When examining their overheads, business owners generally accept that there is an inevitable baseline level of energy consumption. After all, lights need to be switched on, machines used, premises heated, kettles boiled and so on. Their focus is naturally on paying less for each kWh used, and Auditel clients can relax in the knowledge that they are already on the best possible tariff.
But hey – we’re cost managers, not just cost reducers. Taking a holistic view, if you can reduce baseline consumption, then the benefits to your profits and cashflow become even greater. Instead of paying less for a unit of energy, you pay nothing for it – because you haven’t used it at all. And by reducing your CO2 emissions, you’ll be helping to keep the whole planet in balance.
There’s a huge range of measures you can take to cut down on usage, ranging from the complex to the simple, from high-investment to free. An Auditel energy management review gives you a professional assessment of your business and premises to identify the most effective options. Some are complex and expensive; others are quick wins at minimal or no cost.
Here’s eight for you to think about:
- Insulate boilers and pipework properly. An uninsulated valve will leak as much heat as a metre of pipework.
- Convert old 38mm fluorescent tubes to 26mm. The newer standard performs better and runs about 30% cheaper, but you may need to change the fittings.
- Fit thermostatic radiator valves. These work by reducing the flow of water through the rad when the surrounding air has warmed up.
- Re-site thermostats and sensors. We can advise the best locations to monitor and adjust temperatures – rarely where the builder has plonked them.
- Check your time switches. These are often buried in a cabinet, set up years ago and never adjusted. Only heat/cool your building when people are in it!
- Reduce temperatures. Turning the thermostat down by 1° C can reduce costs by 10%, and hot water should run at no more than 50°.
- Switch off office equipment when not in use. Power down all computers, printers and copiers at the end of the day – and will the last person to leave please turn out the lights?!
- Agree on good housekeeping measures with all staff, covering simple things like the correct use of dishwashers, air-conditioning, projectors, microwaves, kettles and personal chargers.
Energy management should be a central tenet of your business, but assessing and enforcing it is a complex and time-consuming matter.