Advice:Top tips for saving energy and money

By , published on 10th January 2011

Rarely do small businesses get a chance to save money, cut their wastage and help the environment all at the same time. Knowing where to start when it comes to reducing energy wastage can be difficult, but by making a few simple changes small businesses could cut their energy costs by as much as 20 per cent.

Here are some tips to help you make immediate savings:

  • Ensure one person has responsibility for energy usage – and that they have the full support of the owner/manager.
  • Monitor energy consumption to see how effective energy saving measures have been.
  • Replace traditional tungsten light bulbs with energy saving compact fluorescent ones, reducing consumption by 80 per cent.
  • Using air conditioning in the office may double your energy bills: the higher you set your air conditioning ‘switch-on’ temperature, the more you’ll save – so set the lower temperature to 24◦C or higher.
  • Checks to ensure any power saving modes on office equipment are switched on.
  • In commercial buildings, space heating is usually the biggest energy user. Draft proofing can be a cost-effective measure – use automatic doors and plastic strip curtains for heavy traffic areas.
  • In retail premises, lighting accounts for up to 60% of energy costs. Using high pressure sodium lights for external use is five times more efficient than using tungsten halogen lamps.
  • In food stores, refrigeration can account for half the total energy bill. Select cabinets with good insulation, easy-to-fit night blinds and plastic strip curtains.
  • In hotels and B&Bs, heating and cooling accounts for up to 70% of energy bills. Turning down temperatures in empty rooms to 14◦C will cut energy usage without risking damp or affecting guest comfort.
  • Although convenient and flexible, using compressed air to power industrial tools costs 10 times more than using electricity to power them

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Janette Whitney

About Janette Whitney

Janette Whitney is an award-winning business consultant, media columnist and award-winning business author. She specialises in business growth strategies and finance and formed her consultancy business after a highly successful career in banking. Janette’s expertise has won her both national and regional awards which include ‘Consultant of the year’ and ‘Business Book of the Year’ award (as co-author of ‘The Essential Business Guide’).

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