- Check your performance: As a starting point for reducing energy wastage, it’s worth investing in an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). These start at around £200, depending on the size of the building, and involve an assessor coming to your premises and providing a report of how it performs in terms of efficiency.
- Get your employees on board: It’s no good trying to be more energy efficient on your own, in order to improve your businesses carbon footprint (and cut down on your bills) everyone needs to be on board. Incentivise staff participation; treat your team with the money saved and make them understand the implications of their actions – most people want to be more environmentally friendly.
- Turn off the lights: It might seem obvious but simply turning off the lights when they’re not needed will make a huge difference. Remind people with stickers by light switches and consider investing in motion sensor lighting, with bulbs illuminated only when someone enters a room.
- Get Smart: The best way to make people aware of the cost of electrical equipment is by installing a Smart Meter. These clever bits of kit show the amount of electricity used and what that equates to in pounds and pence – a sure fire way to get everyone understanding the value of electricity. The plan is that everyone in the UK will have one in the next 11 years, some electricity providers are already offering them for free.
- Learn how your heating works: It may sound obvious, but most people don’t know how to work their central heating properly. Get to grips with your thermostat making sure that rooms are at a comfortable temperature. Don’t switch it off completely at night – keep it at a low base temperature and then set it to come on before everyone arrives, this is more economical than letting a building go completely cold. Invest in modern heating controls – weather compensation, which comes as standard with some new boilers, monitors the outside temperature to ensure a boiler consistently runs efficiently.
- Insulate: Insulate roofs and walls (if you can). The soon to be implemented “Green Deal” will mean homes and businesses will be given help to improve their efficiency with measures such as this. More information can be found at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
- Get a loan: The Carbon Trust offers interest free loans to companies which implement energy saving measures, find out more here: http://www.carbontrust.co.uk/.
- Go renewable: If you really want to take carbon reduction seriously consider installing renewable technologies. There are grants available: The Feed in Tarriff which was launched this year gives cash back for electricity generating renewables, and for heat, next year the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will do the same thing.
- Change your energy supplier: Energy efficiency aside you can simply save money on your bills by negotiating with your provider. They all want to keep your custom, so if you threaten to go elsewhere you may be offered a better deal. Consider greener providers, such as Good Energy, which offers 100% renewable energy.
- Call in the professionals: While some of these tips can be easily implemented, if you decide to go for more drastic changes make sure you employ trained trades people. When it comes to renewables, for example, you will not have access to funding unless the work is carried out by a Micro Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited installer. You can find out more about MCS here: http://goo.gl/3qKol.
Mark Krull is an eco-expert and marketing director for Logic4training
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