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Did you know businesses were responsible for 17% of the UK's C02 emissions in 2019? (Source: Gov.uk)
Reducing energy consumption
There are lots of ways to reduce energy consumption in the workplace, which can reduce costs as well as benefitting the environment. Here are 5 tips:
- Switch off - Most office equipment can be set to power off automatically, and PIR sensors can be fitted in rooms to turn lights off automatically – but training your staff to be more aware can work too.
- LED lights - Replace any old incandescent or halogen bulbs with LED, which are much more energy efficient and will save money in the long term.
- Draught-proofing - Some simple DIY draft-proofing around doors, windows and loft-hatches can help reduce heat loss, which will help to bring down those heating bills.
- Insulation - If the cost of heating is a big problem, an investment in insulation may pay for itself quickly – as much as 40% of heat is lost through the roof, so consider ceiling insulation.
- Smart energy - Smart meters can help you check the accuracy of your bills and manage your energy usage more efficiently.
Support schemes for energy
The Government has set a target for the UK to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and has a number of schemes to support you on this journey. The schemes available to businesses are:
- Feed-in Tariff – receiving payments from electricity suppliers for any electricity you generate from a renewable source.
- Green Deal – a way to finance work that will make your business more energy efficient.
- LoCASE - Surrey County Council will be running a scheme that provides grants for businesses of up to £20,000. While it has not yet been launched, you can register interest here.
OFGEM, the government department for gas and electricity, has a list of available schemes.
On-site renewable energy generation
You may be able to invest in generating renewable energy or renewable heat for your business. This could include solar panels, wind turbines, air or ground source heat pumps, solar heating and a whole range of other technologies. Some of the schemes mentioned above could help finance this. To find out more, Energy UK has some good advice.
Renewable energy suppliers
Not everyone can generate their own renewable energy, but you could opt for an energy supplier that will provide a green tariff. The national grid’s renewable energy mix will change throughout the year, but the annual average is gradually increasing. While you can’t choose what mix of energy that arrives at your business, you can choose an energy company that buys their energy from renewable sources, which helps to move the UK make the shift to cleaner energy for all.
For more information on switching supplier, you can look at the Energy Saving Trust’s advice here. Then, when you’re ready to switch supplier, you can visit the ‘Big Clean Switch’ which will help you compare suppliers and look at savings you might make.