How to save your small business more money when it comes to energy

A small business doesn’t have much room to handle excess costs. Running lean, ensuring every penny spent is justified, is a powerful way to turn revenue into profit. Energy is a significant drain on a business, especially in recent times, with the uncertainty over supplies and the rising cost of living. Therefore, any efficiencies you put in place are going to make a significant difference to your bottom line. Equally, the good news is that most of these actions are simple, common-sense decisions that can be implemented easily.

Here are some of the ways you can save your small business money by being more efficient with your energy.

Shop around

In 2023, The Guardian reported that more than a million small businesses are caught on high tariff energy. The story was newsworthy because this additional cost put a lot of these businesses at risk of failure. Knowing the length of your contract and the sort of deal you can demand as a business is full of complexity. 

If you are confident, you can shop around yourself for the best deal. If you are confused, Ofgem now offers businesses in GB free, expert advice on how to find the best supplier. You can find details on their website. In NI, Invest NI also offer support and advice to businesses on ways to reduce their energy use.

Consider solar energy

Making energy from your business’s solar panels is an excellent way to save money. Eventually, it is possible that these panels could make you money, as any unused energy can be returned to the supplier – and they pay you for it.

While installing solar panels feels expensive, the benefits of alternative energy go well beyond cost-saving. Clients and customers often demand an ethical business partner. Gen Y and Z see the social responsibility of businesses as core to their buying decisions. So, as well as contributing to an improved environment, you are also increasing your brand reputation. These intangibles are often more important to the success of your business than you imagine.

Audit your energy use

You may have a smart meter installed or be able to monitor energy use on a regular basis (for example half hourly). Tracking and monitoring energy use can be an essential tool in tackling energy bills.

This information can give you a clear idea of your consumption profile, what pieces of equipment use the most energy and the impact of reducing energy use or spreading use across different times of the day.

Train staff to be responsible

During your audit, you will have gained valuable insight into the energy used around your business. Therefore, you become more conscious of closing doors and switching off lights. However, you are likely one of many helping to run your business, and you need to encourage your team to show the same responsibility for energy efficiency. 

Putting up signs around your business is one way of supporting your goals. You might even want to put your team on a rota to redo the audit, so they gain the same awareness you did.

Stop draughts

A draught is the equivalent of watching a five-pound note drifting away on the breeze. You are using all that energy to create heat, and all it is doing is combating cold coming in from the outside. Doing all you can to reduce these draughts is a certain way to reduce your energy bills. Equally, if you go to a hardware store, you can use window film as temporary secondary glazing, reducing heat loss through glass.

Build up the impact

Switching light bulbs, turning off utilities, and encouraging staff to close doors are a handful of small ways that will build up to a lot of savings. While changing your supplier and earning money from solar panels can immediately impact your costs, it is likely the small habits over a long time that will make the most difference. As a savvy businesswoman, you know that managing the pennies ultimately delivers the pounds.

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