How businesses are able to reduce energy costs
By Cynthia Taylor
If you are running a launderette, a busy kitchen, or a small office with equipment like computers, fax’s etc., regardless of the type of business you have, they all run up heavy costs, however there are ways to reduce your energy costs.
There is much hype about consumers struggling to pay their energy bills, but there is not much said about how bushinesses are coping in a climate where costs are continually increasing.
The average energy bill for businesses is around £2,600 annually in the UK. Many businesses and organisations are faced with pay freezes or cuts, job security is on the line, budgets for training are slashed, it's important that businesses look at ways to cut costs, save money and also save the environment.
Ways to help reduce costs – here are some ideas and tips:Switching of your Supplier
Loyalty to your energy supplier is commendable, however it does not help you if your energy bills continuously increase. Energy Bills are one of the largest expenses of a business, therefore, its incumbent on the business owner to look at cheaper tariffs for their gas and electricity. Many business owners are afraid of being locked into a contract that binds them, thus they are wary of switching suppliers. The commercial energy market is large, and its easy for businesses to fall into a trap of using one of the energy giants
The switch from one commercial supplier to another is not as easy as residential switching. however, it can be done. An existing contract needs to be terminated, in writing, and this must be done prior to the contract's completion as energy companies auto-renew without informing their customers, its important that owners check their contracts, to find out the notice period, some contracts have a 90 day notice period.
Energy saving measures and schemes
Some of the suppliers are specialists at providing green renewable energy schemes, that can help reduce business energy bills at the same time protecting the environment. Its vital that businesses find a supplier to work with them, where accurate business needs are assessed, before a choice is made for the most effective systems for the company.
Some examples of renewable sources are solar thermal, solar PV, wind power, biomass, ground or air source heat pumps. An investment in renewable energy will involve an initial outlay, however, with incentives from government, for instance, Renewable Heat Incentives (the RHI) and the Feed in Tariff (the FIT) makes it possible to earn as well as save on costs.Incentives and Grants
It may seem strange, but the creation of greater efficient energy for businesses can in many ways cost more initially, because of the upfront purchases. Some businesses with good ideas may not be able to afford to be able to implement these measures. There are several incentives and grants as well as free advice that's available for the commercial sector for energy. There is impartial advice available from The Carbon Trust and Envirowise who offer free advice on reducing energy consumption. Its a good idea to take advantage of this as it could save £1000's over time. The Carbon Trust also have an Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme that offers 100% allowances, for the first year, on equipment and machinery for qualifying bushinesses.
The Energy Saving Trust also have a couple of schemes that could help businesses, especially SME's where grant funding could be available for purchasing clean fuel vehicles and solar panels.Do you check your meter?
Most businesses have hundreds of things to do, which makes ie easier to forget about your energy bills, allowing the supplier to take care of things. When this happens its quite easy for the business to be paying for energy it does not use. To prevent this regular reading need to be taken, it would pay them to have someone monitoring the companies energy consumption. Accurate reading instead of estimates makes sure that the correct amount of payment for the amount of energy usage.Reduction of consumption
Costs can be reduced by negotiating a better deal, there are other ways to reduce energy costs. Behaviour changers could help businesses to cut costs by having an audit of energy usage done. This will identify where there is energy loss. Here are some tips to help reduce consumption:
Switching off computers and monitors, especially over night when they are not in use – one computer left on 24 hours will cost the company £50 annually.
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