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Business Electricity Audits Explained

One of the first steps to reducing your business electricity spend is with a business electricity audit. This guide will explain what that is, and how to go about one.

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What is a Business Electricity Audit?

A business electricity audit is often one of the first steps to reducing costs.

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

A business electricity audit allows you to understand your current usage. This provides a base to start improving efficiency.

  • 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.

Do I need an electricity audit?

Large businesses with more than 250 employees are legally required to carry out an electricity audit every 4 years. It is optional for SMEs but good practice.

What are the benefits of a business electricity audit?

A check allows you to identify areas of electricity waste at your premises. You can then put steps in place to increase your 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 option.

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

What type of business electricity assessment should I carry out?

Business electricity audits can be carried out by yourself or an external company. 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 reviewing equipment at your premises including:

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

You will receive an action plan detailing your current electricity usage and steps you can take to reduce 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 usage.

From the information collected, they will put together a plan. Once again, the plan will include the cost of any advised changes and their likely impact.

Your business electricity supplier may offer a free phone call for switching supply to them.

How can I carry out a DIY business electricity audit?

Businesses that aren’t ready to spend money on an external electricity review can carry out the audit themselves.

Carrying out a business electricity audit allows you to pinpoint wastage.

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 skilled advice to resolve. However, you will likely identify some quick wins which will allow you to reduce your electricity usage.

What is the next step after an electricity audit?

You can start making simple changes based on your findings.

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.

From this, you can prioritise actions that will offer the most immediate savings to your business. Once you have done this, you can start making changes.

How can I improve the electricity efficiency of my business?

Choose electricity-efficient light bulbs

A quick and easy way to reduce your electricity usage is to make the change to electricity-efficient light bulbs. The most common electricity-efficient light bulbs 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 computers and laptops on standby when not in use. A small business could pay over £5,000 in wasted electricity costs by leaving computers on standby overnight.

Offer staff training

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

Green business electricity tariffs have seen rapid growth in popularity. There is now a range of cheap 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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