Big Energy Saving Week: Tips for Cutting Costs

19th Jan, 2022

There are vital advantages to reducing your energy usage. Shrink your carbon footprint. Diminish your impact on the environment. And, most beneficial for you, save money.

We aren’t suggesting dramatic changes like wearing a pair of socks so you can turn your heating off altogether. But you may be surprised how small behavioural changes add up to bring costs and carbon emissions down.

Your home is one of the most controllable settings to reduce energy in; you are the facilities manager, and the one footing the utility bill.

  • Install a smart thermostat

Smart thermostats only heat rooms you programme to be in use, so less energy is used. Being smart, they also remember how long each room takes to reach temperature so you can set it to be cosy by the time you get home.

  • Replace appliances every few years with more efficient models
  • Turn down the thermostat

Almost half your energy bill is for heating and hot water. Keep temperatures around 17°. Turning your heating down by just one degree could save you up to £80 a year.

  • Draught-proof your property

Prevent heat from escaping and draughts from penetrating through cracks around your windows and doors. Unless you’re in a newly built home, you could find an extra £30 in your pocket every year.

  • Be aware of vampire appliances

These are appliances like smart bulbs, TVs and microwaves which drain energy when not ‘in use’ and cost the typical Brit £68 per year.

Encouraging your staff to make small, meaningful changes at work could be the trickiest part for a business owner. Explaining the benefits to the business and where these savings could instead be invested may be a great incentive.

  • Turn off non-essential appliances overnight

On average, one person costs a business £35 per year when leaving machines on standby.

  • Assess kitchen facilities

Do you only boil as much water as you need for your cuppa? There’s a better way to save energy and that’s by installing a hot water dispenser. If multiple people are boiling the kettle, that’s a lot of demand per boil.

  • Use natural heating

Have blinds in the office? Leave them open in the winter to let the sun add heat and close them in the summer to reduce the need for cooling.

  • Maintain HVAC systems

Keep heating, ventilation and air con systems at their optimum. Repair leaks and replace as needed.

  • Opt for laptops over desktops

Switching can save 80-90% in electrical cost. They’re also more practical for remote working, which is a great asset given the circumstances.

  • Heat loss and security sweep prior to closing

Significant heat loss comes from leaving windows opened for natural ventilation. Before setting the alarm, complete one final check for opened windows.

Lighting typically accounts for 12.5% of your bill at home but is one of the easiest facilities to adapt for energy savings.

  • Switch off when you clock off

Make behavioural changes in the workplace and post reminders to turn lights off. You could save £14 a year at home by turning off when you don’t need light.

  • Use sensors

Install motion and occupancy sensors for lights externally, and internally if you’re finding it tricky to remember to switch them off.

  • Clean light fittings and shades to maintain maximum light impact
  • Evaluate your smart bulbs

LED means high efficiency but smart bulbs cost a lot more than a normal LED, plus they are a vampire appliance (see home tips).