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Updated: 19/09/2023

Is your business seeking to reduce overheads? Cutting your electricity costs by improving efficiency can offer a great way to save money.

For businesses that haven’t switched commercial electricity suppliers, comparing gas and electricity prices is the best place to start to reduce costs. However, even those on the best business electricity and gas deals can save money by improving electricity efficiency.

An electricity audit allows you to understand your current electricity usage. You can then take steps to increase your electricity efficiency.

The business electricity audit can review all aspects of your electricity usage. It will consider:

  • The equipment your business uses
  • When and how you use electricity
  • The structure of your business premises

This information will offer your business an understanding of where your business uses the most electricity. You can then identify where you can reduce your electricity usage.

Am I legally required to carry out a business electricity audit?

Large businesses with more than 250 employees are legally required to carry out an electricity audit every 4 years.

SMEs are not legally required to carry out a business electricity assessment. However, they can benefit from an electricity audit.

What are the benefits of a business electricity audit?

An electricity assessment allows you to identify areas of electricity waste at your premises. You can then put measures in place to increase your electricity efficiency and reduce costs.

There is often a belief that implementing electricity-saving measures will be an expensive task. However, savings can be made simply by changing the way you use electricity.

Other inexpensive changes can help to reduce your business's electricity costs. This can include switching your lighting to an electricity-efficiency alternative.

A business electricity assessment can have real environmental benefits. Reducing your electricity wastage is a great way to demonstrate your business's eco-friendly credentials.

What type of business electricity assessment should I carry out?

Once you’ve decided to carry out a business electricity audit, the next step is to choose the type of assessment you need.

electricity audits can be carried out by your supplier or an external company. However, some businesses do choose to carry out their own audit. A private audit will involve either an on-site visit or a consultation over the phone.

The type of assessment you carry out will depend on how much time and money you want to invest.

What’s involved in an on-site business electricity audit?

An on-site business electricity audit involves an expert visiting your premises for a day. They will assess how you use electricity and provide advice on how you can reduce consumption levels. This involves assessing equipment at your premises including:

  • Machinery
  • Lighting
  • Heating systems
  • Air conditioning
  • Appliances

You will then receive an action plan detailing your current electricity usage and steps you can take to reduce electricity consumption. This should include the cost of any proposed changes and how they would impact your electricity usage.

What’s involved in an over-the-phone business electricity audit?

An over-the-phone business electricity audit will involve a call with an expert. They will ask a series of questions about your electricity consumption.

From the information gathered, they will put together a plan to help you reduce your electricity waste and bring down costs. Once again, the plan will include the cost of any recommended changes and their expected impact.

Your business electricity supplier may offer a free phone consultation for switching your business gas and electricity to them.

How can I carry out a DIY business electricity audit?

Businesses that aren’t ready to invest money into an external electricity assessment can carry out the audit themselves.

Carrying out your own business electricity audit allows you to understand how your business is using electricity and where it is being wasted.

You can keep your DIY audit simple. Start by taking a walk around your premises and feel for any air leaks around doorways. You can also check:

  • The type of light bulbs you use
  • The age of machinery and appliances
  • Any insulation you have in place

Some issues may be costly or need professional advice to resolve. However, it’s likely you will identify some quick wins which will allow you to reduce your electricity usage.

What is the next step after an electricity audit?

Once your audit is completed, the next step is to identify where you are overusing electricity. This will often show areas where you can reduce electricity usage by changing habits around the workplace.

This could be lights being left on whilst areas are unused, or laptops and computers left on standby overnight and at weekends.

For any changes with costs involved, it’s important to ensure you know how much the changes will cost and the potential savings on offer. With an external audit, this will likely have been carried out for you.

From this, you can prioritise actions that will offer the most immediate savings to your business. Once you’ve done this, you can start implementing your findings.

How can I improve the electricity efficiency of my business?

There are a number of steps businesses can take to improve their electricity efficiency. Some improvements identified in your business electricity assessment may need a sizeable initial investment. However, there are smaller steps you can take to reduce your electricity usage.

Choose electricity-efficient lightbulbs

A quick and easy way to reduce your electricity usage is to make the change to electricity-efficient lightbulbs. The two most common electricity-efficient lightbulbs are Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).

LEDs could reduce lighting costs at commercial premises by up to 90%.

Manage usage of appliances and computers

Many businesses are guilty of leaving desktop computers and laptops on standby when not in use. However, they may not be aware of just how much the practice costs in wasted electricity. A small business could pay more than £5,000 in wasted electricity costs by leaving desktop computers on standby overnight.

Other steps such as reducing your printer usage can not only save money but also make an office greener. Obviously, businesses can’t completely cut out their printer usage. However, requesting documents be sent online can cut down your paper usage.

Offer staff training

To improve the impact of any changes made, it’s vital to get your staff involved. A great way to achieve this is through electricity efficiency training. You could run this in-house or bring in workshop providers who are experts in electricity consumption training.

Consider placing signs around the premises. These can remind staff to switch off lights and keep them informed of any changes that are made around the business.

Ensuring staff feel they are involved in the process of reducing electricity consumption within the business can greatly increase your chances of success.

Consider a green electricity tariff

For businesses aiming to become more eco-friendly, switching to a green business electricity tariff is the ideal place to start.

When you switch to a green electricity tariff, 100% of your business electricity will be provided from renewable sources. Up to 100% of your business gas will also be renewable.

Green business electricity tariffs have seen rapid growth in popularity. There is now a range of affordable tariffs available to businesses.

Here at Business Electricity Prices, we can help your business compare the latest green electricity tariffs. You can choose from a wide range of electricity suppliers to find great green electricity deals.

To compare green electricity tariffs with us today, simply complete our quick online electricity quote tool.

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