With energy prices increasing the whole issue of energy efficiency is in the spotlight.
Business Wales, the North Wales Business Council, Ambition North Wales, in collaboration with the Welsh Government Energy Service, has summarised some ‘low and no cost’ energy efficiency solutions, to help businesses and individuals mitigate against rising energy costs this year:
- Adjust heating system timings, temperatures and rooms – reducing the set point temperature by just 1ºC can save you up to 8% on your energy consumption. Turning off heating one hour before your business closes should mean the heat is sufficiently retained for that ‘final’ hour.
- A room will heat up at the same rate whether the thermostat is set to 20ºC or 25ºC – so resist the urge to ‘boost’ the temperature when switching on your heating.
- Properly insulating your windows, walls, doors, roof, chimneys and pipes will reduce your energy use, cutting emissions and saving you money on bills. According to CDP data, you may be able to make the money you spend back in as little as a year, and on average most companies see payback in 4 years. Arranging for a thorough survey and audit will help identify the most appropriate measures for your building.
- Switch to LED bulbs – upgrading from conventional lighting to LED bulbs could deliver cost savings of up to 80% for your business on the energy costs of lighting. LED bulbs use less energy, last much longer and reduce maintenance costs compared to regular bulbs, meaning you’ll make back the cost and more. You can save more money by installing lighting controls that automatically switch or dim lighting.
- Clean the fans, filters and air ducts in any air handling systems. This can yield up to 60% improvement in efficiency.
- Draught proof doors and reseal windows to avoid unnecessary heat loss.
- Install a Smart Meter – smart meters enable you to take control of your business’ energy use and costs – and put an end to estimated billing and manual meter reads. Speak to your energy supplier directly to find out about having a smart meter installed at no additional cost and check Smart Energy GB for more information.
- Involve your employees in the process, through an energy awareness campaign that will help people make savings both at work and at home – with effective campaigns proven to save 10%-15% on fuel bills, by educating people on the benefits of understanding specific such as building controls, shut-down procedures and reduced use of stand-alone electric heaters.
- Demand flexibility services are becoming more common, with consumers able to respond to network demand to reduce consumption or increase demand. With more people now working from home, scheduling consistent team days in the office and utilising shared work spaces will decrease unnecessary energy use. More information on demand flexibility.
- Green Business Loans are now available through the Development Bank of Wales. Criteria and further information can be found here. Business Wales have established the Green Growth Pledge and businesses can access information, workshops, online, telephone and virtual face-to-face advice, as well as specialist support.
The following links have useful information: