Tuesday 12 December 2023

5 tips to maximize Business Energy Efficiency in 2024

5 tips to maximize Business Energy Efficiency in 2024

When in fact, December is a great time to reprioritise business energy efficiency and make plans for the year ahead. Just a few simple steps taken now can help make sure your business puts its most energy efficient foot forward in January – a move that can give you better control over your energy usage and lower your energy bills.

So, to help you wrap up any loose ends and get a jump on energy efficiency ready for a better 2024, we’ve compiled a list of tips you can set your business up for success.

1. Carry out a pre-shutdown walkaround

High energy bills over winter are a big concern for many businesses. So if your premises are shutting down for the festive period, you’ll want to make sure you’re not using energy unnecessarily. A few days beforehand, a friendly reminder to staff to turn off computers and lights can go a long way to reducing wastage. But on the day of closing, it’s worth doing a quick walk around the premises to check the following:

  • All windows are closed and lights are either switched off or on timers for security. 
  • Equipment is powered down rather than left in standby mode and non-essential electronics are unplugged, as they can draw power even when turned off. That includes unplugging kitchen appliances such as microwaves and coffee machines and large equipment like scanners, printers and photocopiers. 
  • If you have a water heater, now’s the time to lower the temperature or turn it off completely. 
  • Thermostats should be programmed to reduce heating/cooling while the building is empty. So rather than turn the heating off altogether, simply set the thermostat at a lower temperature than normal.

2. Get a head start on essential maintenance

Regular maintenance of equipment and machinery is vital to make sure everything’s running efficiently and not wasting energy. However, when normal business resumes after the festive period, January can get busy quickly. As a result, things like scheduling maintenance can easily get overshadowed by more urgent matters.

To help make sure you hit the ground running in the new year, it’s worth checking when equipment was last serviced. So come January, essential maintenance for computer equipment, central heating systems and air conditioning units is either up to date or scheduled for the near future.

3. Review your energy use and consumption

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Energy360 Dataview at a glance and how to use it Image: British Gas Business[/caption]

With the year almost at a close, it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of all the tools that help you manage your business energy. So when the new year starts, you have the knowledge to use energy more efficiently, or start the journey to net zero with more confidence.

If you have a smart meter, the best tool for managing your energy month-by-month is an online account. Register for or log in to an online account to do everything from submit meter readings and check bills to view your energy usage and better manage costs.

The second tool to help you understand your business energy usage and have better control over your energy consumption, is Energy360 DataView. This is an energy monitoring platform for existing business energy customers designed to give greater control over your business energy use. Simply request access to your smart meter data then view or download everything from this new free-to-use platform. There you can see useful graphs, spot patterns and trends, and identify where and how energy is being wasted.

If you haven’t already, you can upgrade to a smart meter at no extra cost to your business.

4. Budget plan and forecast

Traditionally the year-end is a time for strategic planning and reflection. When it comes to your energy, that means thinking ahead about your energy costs and planning for potential price fluctuations in the coming months. And there are two ways to tackle this.

One is by keeping an eye on energy market trends and price forecasts. For example, you can get a better understanding of what’s going on in the energy market and what to expect in the new year in our quarterly energy market reports. In our Q3’23 Quarterly Report, we found that wholesale energy prices are rising again, and by the middle of October an increase of 30% was reported, with 141p/therm for gas and £124/MWh for power. However, it’s also important to note that despite these recent price increases, gas and power prices are down by 23% and 29% when compared to the same period last year. So whatever your energy bill was a year ago, this year’s should be slightly lower, assuming no other factors have changed.

The second way to help you budget more effectively is by checking historical bills on your online account, or by looking back at historical smart meter data on Energy360 DataView. Both tools will give you a good indication of what energy was consumed and when, so you’ll know what to expect in the coming months. And by taking a proactive approach with business energy efficiency measures, it’s even possible to mitigate some of the impact of any future energy cost increases.

5. Set energy goals

As well as budgets, the year end is a good time to reflect on what you’ve achieved so far this year and what to focus on next. Perhaps you’ve already implemented a few energy-saving measures, or maybe your business is ready to refocus on energy efficiency after a challenging year or so. Whatever the situation, the energy-saving goals you set now will put you in a stronger position in 2024.

The key to success is choosing a goal, but also defining how you’ll get there step-by-step. Incremental improvements are often more achievable than expensive investments, so adopt an approach that’s right for your business. Involving all your employees from the start is an important positive move forward as energy-saving will be most successful when your employees are on board.

Follow these tips to help create an energy-efficient culture at your organisation.

Find out more about Energy360 Dataview and request access to start using your data to plan for 2024.

Written by

Sumit Bose

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