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Business Energy Audits Explained
Is your business is seeking to reduce overheads? Cutting your energy costs by improving efficiency can offer a great way to save money.
For businesses who haven’t switched commercial energy 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 energy efficiency.
An energy audit allows you to understand your current energy usage. You can then take steps to increase your energy efficiency.
The business energy audit can review all aspects of your energy usage. It will consider:
- The equipment your business uses
- When and how you use energy
- The structure of your business premises
This information will offer your business an understanding of where your business uses the most energy. You can then identify where you can reduce your energy usage.
Am I legally required to carry out a business energy audit?
Large businesses with more than 250 employees are legally required to carry out an energy audit every 4 years.
SMEs are not legally required to carry out a business energy assessment. However, they can benefit from an energy audit.
What are the benefits of a business energy audit?
An energy assessment allows you to identify areas of energy waste at your premises. You can then put measures in place to increase your energy efficiency and reduce costs.
There is often a belief that implementing energy-saving measures will be an expensive task. However, savings can be made simply by changing the way you use energy.
Other inexpensive changes can help to reduce your business energy costs. This can include switching your lighting to an energy-efficiency alternative.
A business energy assessment can have real environmental benefits. Reducing your energy wastage is a great way to demonstrate your businesses eco-friendly credentials.
What type of business energy assessment should I carry out?
Once you’ve decided to carry out a business energy audit, the next step is to choose the type of assessment you need.
Energy 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 energy audit?
An on-site business energy audit involves an expert visiting your premises for a day. They will assess how you use energy and provide advice on how you can reduce consumption levels. This involves assessing equipment at your premises including:
- Heating systems
- Air conditioning
You will then receive an action plan detailing your current energy usage and steps you can take to reduce energy consumption. This should include the cost of any proposed changes and how they would impact your energy usage.
What’s involved in an over the phone business energy audit?
An over the phone business energy audit will involve a call with an expert. They will ask a series of questions about your energy consumption.
From the information gathered, they will put together a plan to help you reduce your energy waste and bring down costs. Once again, the plan will include the cost of any recommended changes and their expected impact.
Your business energy supplier may offer a free phone consultation for switching your business gas and electricity to them.
How can I carry out a DIY business energy audit?
Businesses who aren’t ready to invest money into an external energy assessment can carry out the audit themselves.
Carrying out your own business energy audit allows you to understand how your business is using energy 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 energy usage.
What is the next step after an energy audit?
Once your audit is completed, the next step is to identify where you are overusing energy. This will often show areas where you can reduce energy 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 energy efficiency of my business?
There are a number of steps businesses can take to improve their energy efficiency. Some improvements identified in your business energy assessment may need a sizeable initial investment. However, there are smaller steps you can take to reduce your energy usage.
Choose energy-efficient lightbulbs
A quick and easy way to reduce your energy usage is to make the change to energy-efficient lightbulbs. The two most common energy-efficient lightbulbs are Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
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 energy. A small business could pay more than £5,000 in wasted energy 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. But requesting documents are 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 energy efficiency training. You could run this in-house or bring in workshop providers who are experts in energy 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 energy consumption within the business can greatly increase your chances of success.
Consider a green energy tariff
For businesses aiming to become more eco-friendly, switching to a green business energy tariff is the ideal place to start.
When you switch to a green energy 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 energy tariffs have seen a 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 energy tariffs. You can choose from a wide range of energy suppliers to find great green energy deals.
To compare green energy tariffs with us today, simply complete our quick online energy quote tool.
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