ENERGY AND YOUR BUSINESS
Taking the time to monitor and manage your energy can save your business money. Reducing energy use also has environmental benefits as the emissions produced by the production and use of energy contribute towards climate change. Some simple actions can reduce your organisation's energy bills. For example, working with your employees to ensure that equipment is switched off when not in use can make savings. A single computer and monitor left on 24 hours a day will cost over £50 a year.
The best place to start is by understanding where your organisation uses energy through monitoring your energy bills.
To gauge whether your energy use is high or low, it can be useful to compare the level of use with similar organisations (benchmarking). If this suggests that your business is a high energy user, then there will be opportunities to save energy and probably money.
Another way forward is to carry out an energy survey. Advice is available to do this yourself or there are organisations that provide this service. These surveys will give information on energy use and recommend costed actions to reduce consumption.
Financial assistance is available to install or upgrade equipment to reduce energy consumption. For example, Energy-Efficiency Loans for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) are available from the Carbon Trust.
Advanced metering can also help with monitoring and managing energy consumption. There are various systems available and they provide more detailed information on energy consumption. A study by the Carbon Trust has found that even in SMEs energy and cost savings can be made through advanced metering.
Another way of reducing carbon emissions and operating costs is to install renewable energy. Advice on the different forms of technology is available from the Carbon Trust and Energy Saving Trust. Nationally, financial support is available to businesses to assist with the costs of installation. Locally, LEADER provides funding to support the production and development of crop/woodlands for renewable energy.
‘Green electricity’ is electricity produced from sources such as the sun, wind or hydro power which do not produce carbon dioxide. To reduce your emissions, you could change to a green tariff. Both green tariffs and energy from renewables are exempt from the Climate Change Levy. This Levy is included in business energy bills, so these changes can reduce energy costs.