It’s no secret that winter can be a little hard on the wallet when it comes to energy bills, and nobody knows that better than business owners. Businesses have bigger surface areas to keep lit, and more people to keep comfortable during the chilly darker months, and means you can soon find yourself spending increasingly more on energy bills. After all, you need to keep staff comfortable enough to maintain productivity, and your premises light enough to be safe!
However, while a rise in spending is almost inevitable during the winter, you’ll be happy to hear there are a couple of ways you can take the edge off. A solar panel system can provide a great way for you to take control of your business’ energy bills all year round, and when it comes to winter, there are a couple of additional measures you can take too. We’ve summed up some of the easiest (and most helpful) ones here.
Get savvy with your thermostat setting
If you’re able to, it can be helpful to install a seven-day time switch on your thermostat, as it’ll help you to adjust the setting for different times of day. Even the winter days tend to be warmer when the sun is highest and brightest in the sky, which means you can afford to lower it by a couple of degrees about midday. By the same token, after 4pm in winter is when we tend to lose the warmth of that sunlight, so that’s when you can afford to bump it back up a notch again.
Bear in mind the power those few degrees can have, though! Experts say that if you lower your heating by just 1C, you can save up to 8% on your annual heating costs. Similarly, taking it down by 2C whenever possible means that you can save around £140 on every £1000 you spend on heating. It’s worth thinking about!
Be selective with the rooms you’re heating
It may sound obvious, but you might be surprised at how many countless empty rooms across the country are being heated every winter, wasting hundreds of thousands in energy bills for UK businesses. To avoid being one of them, make sure you’re only heating the areas of the building which are regularly occupied. Stationery cupboards and empty meeting rooms can have their radiators turned off (or right down) when unoccupied, and similarly temperatures can also be kept to a minimum in hallways and corridors, as they’re generally not used for more than a few seconds at a time.
Have your own lightbulb moment
Nobody can work in complete darkness – but while having the lights on isn’t up for debate, it might be worth thinking about the bulbs in them. You can switch out yours for compact fluorescent bulbs in winter, as they tend to last longer while burning just as brightly. It may also be worth considering motion sensors in your hallways and corridors. That way, they can help you save on energy bills by making sure that areas are only lit when people are actually using them.
Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency
Don’t forget the simple stuff, either – there’s no point in spending money to have your thermostat automatically adjusting throughout the day if someone’s left a window open somewhere, letting all of that precious heat escape into the world outside. It’s always worth just an occasional quick check to make sure doors and windows are closed, so you’re making the most of all your generated heat. That way, you’re not unnecessarily spending extra on your bills! While you’re at it, make sure there aren’t any office machines like printers or computers which have been left on necessarily. In fact, on that note…
Consider upgrading your office equipment
You don’t need to have a lot of technical knowledge to know that old equipment tends to be more inefficient, which can take a lot more power to keep running effectively. Now, it’s fair to say that buying a brand-new desktop computer is going to make a significant dent in any energy you’d have saved by using it. However, if you’re thinking about upgrading any of your office equipment anyway, arguably winter is the best time to do it, as that’s when you’d feel the most benefit of its increased energy efficiency.
Plus, doing it at around Christmas time gives you a great opportunity to take advantage of seasonal deals like Black Friday. It’s not a bad idea to look out for the Energy Star logo on all your next purchases. (And if you’re in the market for new desktop machines, it might be worth considering laptops instead – by some estimates, they can provide an energy saving of up to 90% when compared to a desktop computer.)
Future-proof the energy efficiency of your business
This is all just for winter, though – as for the rest of the year, solar panel business solutions can provide you with a great way to take the reins when it comes to your business’ energy bills. Generating your own power on site can help you decrease your reliance on the National Grid, lowering the associated amount you spend on energy. That’s far from the only benefit, too – you can find out more in our previous post about the advantages of solar panels for your business. Alternatively, you could ask our experts in person right here at Low Carbon Energy! Just give us a call on 01282 421 489, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can!