Impact of energy use in UK business and how it can be reduced?

Impact-of-energy-use-in-UK-business-and-reduced energy costs

The Responsibility on Business and Industry to Reduce Energy Costs

Why would I want to reduce energy costs for my Business? It’s known that 60 – 70% of a business’s energy budget is typically spent on heating[1], and this figure increases in line with the age of a business’s building(s). This level of energy usage obviously impacts the environment but trying to equate this percentage to how this use impacts the environment is somewhat difficult.

To actually quantify this amount, it is equal to burning, per annum, 32 million tonnes of oil. This is equivalent to 192 million barrels of oil. Or putting it yet another way – 12,000 Olympic size swimming pools full of oil.

Even given these figures it is still hard to imagine about how much damage the release of this amount of energy causes. To do this we need to equate it with something tangible – such as the energy released by the Hiroshima bomb. When we do this, the calculation of the impact is equivalent to ten Hiroshima bombs per day[2]!

Given this information, it is hard for anyone of us to not want to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem. We all know that the environment is suffering along with the climate and cutting down on this damage is considered by many to be a moral duty. Even leaving this viewpoint to one side, all this excessive consumption is an unnecessary expense and waste and inefficiency are the enemies of any good commercial enterprise.

Where profit margins are tight, business owners will seek cost efficiencies and savings as a way of making their companies more sustainable and financially secure. If you can cut your costs without impacting on the quality of service that you provide to your customers then your business is likely to be far more successful in the longer term. 

Energy use and heating costs are areas that businesses can choose to look at in order to make savings.  The added bonus is you can use your green credentials as a marketing tool, demonstrating to your customers that you care about climate change and selling yourself as a business with an environmental conscience.  

Green credentials – making it real

Issues surrounding the impact of environmental change are rarely out of the news. Climate activists have forced global warming higher and higher up the political agenda and energy security becomes a genuine issue of concern.

Businesses need to respond and change if they are to survive.  As governments worldwide introduce legislation to control energy usage – the current promise is for the UK to be carbon free by 2050 – there are likely to be new laws that businesses will have to comply with.  As a business owner you would be wise to get ahead of the game. 

The UK Government recognizes the problem in both economic and environmental terms.  In advice offered to SMEs, they state that a typical business could easily introduce measures to reduce energy costs resulting in savings of up to 25%.  Small changes in processes and procedures can have a big impact. 

Adopting a green ethos in factory or office environments demonstrates to both your employees and your customers that you care about this important issue.

Top tips for saving on your heating bills  

With up to 70% of a business’s energy use resulting from heating, here are just some ideas that can be easily (and cheaply) introduced to help save you money on your bills:

Sustainable ways to Reduce Energy Costs – investing in green solutions

Sometimes you need to speculate to accumulate.  Business owners already know that sometimes they have to invest some of your profits into new technology for the longer term benefits of their business. Most green initiatives will eventually streamline your costs although you may not see the benefits straight away. Remember too that any investment you make can be offset against your capital expenditure for tax purposes. 

Some ‘solutions’ are more costly than others and it is important to weigh up the returns on any investment in green technology.   Many business owners perceive ‘green credentials’ as an expensive luxury without really researching the market first.  It isn’t just about having a conscience: green can be extremely cost effective, as long as you do your homework and get the best advice available from the experts. 

Small changes can make a huge difference

A cheap way to reduce energy costs is to use low energy lighting in any business space.  Modern lighting using CFLs or LEDs are more expensive than conventional bulbs, but their use over time will save your company money.  They use much less energy than conventional bulbs and they need to be replaced less often. It may also save money if they are in ‘awkward to reach’ areas where a specialist electrician may need to be called each time one blows!

Solar Energy – A Long Term Investment

We have seen a boom in the number of solar roof panel systems used by businesses in the UK, though this has slowed down hugely in recent times due to the withdrawal of government incentives.  They are still a great way to save money but the actual equipment can be costly and installation can also be expensive. 

You may also need to look at the design of the space you have available to see whether such a system is appropriate for you.  If you can only place them on a north facing roof, then you are unlikely to see returns for a very long time.

When it comes to solar energy, you need to be in it for the long term.  It can take up to 15 years to recoup the cost of your investment.  Again, we would recommend speaking to the experts and take some impartial advice as to whether it is worth bothering in your individual context before making a decision to invest. 

Reduce Energy Costs with Destratification Systems

It is common in office and factory environments for heating to be inefficient.  Without destratification systems, all the hot air rises to the top of high ceilings with colder air dropping to ground level where thermostats are generally positioned.  Layers are created due to the fact that cold air is heavier than warm air.  Boilers fire up thinking the air is cold and the company ends up using more energy than is necessary.

Destratification fans can be easily installed to eliminate this problem and mix up all the air inside the space resulting in more even temperatures throughout.  Destratification systems need to be designed by experts to maximise their effectiveness to make the most of potential energy and financial savings in the long term. 

Typically, a destratification system will pay for itself within 1-5 years. In many cases payback has been within a single season, whilst in one case it was as little as 1 month – Lush Cosmetics Save 60% On Their Energy Bills

Wrapping up

Finally, you should remember that climate change is a very ‘hot’ topic politically.  While companies are being encouraged to introduce measures to improve their carbon footprint there are others who are actively looking to develop solutions that they can commercialise and introduce into the market-place.  Technology in this field is evolving and good businesses need to keep up with the evolution in order to thrive.

‘Going Green’ is not just a fad to be followed for the sake of PR.  It is more to do with future-proofing your business based on sound commercial judgements and protecting your company ready for any tough times ahead. 

Airius design and install revolutionary destratification systems that help reduce energy costs in businesses, create a more comfortable environment for their customers and staff and ultimately reduce their carbon footprint. Why not contact us call us now on 01202 554200 to see how we can help you save between 20-50% on your energy expenditure.