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Keep business costs down – as energy costs rise

As energy costs soar and bills rise, concerns are being raised about the number of people who could be facing fuel poverty.

With a 45% to 50% hike expected in the spring, it’s not only will households that feel the pinch. Businesses will also be impacted.

And after a tumultuous two years of uncertainty and financial pressures from the pandemic, this is certainly not welcome news.

Businesses large and small will be looking for ways to conserve energy and try to manage their bills considering this price increase.

Gavin Scarr Hall, Director of Health & Safety at Peninsula, shares advice for businesses:

“It’s more important than ever to be mindful of the energy we use to offset the rising costs.

“Lighting can account for up to 40% of your energy bill. As such, implementing automated lighting systems ensures that it is only being used as necessary.

“Additionally, switching to LED bulbs has the potential to reduce lighting costs by as much as 90%.

“You may want to consider having a policy that requires staff to ensure they switch off all lights and electrical equipment when they leave the workplace for the day.

“Leaving computers on standby overnight can cost an office of 16 employees up to £1,742 a year. But this cost can be reduced dramatically by ensuring people turn off their computer at the end of the working day rather than leaving it on standby.

“Another huge cost to businesses is their heating bill – particularly in these cold winter months.

“Employers should take care to only heat areas that require it. Reduce heating in spaces like corridors where staff don’t congregate, and thermoregulate those more heavily used areas like the office.

“To keep your building warm while minimising the heating bill, fixing insulation material is key. But it’s also important to ensure your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) set-points are properly controlled. The recommended set point is 22C – having the office temperature consistent will reduce the need for employees to bring in their own heaters.

“Air conditioning systems should be maintained and serviced to meet the requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations.

“And though it may incur an initial cost, think about replacing your antiquated and less-efficient equipment.

“Ensure regular maintenance programmes for your systems; they will continue to operate at their best, keeping your costs down in the long-term, and you’ll save on unwanted repair bills.

“This surge in energy bills is not the news we want; but it doesn’t mean that we have to bundle up in layers and sit in the darkness.

“Keep your business profitable – and warm and lit – by implementing these very feasible measures.”