Switching business energy is the best way to save money. Alongside efficient energy usage, the savings can be huge.
Whilst we offer services to switch business electricity and gas, we don't want to stop there. We want to provide you with the information to become a more efficient business. We've put together this guide to get you started.
Why conduct a business energy audit?
All businesses should complete a business energy audit. They can have a huge impact on large businesses, but smaller business will see savings from this too.
A business energy audit will expose any wasted energy. Taking the time to consider where energy is being spent provides a base plan to become more efficient.
It's often simple behavior changes that bring in the largest savings. Whilst they seem insignificant, over the year they add up. An audit does not need to be time-consuming or costly. Simply walk around the business with a notepad and any attention to anything that could be improved. For larger businesses, there are professional services available.
Beyond a healthier bottom-line, an audit will also improve your companies environmental efforts. This can be great for corporate social responsibility. With carbon emissions high on the Governments agenda, it's a good idea to start thinking about efficiency. It will help build a future proof plan for your business. The Government has introduced a Climate Change Levy to encourage businesses to become more efficient. You can read more about that here.
How do I conduct a business energy audit?
It will only take a couple of hours to complete a business energy audit. Here's what you do:
Determine how much energy your business is using
The quickest way to do this is check your recent business electricity and gas bills. This will give you an exact figure and an idea of where to make cuts. Different energy suppliers will have breakdowns. They should provide detailed usage information which might be helpful.
If you have a smart meter, you can track hourly usage. This helps you get more specific. Note the reading at the beginning of the day and then the end of the day. You can work off your daily usage and carry on with the rest of your audit. Keep a notepad handy, you will need it for the rest of the audit.
Identify areas for improvement
Once you understand how much energy you are using, it is time to assess business operations.
If you operate a factory, industrial or retail space, make note of all machinery. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How long is each piece of equipment on?
- Do they go on stand by?
- Lighting and heating?
Think about how you can become more efficient with this.
- Can you operate at different times? Economy 7 and 10 meters are great for businesses operating in the evening and on weekends.
- Can you switch equipment completely off when not in use?
- Can you install lighting sensors?
You may also consider when the building is heated and any draughts. It's not efficient to be heating the building when nobody is around.
It may be a good idea to get employees involved. They will know answers to many of the above questions.
For office buildings, the questions are similar. Employees leaving equipment on standby overnight and at weekends can build up huge energy costs. This one change in behavior alone can save hundereds of pounds each year.
Agree on areas of improvement
Once you have identified improvements, write a plan of action. It is wise to prioritise the cheapest and quickest problems to be addressed first. This means you can start savings almost instantly. You may need to do some work around educating employees.
Turning off equipment, scheduling the heating installing LED lighting are the quickest improvements. LED light bulbs are up to 70% more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Across your business, that can result in instant savings on your bills.
Asking employees to switch off equipment at the end of the day could halve your electricity bill in a month.
Review your business energy contract
Finally, ask yourself if you are on the right business energy contract. A quick comparison will tell you if you could get your business electricity cheaper. If you haven’t switched your business energy contract in the last six months, a cheaper deal is likely available.
We have exclusive deals from suppliers across the market. Depending on your business, it might also be worth considering alternative energy sources.