Business Energy

How SMEs can improve their energy efficiency to save money

19 Nov 2021

With the energy price cap rising and gas prices at a record high, saving money on energy has risen to the top of the agenda for many UK firms. So how can SMEs reduce the amount of energy they use to save money, and is now the right time to switch energy suppliers?

Wind farm creating renewable energy

Recent research by Tyl reveals that SMEs are actively searching for ways to use business energy more efficiently. Businesses energy consumption accounts for up to a fifth of total business costs for 65% of the 500 SME owners Tyl polled.

70% of business owners said the price of their business energy bill was impacting their growth, and 50% said they were looking to make more sustainable energy decisions. 

72% of small business owners have already implemented energy efficiency measures to drive down costs. 40% are using energy efficient LED light bulbs, 38% are turning off production equipment at the end of each working day and 34% are using a smart meter to review how much energy their business uses. 

19% of businesses are saving between £2,000 and £3,000 a year through energy efficient measures, and 35% are making savings between £1,000 and £1,999. 

At a time when the cost of energy is increasing, making small changes to how you use energy can make a real difference to your finances. Let’s take a look at some of the energy efficiency measures you can put in place to start saving today.

1. Get a smart meter

If you don’t already have a smart meter, now's the time to get one.

Smart meters enable you to see just how much you’re spending on energy by showing you your gas and electricity usage in real time. They work out how much energy you use according to half-hourly automated readings.

It means your business only pays for what it uses instead of paying based on estimates. You won’t have to manually provide your suppliers with readings, and your energy supplier will install the smart meter on your business premises free of charge. 

2. Use energy-efficient office equipment

When you need to replace old equipment, look for an energy-efficient option. 

Did you know that the monitor accounts for over 50% of a computer's energy consumption? 

Fortunately, there are lots of energy-efficient computer monitors on the market today and the technology is set to get even greener in the future with organic light-emitting diodes.

In terms of printers, choose a model that has a sleep and automatic turn-off mode so that it’s not consuming energy when nobody’s using it. Making energy-efficient investments like these may seem costly at first but can help you save money in the long run. 

3. Use energy efficient light bulbs

Replacing your incandescent bulbs with LEDs will save you money while driving down your company’s carbon footprint. LEDs last up to 20 times longer than incandescent and halogen  bulbs because they’re up to 80% more energy efficient. 

You might also want to consider using any natural light to your advantage. If you’re lucky enough to have a premises with big windows, you might not need to turn on the lights in certain parts of the building (depending on the time of day). 

4. Switch off at the end of the day

You can save on energy by remembering to turn off your office appliances at the end of the day and encouraging your employees to play their part in “going green”. 

You could look into getting motion sensors installed too. Motion sensors turn on the lights when they sense a “presence” and turn them off again when the presence leaves. It means you’re less likely to end up paying for energy you and your team don’t even utilise. 

5. Switch to a new energy supplier 

When was the last time you switched energy suppliers?

If it’s been a few years, you’re probably not on the most cost-effective tariff available. You can switch to a new deal as long as you’re within 12 months of your current contract ending. 

Let us know your contact details, the postcode of your premises and the type of energy you’d like to compare and we’ll provide you with the available options. 

You could save money by switching to a green energy supplier. Using green energy will help you meet your carbon target because sustainable energy sources are renewable. Renewable energy is also less likely to be impacted by future upward pressure of fossil fuel costs.

Another great way for your business to save on its energy bills is by having a zero standing charge tariff. Energy bills typically comprise your energy usage based on your rate per unit and your daily standing charge which is applied for each day that your bill covers.

If you’re on a zero standing charge tariff you’ll only pay for energy when you use it. 

See Your Business Energy Options

Joe Morley
Joe Morley

Head of Unsecured Lending

Joe has worked in the alternative lending space since 2015. During this time he has helped hundreds of SMEs access millions in essential funding ranging from long-term asset-backed lending to short-term unsecured revolving credit lines and beyond. In his role, Joe manages and supports a large team of Credit Finance specialists.

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