We have a small import and export company and have an office of about 25 people.
During the coronavirus pandemic, we currently have about a third of our employees in the office on any given day, with the rest working from home due to social distance.
We still need to heat and light the property to the same extent as before and the staff have asked us to turn up the heating as it feels colder with fewer people in the building.
What can we do to save energy and money on our bills in winter?
Keeping energy bills low in an office environment can be difficult, but there are measures to be taken
Grace Gausden, This is Money, answers: It’s tough out there for small businesses surviving the pandemic and any way to cut costs in all areas will be at the forefront of many.
With fewer people in the office, they are likely to feel even more cold – depending on how modern the building is, how easy it is to heat and insulate.
For this reason, the office could use the same or even more energy for only a third of the staff, compared to a full office full of body heat.
Heating a half-empty office can be a real headache, but there are still ways to save energy and money.
This is Money, with the help of our partner, Bionic, a site that helps small businesses save money on their accounts, has put together some top tips.
According to Bionic, the first thing to do is to bring people as close together as possible, respecting the rules of social distance, and make sure all doors and windows are kept closed.
It’s also worth checking for drafts and installing self-adhesive thermal strips around doors and windows to keep the heat in and the cold out.
Try to keep the thermostat at a constant 22 degrees and insist that employees don’t adjust the heat – constantly messing with the temperature can significantly increase your energy consumption.
Make sure nothing is in the way of the radiators, including file cabinets and curtains, as this will reduce the amount of heat entering the room and mean the radiators use more energy.
Another thing companies can do to save money is switch to a better energy deal.
Switching providers is one of the most tried and trusted ways to save money on the household energy bill, and it’s just as much a tactic for saving money on business energy.
Bionic has a ‘Make it cheaper’ service that makes it easy to change energy supplier.
You can call its energy experts on 0800 188 4979 to learn more about business energy and to switch to the best rate.
Turn off: Turning off all lights after use is a good way to make sure you save energy
Another suggestion is to conduct an energy audit.
Any company that employs at least 250 people, or has annual revenues of more than £ 40 million and a balance sheet of more than £ 34 million, should conduct energy audits every four years and try to find ways to reduce consumption.
But even if you’re running a small business, it can be worthwhile to undergo a professional audit to get an accurate overview of where and when you’re using energy to find out where you can save and save money.
It is also important to make your own regular maintenance checks between services.
Watch for leaks or discoloration around pipes and valves, as well as pressure drop on the boiler. In case of problems, call a technician as soon as possible.
It may also be worth installing thermostatic radiator valves that detect the air temperature around them and then regulate heat by controlling the flow of water through the radiator they are mounted on.
Turning a TRV to a lower setting controls the room at a lower temperature and saves energy.
This is useful when there are natural temperature changes, as it stops the delivery of heat to the warmer areas.
Isolating your office can be another way to save money.
If heat can escape, it means your boiler has to work harder, uses more energy and costs you more money. Make sure roofs are well insulated too – a building can lose 22 percent of its heat through the roof.
Another good tip is to use energy-efficient bulbs, as they can save costs.
When it comes to lighting, use only the ones you need and encourage employees to turn off all lights after use.
Reduce your business energy costs – and go green
If you’ve never switched business energies, or if you’ve let your last deal come to an end without taking out a new contract, you’re probably paying too much.
Energy suppliers tend to make money off of business owners who don’t close new deals, similar to how households face the same loyalty penalty.
This is Money has partnered with Bionic to show companies whether they can cut their bills and also switch to greener energy if they want – something that is increasingly important to many.
Bionic will do the hard work for businesses and its no-obligation service will explain your options and potential savings.
> See if you can reduce your company’s energy bill
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