Our team is often approached with requests for clarity and questions, so this article is intended to provide some general answers and help you navigate the current energy climate with a bit more confidence.
Why are energy bills going up in the first place?
Energy bills are made up of a few separate costs, more than just the gas and electricity you use. They must include wholesale costs, which make up most of your bill. The wholesale price of gas has increased by 404% in the past 12 months according to official OFGEM figures.
There are a few different reasons for this year’s historic increase, and they are still hard to quantify. Current explanations include Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting war and sanctions, or the fact that the UK only has a fraction of the gas reserves of other European countries. Gas is far from being the only energy source experiencing issues, with nuclear power plants suffering from outages and wind farms seeing less wind during the summer months.
So, what can you do?
While shopping around for new deals and supplier alternatives is often the first route recommended, that’s sadly not the case at the moment.
Instead, the most productive thing you can do when it comes to energy management is to understand where it’s being used. Once you know where energy is being consumed in your buildings, you can target specific areas to take action.
Let’s take a look at the typical energy balance for some buildings to give you an idea of where to start.
The charts above show only the typical energy balance at a high level and your usage will no doubt vary. It’s always best to have a detailed audit done which goes beyond the above so that you can direct your approach to your specific needs.
What does action look like?
Here at Energise we like to remind ourselves and our customers that “the cheapest energy is the one you don’t use”. With that in mind, reducing energy consumption where possible is critical.
Offices use & Commercial spaces
- Switch to LED – They use less energy and are cheaper to run
- Turn off lights when not in use
- Use PIR sensors – Lights will only come on when movement is sensed rather than being on for extended periods
- Turn off equipment when not in use – might sound simple enough, but in many organisations items like PCs and monitors are left on overnight. Power is being consumed 24/7 but they are only needed for an 8-hour workday for example.
- Install electric timers for equipment – The equipment will only be powered on at the programmed times you set which will reduce consumption overall.
- Make a point of only purchasing energy-efficient equipment where available – These will consume less power and lower your spend on bills.
HVAC – Heating Ventilation & Cooling
- Set the appropriate schedules and temperatures to meet demand. This ensures the systems are only used when demand is required.
when Working From Home
- Turn appliances off when not in use rather than leaving them on standby.
- Turn the lights off when leaving the room.
- Switch your lights to LED.
- Turn down the thermostat – lowering it by just 1 degree Celsius makes a significant difference.
- Only heat the rooms you work/operate in – Turn down the thermostats in the other rooms or use smart thermostats which can be controlled remotely by an app.
- Use a smart meter – This will tell you when you are using the most energy and you can make changes based on what’s required.
These are a few general energy savings tips that can help you reduce energy consumption if followed. For a more in-depth analysis of your buildings and facilities, you can get in touch with the Energise experts at [email protected], they’ll be happy to help.