As energy prices have risen and look set to stay that way, we need to find ways to reduce our energy consumption. By reducing your energy consumption not only will you save on your energy bills, but you will also make your business more environmentally friendly and sustainable which can help with public perceptions. 

What can I do to reduce energy consumption? 

There are many things you can do in your business that can make a positive impact on your energy consumption, some are low cost and others may require investment, but these will eventually pay for themselves. 
 
Temperature controls – utilising your controls to manage the temperature of your buildings is essential in managing energy usage. Adjusting the temperature by 1C can make a difference and not be as noticeable to your staff whether it is heating or cooling systems. 
Standby – turning equipment off rather than leaving it on standby. For example, you can save 75% of a computer’s running costs by turning it off overnight, and a photocopier could save the equivalent of printing 5,000 sheets. 
Sensors and controls – Adding controls and sensors to your heating and lighting so that it can be turned off when rooms are not in use or timed for occupied hours. 
Insulation and draught proofing – ensuring your buildings are not losing heat (and not letting heat in summer) is important in lowering heating costs. Insulating roofs and walls, draught proofing doors and windows not only reduce energy wastage but increase comfort levels. 
Windows – replacing inefficient glazing or draught proofing windows as well as adding curtains can reduce heat loss. Using blinds in the summer can help keep rooms cooler. 
Lighting – upgrading your lighting can make a considerable difference. Many fittings are becoming obsolete and will require upgrades. Upgrading to highly efficient LED lights can offer savings of up to 80% and they can last up to 25 times longer reducing maintenance costs as well. 
Heating – if you have an old inefficient heating system it is worth considering upgrading to a more efficient system as considerable savings could be made. 
Servicing - Servicing your boiler is also beneficial as an inefficient running boiler can cost up to 30% more to run. 
Old equipment – sometimes old equipment can be costly to run and be inefficient and upgrading to more energy-efficient models might be wiser. 
Generating energy – you could invest in solar PV if you have the space to install the panels and benefit from the electricity generated to reduce consumption from your supplier and you may earn some money along the way from exporting energy to the grid. 
Flexible working – since Covid many businesses have become more agile and staff may have greater flexibility over where they work, this should have a positive impact on your energy consumption. However, if your premises are less occupied ensure that they are not heated, lit or have equipment turned on unnecessarily. 
Energy champions – getting your staff involved is a great way to motivate them and others to get involved and instil good habits. It may be that an environment champion might be a more appropriate role and incorporate wider aspects than just energy. 

How to fund energy efficiency? 

It all probably sounds great, but you are probably thinking how do I fund all this to make these savings? Some of these suggestions are low cost and others will require some investment but ultimately you will be making savings straight away on your energy bills that could help repay any loans you take out to do the work. For example, LED lighting upgrades can often offer a quick return on investment due to the savings available and the energy savings can pay for the loan repayments depending on the loan term taken. 
 
Some areas of the country may offer funding to businesses to help with the installation costs of energy efficiency measures. For example, the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership which covers West Yorkshire and parts of North Yorkshire and provides grants up to £40,000. 
We work with funding partners that can help source finance to make energy efficiency improvements like these which can include green finance and sustainability linked loans as well as more traditional finance. 
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