Winter is nearly here, the weather is growing colder, days are getting shorter and for many businesses this means higher energy bills. This year may be more challenging because of the energy crisis and the increasing cost of electricity.
We have put together five different ways you can help prepare your small business and reduce your energy consumption.
- Review your energy use
You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
Start by making a list of everything that uses energy in your business. Find out which machine uses the most energy. You can Install socket energy meters to help you measure this.
Consider engaging an energy auditor to help you to measure your consumption and usage patterns. They can also help you with cost saving solutions.
- Set the Thermostat 1℃ Lower
A simple change to reduce your energy consumption is to reduce your heating by 1℃. As we head into the colder months, it can be tempting to turn up the heating in the office. However this will be a significant draw on your energy bills. According to the SEAI, heating costs increase for every 1℃ increase in temperature.
- Switch the Bulbs
If you do not already use LED start switching bulbs now. They use up to 85% less electricity and last much longer. Whilst they cost more they will work out cheaper in the long run as they cost much less to run.
- Switch it off and set timers
Start a ‘switch off’ campaign in your workplace. That applies to lights and also to other machines and appliances. Encourage your colleagues to get into good habits by turning off their computers at the end of the day and to switch off monitors when away from their desks. Timers and Smart controls allow for better management of your lighting, heating and cooling.
- Bigger Projects
Larger capital items are a more long term project but will save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. Explore adding double or triple glazing windows and improved wall and roof insulation. Solar photovoltaic (for electricity) or solar hot water panels on the roof can provide electricity or hot water directly to your premises. This will not only reduce your energy bills but will also reduce your reliance on the national grid for energy. You will be more self-sufficient and less affected by any potential energy shortages.
Start Small, Think Big
Whatever you do, remember that it’s better to start small and do something. The more changes you make, the better. These small changes can add up to big savings. Think about taking on a bigger wind or solar project to reduce your dependence on the national grid. Whilst it is a big capital outlay to start with, it will provide you with free energy in the long run – and save you money. This current energy crisis marks the beginning of a very unpredictable energy market in the future with prices likely to remain high. Take some positive steps now to reduce your costs and reduce your impact on the environment.
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