Lowering Energy Costs for Commercial Properties
The cost of electricity is rising, and energy is a large expense for most businesses. In fact, the average small business now spends around £3600 on gas and electricity every year, while a large business can expect to pay just over £6500 for gas and electricity. Those business with high energy operation requirement will pay considerably more. Fortunately, there are dozens of ways for businesses to reduce their energy costs and increase their bottom line. Here are a few of the top ways for commercial properties to lower their energy costs.
Invest in solar panels
The average SME uses 20,000 – 20,000 kWh of electricity every year depending on their operation. Electricity is one of the biggest overhead costs for businesses, especially those with high-energy consumption like food producers. Solar panel companies are a great solution for high electricity costs. A solar panel system will allow your business to generate its own clean, renewable electricity on-site. This helps to lower carbon emissions and protect the environment from pollution. Showing support for a sustainable future is an excellent way to improve your brand reputation and boost the green credentials of your company. This will help you attract eco-conscious customers and increase sales and profits.
One of the biggest advantages of installing a solar panel system on the roof of your commercial property is that it will reduce your electricity costs. The electricity generated from solar panels is roughly a third of the price of grid-supplied electricity. You can expect to generate electricity for around 4-5p per unit, compared to 15p for grid-supplied. Investing in a solar panel system can therefore be an excellent way to reduce your electricity costs, particularly if your business operations require a lot of electricity. You will effectively be forward buying your electricity at this price, which means you don’t need to worry about increasing electricity prices affecting your cash flow in the future. In addition to these savings, you could also make a good return on your solar panel system once the initial installation fees have been repaid. The typical payback time is around 6-8 years and you can expect a return of investment of between 14-16%.
Encourage employees to conserve energy
One of the easiest ways to lower energy costs in your business is by encouraging your employees to conserve energy. You can get employees engaged in energy saving by setting well-defined energy goals, educating staff on the importance of being eco-friendly in the workplace, and offering green incentives. This may involve awarding staff with a free lunch or shopping vouchers once your energy consumption has dropped by a certain percentage. It is also a good idea to post energy-savings tips around the workplace reminding employees to conserve energy. Small changes can have a big impact on your overall energy consumption and costs. For instance, leaving a photocopier on standby overnight instead of switching it off will cost your business £42 a year and emit around 183kg of CO2, according to surveyhub.co.uk. Remind staff to switch all electronics and devices off from the wall at the end of the day or whenever they are not in use. This will avoid unnecessary energy costs and damage to the environment.
Make your property more energy-efficient
Identifying ways to make your commercial property more energy-efficient is another simple way to reduce your energy costs. There are likely to be plenty of opportunities to make your property more efficient and save money. Completing green upgrades to your property may seem expensive, but the costs should be quickly recovered through the cost-saving benefits. Here are some of the top ways to make your commercial property more energy-efficient:
- Book an energy audit to review the energy performance of your property. The assessor will provide you with recommendations to make your property more energy-efficient.
- Upgrade to a smart or programmable thermostat. This will make it easier to control your workplace temperature and reduce wasted energy.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. These use far less energy and also tend to need replacing less often.
- Install extra insulation in your walls, roof, and floor. This will help to prevent heat from escaping from your commercial building.
- Upgrade old appliances to more energy-efficient models i.e. a fridge with an A+ energy efficiency rating.
The bottom line is that energy prices are on the rise. Luckily, there are plenty of smart ways to reduce your energy usage and cut your monthly utility bills. This will help you lower overhead costs, boost your bottom line, and make your business more sustainable. Try implementing some of the above suggestions to make your business more efficient and save money on your energy costs.