A Guide to Improving Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Keeping energy bills as low as possible is a topic that is on everyone’s lips this year. However, while many of us know how to save energy at home, commercial properties are less often talked about. There’s no doubt that improving energy efficiency in a commercial setting is essential – both in trying to reduce carbon footprints to meet Net Zero targets by 2050 and to protect from ever-increasing energy prices.

Every business is different and operates differently, so it’s important that companies look at their processes and procedures to identify ways that they could be more energy efficient.

Some of the changes that can be made include:

  • Upgrading to a more efficient heating system
  • Turning heating systems down as low as possible
  • Moving furniture away from radiators and ensuring that air conditioning filters are regularly cleaned
  • Ensuring that office appliances and machinery are turned off when not in use
  • Lowering settings on machinery where there’s allowance to do so
  • Checking for leaks and repairing anything quickly in order to maintain the efficiency of machinery
  • Onboarding staff by drawing attention to, encouraging, and rewarding energy-saving behaviour within the organisation
  • Going paperless wherever possible

Energy efficient office kitchen appliances

One of the areas in a business that can be the least energy efficient is the office kitchen. This is by and large due to the number of appliances and foot traffic. To make it as energy efficient as possible in your office kitchen, you should consider:

  • Making sure that kitchen appliances are kept switched off when nobody is using them
  • Buying energy-efficient appliances (A-rated or better)
  • Only turning the dishwasher on when it’s full
  • Keeping fridges and freezers as energy efficient as possible by keeping them clean and not over-filled
  • Ensuring that oven doors are properly sealed to prevent heat leakage

Benefits of LED Lighting

Another way that businesses can improve the energy efficiency of their commercial property is to use LED lighting. It’s estimated that lighting accounts for up to 40% of the overall cost of energy, so cutting this down can have a large impact.

It’s important to onboard employees so they’re aware of the need to turn lights off when they’re not in the room. You could also consider getting motion-sensor lighting.

Auditing your energy consumption

There are many ways that businesses can change their practices and processes to improve energy efficiency. There are also further measures relating to the construction of the property.

An energy audit is an excellent way to understand the energy efficiency of commercial properties. An EPC inspection looks at aspects such as the construction of the property, insulation, heating systems, and renewable energy sources.

An EPC inspection gives an idea about how energy efficient the property is and a list of recommendations on how it can be improved. These might include:

  • Installing wall insulation
  • Installing loft insulation
  • Installing floor insulation
  • Installing double glazing
  • Updating heating and air conditioning systems
  • Installing renewable energy sources such as solar panels

At present, commercial properties must have a minimum energy rating of band E. This is set to go up to band B in 2030, giving companies little choice but to act now to improve their energy efficiency.

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