Winter is an expensive time of year for businesses. The cold weather brings with it an increased demand for central heating, a larger reliance on artificial lighting and endless cups of warming tea. If you’re looking for ways to save energy without compromising on the wellbeing of your employees, we have seven unique ways to help.
Before you begin your journey to lower your energy output, you’ll need to know what your starting point is. Start by getting an energy performance certificate (EPC) to see how your business is currently performing, and then once you’ve implemented changes, re-audit your energy to see what improvements you’ve made.
Use motion detection lighting
If you have spaces in your office that are used infrequently – hallways, bathrooms, kitchens etc – you may find that the lights are being left on in these areas all day unnecessarily. Switch to motion detection lightings that activate when movement is detected, and you’ll save a substantial amount of energy which will translate directly into cost savings.
Implement group tea runs
The constant boiling of the kettle for individual cups of teas can be a real energy drain, particularly if you have team members who are prone to overfilling the kettle! One easy way to make your office more energy efficient is to implement group tea runs. This makes the best use of the kettle as it can be filled to capacity and serve the most people in one turn. As an added bonus, group tea runs will create a nice sense of camaraderie that can improve team morale.
Huge windows overlooking a city skyline are often touted as the ultimate measure of corporate success, and while we’re not denying that a view outside isn’t a nice luxury for your team to enjoy, those windows can be a huge energy drain. Glass – even double glazed – isn’t very insulating so you’ll find that a lot of the energy you’re expending with central heating is being lost through your windows. An easy way to fix this is to install premium blinds. The added layer increases insulation in your windows and keeps your building warm for longer.
It doesn’t matter how much work you put in to making your business more energy efficient, if your team aren’t also doing their part, your good work is being undone. Put together some achievable energy-reduction goals and set an incentive – say, an extra day annual leave – if you hit your goal. Make suggestions on things they can do to reduce their energy output (e.g. turning off screensavers, lowering their screen brightness, turning off plug sockets, fully shutting down their computer at the end of the day). You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll meet your goals once your team are onboard! Also, set some incentives to reduce your team’s footprint outside of work., for example implementing the Cycle to Work scheme.
Ditch the dress code
A corporate or formal dress code can be great for making a good impression to clients, but workwear doesn’t provide the most comfortable or warm options for the winter weather. Drop the dress code and allow your team to dress more suitably for the weather. Allowing your team to wear warm layers and jumpers will reduce the reliance on central heating for comfort.
Make the most of remote working
COVID-19 has forced the world into a new way of working, and more and more employers are embracing the perks of remote working. Not only can home working create a better work-life balance for your team, but it can dramatically decrease your energy bills. If you are in a position where you can work fully remotely, why not end your tenancy and opt to have your team work from home permanently? You’ll save a small fortune in rent, electricity and gas. Your employees can apply for tax relief to cover their additional expenses, or you can pass along some of your own savings to help cover their costs.
Invest in solar power
While this idea may not technically be an energy-saving technique, it is a way to cut the costs associated with your energy output. By opting to use solar panels to support your own energy needs, you can greatly reduce your energy bills. As an added bonus, if you generate more power than you use, you can sell the excess energy to the national grid for a profit.