Business energy efficiency advice
Tips for reducing energy use
Install efficient and well-controlled lighting
Switching from fluorescent, halogen or metal halide/SON lighting to LED can reduce energy use by up to 70%. LED lights also emit less heat (reducing air conditioning costs) and provide better quality light.
Even better savings can be achieved by using daylight and occupancy controls, so that lights are off when not needed. Simple steps like labelling switches to help staff know which lights can be switched off and which should stay on can also save energy.
Reduce heat loss to keep warmer
Draughty and poorly insulated buildings cost far more to heat, can be bad for staff morale and may not meet statutory Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards. Improvements include:
- Roof or loft insulation – including above suspended ceilings
- Double or secondary glazing (which also reduce noise)
- Draught strips on doors
- Insulated roller-shutter doors, including fast acting mechanisms to reduce the need to keep doors open
- Wall insulation
For a workshop or warehouse with a high ceiling, installing recirculation fans will move warm air back to the shop floor and can reduce energy use by 25%.
Use heating and cooling systems effectively
Ensure that windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling systems are in use and set a 'dead-band' of 4-5 degrees between heating and cooling to prevent systems from operating simultaneously.
Heating controls should be used so that the building is only heated when occupied. Automatic heating controls are suitable for buildings where:
- there are simple on/off or time clock controls
- the heating system does not react to changes in the climate
- there are times of day when the heated area is very warm.
Controls usually pay back their investment within a couple of years.
Installing optimum start/stop and weather compensation controls will enable automatic adjustment of your heating system in line with the weather and can often provide a 10% efficiency improvement.
A-rated boilers can achieve efficiencies of 90% or more compared to 60-70% for older generation boilers.
Operate equipment efficiently
Most office equipment will have standby and sleep settings, which reduce power use after a period of non-use. However, according to the Carbon Trust, office equipment left on standby during bank holidays and weekends could cost small and medium sized office based businesses a significant amount over the course of a year, so switching equipment off regularly is still important.
Wasted energy from process equipment can be tackled, for example by:
- Reducing compressed air pressure to the minimum required
- Identifying and fixing compressed air leaks promptly
- Installing variable speed drive controls on large fans or pumps
- Upgrading old motors to high efficiency models.
For most companies, purchasing energy from renewable sources is more cost effective than investing in on-site generation. However, in some cases the payback period for renewable technology such as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is very good, particularly if the premises have un-shaded south facing roof space.
More help and further info
For more information and tips on where to look to reduce energy and resource use, whilst also minimising bills and carbon emissions, download our carbon reducing checklist for businesses.