With the increasing cost of energy, pressures to reduce waste, improve environmental performance and energy efficiency at work many businesses are now looking at ways of saving energy and reducing costs in this important area. In the UK almost a third of small to medium sized businesses identify the cost of energy as a block affecting their future chances of success. Identifying ways in which these businesses can improve their energy efficiency and so reduce energy costs is probably one of the best, and potentially easiest ways of improving their potential for improved profitability and growth over the long-term.
In the UK it is estimated that the average small to mid-sized business could save between 18-25% on its energy costs by taking simple, energy efficient steps, many of which deliver an average payback within two years. And best of all, nearly half of these energy savings could be implemented at no cost.
The UK Governments own energy projections indicate that energy prices (gas and electricity) are likely to increase between now and 2020. By taking proactive action now on their own energy efficiency, small to mid-sized businesses can improve their energy efficiency, reduce waste, help to improve the environment, and reduce their costs to improve profitability.
The Benefits of Improved Energy Efficiency for Business
One of the benefits of introducing energy efficiency for businesses is that they save money and bottom line profitability, year on year. Even if the savings achieved on some energy efficiency measures might not appear too impressive initially, it is sometimes worth putting it in to perspective and looking at how much extra sales you’d need to make the same amount of profit.
“A business delivering a profit margin of 5% over 5 years, introducing an energy saving of £500 per year delivers the same profit as £50,000 of additional sales.”
Energy Efficient Benefits
Heating – Simple Energy Saving Measures
In the UK space heating is an essential component of any building services installation and can benefit significantly from an energy efficiency review. Here we’ll review a number of simple measures that can be implemented that will improve your energy efficiency, reduce costs and improve the working environment for staff.
Heating Controllers, Timers & Thermostats
Currently in the UK heating costs go up by approximately 8% for every 1oC increase in temperature, so reducing the temperature on your thermostat by say 20C could save £140 on every £1,000 you spend on heating.
“It’s important to remember that turning the thermostat temperature up will not warm a room up any quicker… so try to avoid doing this.”
Implementing measures to save money on your heating bills at work can be fairly straightforward. Always remember, the longer your heating is on and the higher the thermostat temperature, the higher your energy costs will be. Here we’ve outlined a few simple things you can do that can have a big impact on your heating energy efficiency:
- All heating controllers are set to the correct time and date.
- Thermostat temperatures for office areas are set at around 19°C and any HVAC, air conditioning or other cooling systems are set at 24°C or higher.
- Temperatures in corridors, storerooms are set below 19°C.
- Weekend working, if hours are different are taken into account when setting the heating controls. Bank Holidays and other business holidays should also be taken in to account.
- Install tamperproof controls or make someone responsible for ensuring they are not reset.
- Review your use of any HVAC air conditioning installations – they are expensive to operate and any savings here can help significantly.
- Either use the air conditioning or open windows – never do both – you will just be cooling the outside air.
- Ensure any air conditioning is turned off in rooms when they are not in use.
- Any HVAC air conditioning installations in special IT rooms is set to optimum temperatures, these are usually recommended by equipment manufacturers.
Other Energy Efficient Measures to Consider for Heating Systems
Poor temperature control in the workplace not only leads to increased energy costs, it can also affect staff morale and productivity as the working environment becomes either too hot or too cold. Ensuring any heating (and cooling) controllers are situated in the right locations is important if they are to operate correctly. A review of the thermostatic controllers currently in place could include:
- Relocate thermostats to areas that are more representative of the desired temperature and are not affected by radiators, draughts or direct sunlight.
- Upgrade all thermostats to the latest wireless digital controllers. These are usually more accurate and can be installed without rewiring.
- Fit additional thermostats where comfort levels are hard to maintain.
Draughty Doors & Windows
Unwanted draughts and poor sealed windows and doors can allow colder air to enter a building further wasting energy. In fact, studies have shown that up to 30% of heating costs can be saved simply by stopping cold air entering a building. This is one of the easiest ways to improve energy efficiency. Here we’ve outlined a few simple things you can do that can have a big impact on your energy efficiency:
- Everyone understands the cost of wasted heat to the business.
- Draughty windows, unused doors, chimneys and flues are correctly sealed.
- People are encouraged to reduce thermostat temperatures before opening windows or doors.
- Doors are not wedged open for convenience – this can also be a security hazard.
Other Energy Efficient Measures to Consider for Doors & Windows
Windows, doors and other openings in the fabric of a building present an opportunity for draughts, in fact the larger the opening, the higher the potential for energy to be lost. It can therefore be useful to review such openings and whether any can be done to reduce the amount of cold air entering the building, while ensuring any ventilation that is required is maintained. Issues to consider could include:
- Fit draught proofing.
- Fit automatic closers to ensure doors shut automatically, and so are not left open.
- Separate areas that have different temperatures with curtains or swing doors to reduce unwanted energy losses.
- Integrate warehouse or factory doors with heating controls so heaters work only when the doors are closed.
World Class Indoor Air Quality Testing Solutions
Contact Water Treatment Services today to discuss your energy and resource optimisation requirements. We can provide expert energy efficiency solutions to help you reduce energy costs, improve efficiencies, optimise waste management processes and improve your environmental performance.
With offices in London serving the South and South East England, Manchester (North West), Birmingham (Midlands), Bristol (South East England and Wales), Leeds (North and North East) and Glasgow (Scotland), supported by regional teams of process engineers, in-field specialists and technical experts we can offer innovative energy optimisation solutions to organisations throughout the UK and Ireland.
More information about energy efficiency for small to mid sized businesses … here →