5 energy saving tips for SMEs and Microbusinesses

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 uniformly answer, ‘energy costs’. For context on this market’s value to the economy, small, medium and microbusinesses make up 99% of all UK business, and 60% of total UK employment. The overspend on energy costs £60 million a year for office buildings alone and in total, is estimated to be upwards of £800m when factoring in non-commodity fees.

So, what should a SME business owner do? In the current world we live in, margins are as important as ever.

Here, we’ll break down some simple strategies that will 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 measures that help get the most out of their energy.

An often-overlooked solution is a straightforward energy audit. An energy audit has a positive effect on your consumption patterns and helps stamp-out inefficient energy habits.

There are misconceptions that energy audits are invasive and time-consuming. That’s simply not true. A basic 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.

Having awareness of where energy is being wasted saves money in the long term, and 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. Simply call: +44 (0)3 300 300 800 or visit: https://www.ngpltd.co.uk/our-services/energy-management/

2. Prevent ‘Phantom Energy’

It’s well-known that when equipment is idling (i.e., remains plugged in without being used), it still draws energy. We call this “phantom energy”.

It’s obvious, but when devices are fully powered, they should be unplugged. 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 ‘phantom’ load can account for 10%-20% of a business energy bill!

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 reduce your overall energy costs.

If you’re looking to enhance your sustainability credentials, 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 contact Northern Gas and Power, who provide well-rounded 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://www.ngpltd.co.uk/our-services/energy-management/ or call: +44 (0)3 300 300 800.

4. Green & Renewable Solutions

As a fortunate consequence of the COVID-19 crisis, governments are being increasingly urged to ensure a sustainable economic recovery rather than one that props up high-carbon energy.

A low-carbon surge has become more apparent over the past year. 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 parameter which offers electricity through entirely renewable sources.

The platform allows businesses to purchase from green generators in a cost-effective way, delivering a better deal for both parties.

If you’re looking to switch towards using green energy, you can 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 is the process of monitoring and controlling the consumption energy. When implemented, energy management leads to savings in both cost and consumption. Energy management systems can help SMEs save anywhere between 5% – 30% on their energy bills.

ClearVUE Systems provides some of the most leading energy management services currently on the market. Its proprietary energy Software as a Service (eSaaS) means that there are affordable solutions for all businesses that allow you to view your 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, clients are given 14 months of historic data on their past energy consumption.

There’s also a more granular, real-time proposition in ClearVUE. PRO. Immense energy data is shown in accessible formats, in real-time and in granular detail. You’ll see everything from your costs to consumption in simplified layouts.

Previously, the collection of this amount of data would take weeks. You’d have to source data from multiple meters, sometimes in different formats, and then unscramble the code yourself – making it impossible to run any meaningful analysis. But with ClearVUE Systems, it’s all done for you. It’s designed to make your life easier. Monitoring energy and power consumption of all your circuits and devices couldn’t be simpler.

Conclusion:

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.

 

Rasheed Ahmed, 25 January 2021

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