Are your business energy bills damaging your profit margins?

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As a business owner, it’s may be one of the most difficult aspects of your business to control – managing your energy needs and the bills that come from them. It’s frustrating when you see the big energy companies putting up prices – especially during the cold months – and benefiting from the profits because wholesale prices have dropped sharply.

So how can you address your energy consumption to lower your bills, reduce your overheads and boost your own profit levels?

Use your office equipment efficiently

Saving energy in some cases can be simply about not switching on machines, or leaving them switched on when they’re not needed. Got a photocopier? They use a lot of energy when switched on and then left on. If you can, save up batches of photocopying, do them in one go and don’t leave the copier on overnight.

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Computers monitors left on when you and your employees leave eat up electricity. If they don’t need to be on, switch them off.

If you don’t need to, save printing emails and other documents that aren’t necessary – you’ll have an electronic record if you really need something. That saves the costs of toner or ink and the energy your printers use.

Plan your heating requirements

Your business premises need to be warm enough for employees to work efficiently, but you don’t want to waste the energy you use. Setting your thermostat at 20C for an office and 16C for a warehouse should be acceptable. Every 1C you increase it will cost you. Make sure your hot water is between 60 and 65C, as this protects against bacterial growth.

Check the timings on your heating so it’s not on when it’s not needed. Make sure radiators are unobstructed, and fit them with thermostatic valves so you can control the amount of heat, and thus the cost of the energy released.

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Get your insulation right

A lot of heat can be lost through poor insulation, and that’s literally money out the window. Look at your insulation of roofs, ceilings and windows – if you keep the heat inside more successfully then you’ll cut your energy costs. Energy efficient window shutters are a good way to help you insulate your spaces with the consequent savings.

Expanding your business

When you have the opportunity to expand your business, you need to consider the potential for significantly increased energy costs. You will probably be highly reliant on electrical devices, so factor in how to reduce costs as you develop your expansion plans. You don’t want unexpected costs that will impact on your bottom line; so good planning will help you mitigate these.

You can cut your costs

Energy costs can be a major headache when you run a business, but with an understanding of what you can do to reduce your costs – and helping your employees understand this, too – you can make a real difference to your profit margins.