuals adjusting the heat themselves. You should also ensure your heating systems are up-to-date – plus remember to either switch off the heating when your premises are unoccupied or turn it off completely (particularly in the summer months).
Photo by Marc Mueller.