- Personal Finance
How to cut your energy bills
See the Light
If the lights are always on throughout your office then you are essentially leaking money in those lesser used sections of your premises. If staff have gotten into the habit of leaving the lights on after they have left a room it can substantially increase your electricity bills. Get employees into the habit of turning off the lights in the rooms that are used only occasionally, such as bathrooms, store rooms, and meeting rooms.
If your business is still using the old fashioned incandescent lighting it is surely time for a change. The most energy efficient light bulbs are LEDs. These last for an average of 50,000 hours, compared to 8,000 for CFLs or 1,200 for incandescent. LEDs only need around 10% of the power that traditional bulbs do meaning less electricity usage and lower bills. Unsurprisingly the annual operating cost of LEDs is about one-tenth that of incandescent bulbs. The biggest drawback from LEDs in the past was the price, but the good news is that they have come down a lot over the last few years. Nowadays LED bulbs cost around £5 each or less for bulk orders.
Are You Switched On?
Employees should get into the habit of turning of computers, monitors, and printers when they leave in the evening. That seems like common sense and you and your staff may already be doing this, but what about all of the other appliances - microwaves, coffee makers, and vending machines? Any appliance that is plugged in will continue to use power when they are plugged in. Giving someone the job of turning off everything in the evening is one way to ensure it gets done.
Some Like it Hot!
Over cooling a room during the summer or overheating in the winter can be a big drain on your energy and one that often goes unnoticed. Room temperature is in the range of 21 to 24 degrees Celsius (70 Fahrenheit), so anything within this should be comfortable. By reducing the temperature to the upper end of this range in the summer, you may cut your energy bill without sacrificing employees’ comfort. Similarly, in the winter raising the temperature to 21 degrees will maintain a pleasant ambient temperature while also saving money. How much difference does it make? Around 10% of the bill per degree of temperature.
Beware of False Economies
In most cases modern hardware will be more energy efficient than older models. This goes for computers, printers and scanners, but also for air conditioning units, heaters, microwaves, dishwashers, and all the other appliances and equipment. Upgrading can reduce your energy bills substantially, especially for high usage items.
Thinking outside the box (or at least the office), planting trees in areas that will provide shade from the sun and protection from the wind during winter can be a money saver and it also improves people’s spirits.
Look for Business Energy Incentives Online
There's a new domestic and business energy provider who claims to help you pay absolutely nothing for your utility bills after 12 months. All you have to do is choose a product, gadget insurance, business electricity, travel insurance, through them and then share your code with your friends. Every time a friend signs up you receive credit in your account, which can be used to pay your utility bills. It sounds crazy, and probably is, but it's also worth a look!