Energy efficiency tips – Save Money
By making small changes to your business activities, you can make large savings on your energy bills.
Heating and cooling
- If you reduce the temperature in your buildings by 1°C you can cut your heating bills by 10%.
- Check that thermostats are positioned and set correctly, eg between 16 and 19°C. Fit tamper-proof thermostats if necessary.
- Set thermostats, timers and radiator valves correctly and ensure that radiators are not obstructed.
- Turn off or reduce heating outside working hours. Reduce the heat in areas that need less heat, such as store rooms. Turn off the heating and close the doors in unused rooms.
- When the heating is on, close windows and outside doors. If it is too warm, turn down the heating instead of opening windows.
- Do not have cooling and heating systems on at the same time. If it is too warm, turn down the heating.
- Minimise air-conditioning by using mechanical, eg fans, or natural ventilation. Air-conditioned buildings use about twice as much energy as naturally ventilated buildings.
- Reduce the temperature of stored water. However, you must keep the temperature above 60°C to prevent Legionnaire’s disease.
- Regularly service your boiler and check your system for any leaks.
- Draught-proof or insulate windows, doors, lofts, boilers and pipes. The most important pipes to insulate are the hottest ones and the ones in the coldest places.
- During winter, close curtains and blinds as soon as the sun goes down to reduce heat loss as the temperature drops.
- Switch equipment off when it is not in use, eg turn computer monitors off at lunchtime.
- Do not leave computers, lights, copiers, printers, vending machines or water coolers on overnight. Leaving a photocopier on overnight uses enough energy to print over 5,000 A4 copies.
- Share printers wherever possible. This prevents printers standing idle and will also reduce your maintenance costs.
- Avoid leaving equipment on ‘stand-by’ mode. This wastes energy, which would be saved if you switch the device off.
- Ensure all equipment with ‘power-down’ devices have them activated.
- ‘Screensavers’ don’t save energy, they only protect the screen. More advanced screensavers can use more energy than an idle computer would. Turn your monitor off instead of using screensavers.
- When you buy equipment, consider buying the most energy efficient option. Energy consumption can vary greatly depending on equipment age, maintenance, model and manufacturer. Consider the long-term energy costs for your equipment; it may save you money in the long run to pay more initially.
- Switch off lights when they are not needed.
- Label light switches to clearly identify the lights they control.
- Clean light fittings regularly. This will increase the brightness of your lighting and could mean you need to turn on fewer lights.
- Maximise natural lighting by ensuring windows are clean and window ledges are not cluttered. Make sure you plan your office layout to make the best use of natural and artificial lighting.
- Install modern slimline fluorescent tubes or energy efficient light bulbs. These will last much longer than ordinary bulbs and use less energy. If double fluorescent tubes have been fitted, check whether you can replace them with a single tube.