Six ways to reduce workplace energy costs

Gavin Scarr Hall - Director of Health and Safety

February 09 2022

The cost of gas and electric bills has soared like never before. Which means you may be searching for ways to cut your workplace bills...

Luckily, going green is beneficial for any organisation. It can save you money, improve efficiency, and reduce your carbon footprint.

Small steps are the best place to start to create long-lasting changes. To help you get started, here are six eco-friendly ways to cut costs:

1. Switch up your lighting

30% of businesses admitted to leaving the lights on during lockdown, costing millions in wasted energy. So if your staff work from home, is there any need to keep all the lights on?

And even if your staff are in the workplace full-time, see if you can limit the amount of time you leave the lights on.

Create a policy which requires staff to switch off the lights before they leave the room. You could ask dedicated employee to take responsibility for this, or ask the last person to leave the room to check. Alternatively, you could install a timer system to avoid lights being left on overnight.

Plus, switching to LED lighting can reduce your costs by up to 90%. And with sensor lights, you avoid running up energy bills when you’re not using the light.

2. Make sure staff switch off devices

Computers and printers can quickly run up your electric bills – even when on standby.

Leaving just 16 computers on standby overnight cost an office an extra £1800 a year. So, make sure all staff fully switch off their devices when they end their shift. You could add this to a dedicated policy and share it around your team.

Investing in updated equipment can also help you save. Outdated equipment can be less economical and use much more power than newer machines.

3. Rethink your heating

Whether it's cold winter months or scorching hot days, everyone seems to be running on a different temperature at work.

It’s hard to keep everyone happy – but by reducing the temperature by just 1°C, you could save enough energy to print over 40 million sheets of A4 paper.

Draught proofing also helps keep costs down. In many buildings, 10% of heat loss is caused by poor insulation.

Maintaining your heating and AC systems will save you a lot go money in the long run. It’ll also stop employees from bringing in their own electric heaters or fans which can quickly run up electric bills.

4. Avoid water waste

Did you know that a dripping tap can waste up to 1,249 litres of water per month? Depending on where you’re based, that could cost you an extra £125 per month.

Not only that, but leaky taps can cause mould and mildew. Removal of this can cost thousands, not to mention the damage it can do to employee health.

Speaking of water – The Energy Saving Trust found that overfilling kettles costs the UK £68 million a year. Installing an instant hot water tap will stop employees boiling the kettle multiple times a day and save you a lot of money.

5. Reduce travel

Business doesn’t always have to be conducted face to face. Replacing long haul travel with video meetings will cut costs and your carbon footprint.

Investing in electric company cars will also keep prices down or, even better, encourage the use of public transport. 55% of UK transport emissions come from cars, so this could make a real dent in reducing your overall emissions.

6. Create an energy saving policy 

So, now you know how to save energy - but do your staff?

With an energy-saving policy, you share guidance with your workforce. In your policy, make sure you include rules on:

  • When and how to properly switch off equipment such as computers, lights, and printers
  • Using light i.e. making sure staff only use natural light wherever possible
  • Whether anyone is responsible for checking all lights and appliances are switched off 
  • How to use technology to reduce the need to travel

Plus, it's good to outline your responsibilities and eco-commitments as an employer. This shows your workforce that you're committed to lowering your carbon footprint and boosts support within your business. 

Ready to make changes?

Then call Peninsula first.

When it’s time to make eco-friendly changes around your workplace, we’re here to keep you safe. With access to our 24-7 support line, you get expert reassurance that any changes you make meet UK health & safety law. And with employment law specialists, you make any new guidance official with expert policies to share with your staff.

Call now on 0800 028 2420 or get a quote for unlimited health & safety support.

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