Times are difficult for both businesses and individuals in the UK, as the inflation crisis renders energy more expensive than ever for domestic and commercial premises. Energy efficiency is also a topic that is seeing increased engagement amongst businesses in the UK, as government and public pressures alike mount over the growing climate crisis. As a business owner, what can you do to increase your office’s energy efficiency?
Before any tangible changes to your building or company policy are made, it is key that you identify some specific targets within your broader energy efficiency aims. Without a tangible and achievable goal, your various efficiency measures and energy-saving processes might not be as effective as they could be.
The targets you set can help you refine your vision, and even find more appropriate measures that cohere with one another as part of a singular plan of action. For example, you might seek to eradicate your business’ reliance on fossil fuels altogether, or you might wish to improve your building’s Energy Performance Certificate rating – two ambitions that require two entirely different approaches. That said, what follows are some simple and relatively immediate ways in which you can improve your business’ energy efficiency.
One simple and easily achievable goal could be to reduce the amount of paper your business uses, whether for marketing or internal uses. For larger companies, automating processes like payroll by installing payroll system can serve to significantly reduce the amount of paper and ink used in your business, as well as the energy used to print them. Through systemising HR processes, onboarding and training documentation can be kept entirely digital too. Through all this, staff time is also saved – allowing them to work more effectively on other parts of the business.
Much of your business’ energy ‘wastage’ can be attributed to poor office management and worker habits. For example, a percentage of your administrative staff might leave their computer monitors on standby when they leave for the day, or even leave their computers asleep instead of shutting down. Heating and lights may also be taken for granted, and left on throughout the day or overnight.
Many of these things can be addressed with some simple changes to company policy, and a company-wide email reminding staff to shoulder their own proportion of the business’ energy efficiency measures.
Sustainable Energy and Heating
Lastly, but perhaps most effectively of all, your business might consider a complete overhaul of its infrastructure with regard to heating and energy. While a significant up-front cost, switching to new sustainable forms of heating and energy supply can provide long-term savings – as well as reduce your premises’ carbon emissions by a considerable degree.
More specifically, you might investigate the possibility of having solar panels installed on the roof of your building. These panels could supply all of the electricity you need, and allow your business to sell any additional electricity to the grid. Alongside this, you could switch your building’s heating system for a sustainable alternative; an air-source heat pump is much more efficient than a gas boiler, and produces far less in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.