Quick energy saving tips for SMEs

Chloe Bell
By Chloë Bell, Content Journalist

It doesn’t matter if your business operates with a few staff from a small premise or employs a large workforce over several sites, being mindful of how you’re using gas and electricity is vital when looking for ways to save money on your business energy  

Reducing your energy usage could have multiple benefits for your business, such as: 

  • Save money on gas and electric bills
  • Increasing your profits 
  • Helping the environment.  

The great news is that a lot of these savings can be made by making very simple changes to your daily working routine.  

Energy monitor on table next to blue cup. Screen is showing how energy is being used and how to save energy.

11 simple ways to help your small business save energy today 

So, how exactly can your business start to save money right now and how can you be more conscious about your energy habits? Have a read of the energy-saving tips below to find out. 

1. Assess when you’re heating your premises 

Think about when you most use electricity and gas at your business and weigh up if you really need to heat your premises at those particular times.  

A lot of business owners pay a standard tariff to heat their premises but find that the building is being heated overnight or when rooms are empty. This can be a huge waste of money and you could be saving hours of energy by only heating the building in the daytime or when rooms are in use. If you do need to heat your building overnight-say you have shift workers in the building-then it could be worth considering a time of use tariff that offers cheaper rates at certain times.     

Another simple yet effective business energy-saving tip is to turn your heating down by one degree.  

You probably won't even notice this tiny temperature difference, but what you will notice is a saving on your business energy bills as a result. Just taking your thermostat down a notch is a quick way to start saving fast. This one small action only takes seconds to carry out and could potentially slash your heating bills by as much as 10%

2. Switch appliances off 

Do you notice that you tend to leave appliances on standby rather than switching them off completely? We’ve all done it, whether by accident or on purpose, and it hardly seems a big deal. 

But, when appliances are left on standby, they’re still using energy. if you’re not even using the appliance, then you are essentially wasting energy and money - money you could be using on your business. 

"Switching appliances off when you’re finished with them makes a difference when you want to cut your gas and electricity costs. When you next clock off, make sure you turn off your computer monitors, lights and any other unused appliances on your premises." - Ed Whitworth, Head of Energy Performance.

3. Pay attention to the weather  

Another way you can save energy is to take a closer look at your business thermostats and adjust them according to the weather conditions outside. If it’s a hot day and rooms don’t need to be heated, then turn the thermostat down and you’ll be saving money in no time.  

Domestic and business energy usage usually drops during the summer months as there's less need for lighting and heating (though cooling costs can add up). Simply being conscious of the weather outside and adjusting your thermostat accordingly can help make sure you’re more cost-efficient. 

4. Install a smart meter to save 

Smart meters are a great way to keep control over your business energy bills, largely because it helps you see where and when your gas and electricity is being used.  

smart meter lets you see how much the energy you use is costing you, meaning you can curb your consumption as a result. Speak to a Bionic tech-enabled expert for information on how a smart meter can aid your business gas and business electricity savings.  

5. Be mindful of water costs 

60°C is the optimum temperature for hot water, so if you notice that you’re running water that’s hotter than that, a few issues can arise.  

For starters, running water hotter than 60°C can potentially be quite dangerous for you, your staff or anyone using the supply – a trip to A&E to treat scalded staff isn’t good for anyone. Injuries aside, it could also leave you wide open to a costly business insurance claim. 

You’ll also be wasting energy too - 60°C gets the job done and you can slice your business energy bills at the same time. You could also think about installing touch-free taps in toilets so you can be using water more efficiently too.  

6. Turn off lights when not in use or fit light sensors 

Another easy way to save energy is to make sure you switch lights off whenever you leave a room. It may seem like an obvious one, but sometimes we don’t even register that leaving lights on can cause our energy bills to skyrocket.  

We forget about the little things. Simply advising staff to turn off lights when they leave an empty room or when leaving at the end of the day makes all the difference.  

You can also take advantage of natural light during the day, if it’s a bright, sunny morning or afternoon and the overhead office lights aren't really making too much of a difference, pull back the blinds make full use of the sunlight 

Many businesses also opt to install light sensors in areas like storerooms and toilets because they are places where people aren't going to be all day.  

7. Encourage all staff to be energy-aware 

Decreasing our energy usage is something we all need to think about in the short and long term. Not only does this help reduce the harmful effects that high energy consumption in our world, but it's also cost-effective to be mindful of what you’re spending and where.  

A study published on Energy Live News claimed that 68% of employees now thought about their energy usage more mindfully at work. But there’s still work to be done, that’s why you should talk to your staff about energy saving initiatives and explain why it’s so important. You could think about things like incentives and rewards or words of encouragement to spur them on to really get involved. 

8. Draught-proof your building 

If you work on ensuring your premises is well insulated, then there will be less need for expensive heating costs. Draught-proofing doors and windows is a cheap but effective way to save money on gas and electric bills as it limits the amount of heat that can escape and stops cold air from getting in.  

Making simple changes like this and taking time to inspect your premises to see if there’s any gaps or cracks where draughts could come through will make all the difference and it will be reflected in your monthly business electricity and business gas bills.  

9. Go paperless as much as you can 

Sometimes we don’t actively think about how many documents we’re printing and how much paper we’re using each day. And we very rarely consider how much electricity is being used to activate the printer. 

As more and more businesses go paperless, you could maybe think about if this option is viable for you too. Going paperless can be a great cost-effective solution if you find that you can email digital receipts or read a document online instead of printing.  

10. Request an energy audit 

Energy audits can be incredibly helpful, and your current energy supplier will be able to help you get started. By taking part in an energy audit, you’re ensuring that you know exactly where you are using the most and how you can cut this down. It’ll help you take full control of your spending.  

Many energy suppliers offer audits to help your business pinpoint exactly where you can save power and how you can do this. Just contact your current supplier to find out more and get started.  

11. Switch energy supplier

No matter how happy you are with your current energy supplier, they may not be providing you with the best deals, especially if you've let a fixed-rate contract expire without arranging a new one. If you haven't browsed any alternative tariffs lately, then you may not be aware that there are better options out there.  

It really does pay to shop around and compare gas and electricity prices on different tariffs and with different suppliers. You could be saving so much money per month and be putting that back into your business. If you want to do a little more for the environment, it's worth considering a green energy deal or even putting your own renewable energy technology in place.

For more information about how you can save your small business money on your gas and electricity bills, call our Bionic experts on 0800 540 4943 and see how we can help you. Or leave your postcode on our business energy page and we’ll give you a call back.