Gas and electricity are essential for powering your business. SMEs, however, often overlook a few simple steps that could significantly reduce their energy bills.
To eliminate inefficient habits, we recommend that you perform a simple business energy audit. As part of this guide, we will outline several steps on how to take action, along with a helpful checklist, in order to highlight the benefits of an energy audit.
Any energy audit should be coupled with a cost-effective energy tariff before you start.
You can find a cheaper deal on your business electricity or gas by using a business energy comparison site such as Business Energy UK. These sites also offer in-depth guides and reviews to help you make a more informed decision before you choose a new provider.
What are the benefits of conducting an energy audit for my business?
Businesses have many challenges to contend with in their day-to-day operations. As a result, many owners and managers are unwilling to invest the time and money required to do an energy audit.
The truth, however, is quite different. An energy audit can provide you with a clear overview of your company’s energy consumption, in addition to providing you with vital insights into which areas are having a significant impact on your finances. As a result of this information, you can create a plan of action to address each area one by one.
By conducting an energy audit, you will be able to identify the areas of the business in which energy is being wasted. Using the results, you will be able to decide how best to save energy, reduce your carbon footprint and save money. Audits should look at the interior, exterior, fixtures, and equipment of the property.
The development of a sustainable business model gives you a distinct advantage in terms of social responsibility over your competitors. You can use this to show potential customers what you’re doing to improve the local community and environment. The creation of carbon-neutral companies has attracted a great deal of interest from buyers and clients.
What is the process?
Larger companies may be required by law to perform energy audits, but smaller companies are not. Nevertheless, it’s worthwhile to complete this task. Professional auditors provide invaluable advice and point out areas that should be addressed in priority order. Alternatively, you can perform an audit on your own without hiring a professional.
The first step is to understand your current energy usage. A consumption analysis tells you how much energy is consumed by each activity or business area. Inefficient areas can be quickly identified across departments or buildings. You can estimate your energy usage on your own or use a free spreadsheet online. Further, if you have copies of your last 12 monthly bills, your current commercial energy provider can also provide you with the necessary information.
It is possible to find various energy-saving opportunities by walking around the site in a systematic way. If your audit is in-depth, you are more likely to gain maximum benefit. Using a checklist will allow you to identify which areas will save you the most money on gas and electricity. There are some areas that require long-term solutions, and there are others that only require a few quick fixes. Moreover, areas that aren’t high on the priority list can always be addressed in the future.
After you’ve obtained all the necessary information from the business energy audit, the next step is to put it into action. To improve an area that is inefficient, you must estimate both the potential savings and the cost. LED light bulbs are a low-cost project that can be implemented right away, while projects that require a larger investment such as solar panels will need to be evaluated at a managerial level. The following elements should be included in your business case:
- Rationale for the project
- Identify the right solution
- Project plan and a timeframe
- Financial cost breakdown
- Cost-benefit analysis
Although creating a business case may seem time-consuming, you can actually make a number of small changes right away. Here are a few easy actions to take:
- Replace old lights with modern energy-efficient LED bulbs
- Shut down all computers and electronics when not in use
- Make use of natural light as much as possible
- Print less and recycle more
- Install a smart thermostat
- Install smart sensors that automatically dim or turn off the lights in areas that aren’t in use
Thanks for reading this article, hopefully, you found it helpful. The best way to understand how much gas and electricity your business uses is to conduct an energy audit. You’ll not only save money on your bills, but you’ll also be driving us towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.
Interesting related article: “What is an Audit?”