Businesses today must be smart about their energy usage, reducing the cost of utilities wherever possible. This is all the more important given that electricity and gas prices are at historically high levels right now in the UK and energy bills are set to rise by a massive 54% this year.
Let’s explore 5 simple ways in which you can reduce the cost of your electricity and gas—saving your business precious money that can be put to good use elsewhere. If you’re also Looking for ways to save on accounting costs we recommend you talk to our accountants in the UK for financial clarity.
Check out Different Energy Suppliers
Not all energy supplies charge the same amount. In fact, you might be unwittingly overpaying—and you could easily cut your bills simply by switching to another supplier. According to Gazprom, an estimated 1.3 million businesses are losing out on better deals by sticking with the same supplier year after year.
In fact, 40% of business owners haven’t changed their energy suppliers in the last three years. Statistics estimate that the average business overpays on their electricity bill by 44% and on their gas bill by around 65%—demonstrating that this simple oversight can have a profound impact on your business’s bottom line.
Make sure to regularly assess the market to see if there are any better deals out there for your business.
Keep an Eye out on Wider Industry Trends
Traditionally, if you used electricity for your central heating, you were essentially throwing money down the drain. Natural gas has historically been a far cheaper alternative, costing anywhere from 3.67 - 3.94p per kilowatt-hour (kWh). By comparison, electricity has generally costed around 16.0 - 17.4p.
But as you might have heard, gas prices have soared in recent months. Some industry experts even estimate that prices might rise by as much as 50% next year. While it’s impossible for businesses to predict the future, they should always pay close attention to the industry and make sure they’re making the right choices for that moment in time.
Right now, businesses should move to a standard variable tariff if their fixed deal ends. This is because the government and Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator, have implemented protection in the form of an energy price cap level. Going forward, however, businesses should stay up-to-date with any major changes in the industry—and they should act accordingly.
Carry out an Energy Audit
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses don’t regularly analyse where they’re spending electricity and gas. Of course, you know that some activities are more energy-intensive than others—if you’re mining bitcoin, it should come as no surprise that your electricity and gas bills are so high. However, if you’re diligent about energy usage—for example, you only turn the heating on for a few hours a day at the office—then you need to dig a little deeper.
In other words, you need to carry out an energy audit.
Consider installing smart meters to get you started. Smart meters give you a precise breakdown as to where you’re spending your energy, how much you’re spending, and when prices are highest. Use the data from your smart meter to inform when you put the heating on, for example, and only use energy when it’s at its cheapest.
Smart meters will not only show you where you’re spending the most energy, and how much it’s costing you, but you can then use these insights to reduce your expenditure in a smart, data-driven way.
Use the Right Equipment
Some machines and equipment use more energy than others, for example, LED lights use around 85% less energy than halogen alternatives, despite producing the same amount of light. With EDF estimating that up to 40% of a business’s energy usage goes on lighting alone, make sure to replace halogen light bulbs as soon as possible.
What’s more, Gazprom states that laptops use around 90% less energy than desktop computers. Equipping your staff with laptops will have a profound impact on reducing your energy bill—while it will also enable them to more effectively work remotely.
Make sure you're always using the latest, most energy-saving equipment possible. While the upfront costs might sometimes be relatively high, they may make up for this expenditure by saving you money in the long run.
Turn Your Appliances off When You’re Done Using Them
We live in an always-on culture—people can be contacted at all hours and can work from almost any place. It’s therefore hard for business owners (and their employees) to feel like they’re ever done for the day—and to finally shut down their laptops for good. But not only is doing so fantastic for your mental health, it can also lead to huge savings for your business.
It’s estimated that a single desktop computer and PC monitor uses roughly £10 worth of electricity from being left on standby throughout the course of the year.
But wait—why should you care about £10?
While that figure might seem small, think about the number of staff that you have. If you have 50 staff members, all of whom leave their computers on standby overnight, then that equates to £500 worth of wasted spend per year.
Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves
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We got your accounting under control, so you can focus on what’s really important: growing your business - and finding ways to decreasing your overheads. Talk to us today to find out how to reduce your paperwork stress.