Quick winsThe nBEI highlighted a number of practical actions some SMEs are taking to help them achieve energy savings. The most popular energy saving tactics contributing to the biggest savings include, turning off unused equipment and lights, monitoring consumption levels generally, using more energy efficient equipment and minimising heat loss. In addition, 64 per cent cited efforts to educate staff about energy efficiency and its importance as an example of trying to adopt a more holistic energy-saving strategy. For help and guidance on implementing these types of energy saving measures, more than half are turning to their energy supplier. The energy reviews and audits offered by many energy suppliers are a good way to kick start energy saving activities as they provide baseline data from which areas for improvements can be identified and progress monitored.
Smart investmentsWhile many practical measures come at little or no cost (for example, turning off unused equipment and lights), the nBEI showed that some SMEs put off investing in technology such as smart meters that could help with overall energy management because they don’t know enough about the costs and benefits. Again, advice in this area from companies such as npower could help business owners identify whether a small investment up front could deliver big energy savings in the future.
Getting to grips with Government initiativesIt is clear that there is a good deal of scepticism and uncertainty associated with environmental legislation and government led initiatives. For example, the Government’s Green Deal initiative aims to help small businesses to fund energy efficiency measures, but the nBEI showed that a third of SMEs haven’t heard of it and a further third say they don’t understand it. In addition, a number expressed doubt about taking on additional debt at this time. This is another area where energy suppliers such as npower can offer advice and help small businesses to gain a greater understanding of what could be in it for them.
Better buyingThe results of the nBEI show that the majority (71 per cent) of SMEs believe they could ‘improve’ their energy purchasing habits. Many are attracted to the idea of longer-term energy contracts and, indeed 37 per cent of those questioned said they already had a fixed price and term contract with their energy supplier. For those who have not, it is worth entering into constructive dialogue with energy suppliers to see if getting increased energy cost stability through fixed price contracts could be a positive step for them. In today’s ever competitive commercial landscape, driving savings in any business is crucial. Any reduction in energy consumption and increase in energy efficiency that can be achieved can deliver real cost savings that can be re-invested in growth. Low cost practical energy saving measures – as seen in the examples revealed in the nBEI – as well as exploring the opportunities offered by smart technology, Government initiatives and better buying are all actions that SMEs can take now. npower is committed to helping SMEs maximise their energy efficiencies and reduce the cost of their energy use and, while the nBEI shows that some businesses are already on that journey, we want to encourage and support those who have yet to unlock their energy savings.
Practical energy saving tips for your businessWhatever business you’re in, there could be plenty of opportunities to make savings by reducing energy costs. Find out more about practical energy saving tips from npower. Find out what to do in a power cut
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