The average business energy bill now represents 0.51 per cent of total turnover – an increase of 70 per cent on 2010 figures.Additionally, with the economy in its current state, businesses must continue to tighten their belts wherever they can. From staff cuts to downsizing your office, slashing your training budget to cancelling your Christmas party, there are plenty of hard ways to cut costs… The little things, closer to home, are often overlooked as a way to reduce costs. James Constant, chair of EnergyForecaster.co.uk, has offered tips on how cost-conscious small firms can further cut down on the small things and become more energy efficient. Forget the traditional “turn down the thermostat and switch to energy-saving light bulbs” patronising advice, Constant offers practical – and, dare way say, occasionally fun – ways to engage staff in cost cutting. Top six tips to cut down on energy costs:
1. Make energy-saving a competition“Get staff involved in saving energy. Alternate the member of staff in charge of energy saving each week and take meter readings to see who can cut your energy usage by the most, with a prize for the winner.
2. More than one tea at a time“Everyone dreads doing the drinks run, but sneaky cups of tea for one often mean the over-filled kettle is boiled repeatedly throughout the day. Set some new rules; from now on, anyone boiling the kettle has to make tea for a set number of people, for example a minimum of four.
3. Make sure computers are turned off every night“We’ve all been guilty of it – needing a quick exit or a quick start in the morning. But, leaving computers on overnight is costly for a business. Ensure that the last one leaving each night does a monitor check, and don’t be afraid to name and shame the guilty ones.
4. Charity donations“Set a compulsory rule that if staff wish to charge their mobile phones at work, they must donate a minimum sum to charity.
5. DIY insulation“If you can’t afford to have professional insulation installed, there are a few cheap tricks you can rely on. Try sticking bubble wrap to your windows (in place of double-glazing) or sewing your own draught-excluders for leaky doors and window frames.
6. Encourage staff to work from home on one allocated day per week/month“This way, staff will use their own heating and electricity rather than a business’s.” What tips do you use to cut down on energy costs? Share your tips below.
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