The Energy Crisis is a hot topic of conversation right now and has been since 2021. Pairing this with the Climate Emergency announced in 2019, it’s no wonder people are looking for new tips and tricks to save energy – with businesses being no exception. It may seem difficult to know where to start, as noticeable changes are not made overnight. But the first, and possibly most important step, is encouraging your employees to act in a more energy efficient way, in and around the workplace. To make things simpler, we have compiled some top energy saving tips for employees to help you get started.
The Importance of Saving Energy in the Workplace
Saving energy and reducing your consumption is about more than just saving money. In fact, greater energy efficiency in the workplace can have a drastic effect on employee satisfaction, your brand perception, and the planet.
A company that is good for the planet is also attractive to customers – climate change is a real concern for many people, and customers want to support businesses that share their values. In fact, a recent study found that ‘4 out of 5 people describe themselves as likely to choose a brand with a positive approach to environmental sustainability’.
As well as attracting more potential, green-minded customers, improving your energy efficiency is a great way to attract new staff whilst keeping your existing workforce happy. In research conducted by Frontiers of Psychology Journal in 2019, it was found that ‘79% of millennials consider a company’s environmental commitments when deciding where to work’.
It may take a little effort and a lot of teamwork but reducing energy consumption and saving money in the long run will boost your profits, as well as allowing you to put money back into your facilities, products and services, making your business work better for everyone.
Know Your Outgoings
Before you can start making your action plan, you need to understand your bills. What are your biggest outgoings? Depending on your industry and size of business, you may be looking at reducing heating costs, lighting costs or general running costs of machinery in your building.
If you’re unsure where your business falls in terms of usage, the following list outlines the average use for both gas and electricity for different sizes of business. If your usage is higher than the average for your business size – you’ll know you need to start making changes!
The average energy usage for a small business is;
- Gas – between 15,000 kWh and 30,000 kWh
- Electricity – between 15,000 kWh and 25,000 kWh
Average usage for a medium-sized business;
- Gas – between 30,000 kWh and 65,000 kWh
- Electricity – between 25,000 kWh and 50,000 kWh
And for a large business;
- Gas – more than 65,000 kWh
- Electricity – more than 50,000 kWh
Using our Free Energy Health Check tool, you can figure out where you fall on this scale. This will help you develop a plan to bring down your bills, so you can start moving towards a greener future.
Getting Employees on Board With Energy Saving
The most important thing you can do as an employer, is to get your employees on board to save energy in the workplace. By ensuring your team are educated on the importance of saving energy, you are already standing yourself in good stead. If everyone is working towards a common goal, the whole team are much more likely to succeed.
It is important to approach the situation in the right way; you want to educate your employees, but not lecture them – they need to understand that they are not being blamed for the businesses’ higher than desired energy consumption, but that they can still help to manage it. Make it clear where new rules will be coming into effect, and where guidance or suggestions will help encourage more sustainable practices.
Think about what would motivate employees to save energy and change their current behaviours. What motivates people to be energy efficient at home could be quite different to at work. For example, at home people are a lot more likely to think about the financial implications of energy saving, whereas at work they might be motivated by improved working conditions, company reputation or gaining recognition within the business. Take this into consideration when promoting these new behaviours.
A good way to introduce new a new business energy strategy, is to gather all your employees together, making sure that everyone is given the same information, while allowing them to make suggestions and ask questions. Everyone sees things differently, so this can be a valuable technique to gather some more out-of-the-box ideas and take into consideration what is important to your staff. Be transparent with your team, tell them why you are doing this and how it affects them.
You should also set quantifiable targets. By having a tangible goal, such as an amount of money saved or a percentage of emissions reduced, your employees are more likely to feel driven to work towards that goal as a team.
This will then allow you to delegate responsibilities. By appointing specific leadership roles within your team, the new sense of responsibility is likely to give employees an added drive to reach targets.
Remember, it is vital to take on board any feedback you receive from your staff; regular team meetings and brainstorming sessions will help you understand what they want, what’s working well, and what’s working not-so-well. This is also a time to gather valuable suggestions and fresh ideas.
Top Energy Saving Tips for Employees
Simple, practical solutions that you can get the whole team involved with, are a great way to start on your energy efficiency journey. Here’s a few energy saving tips for employees that you can implement with little to no upfront cost and may even make your employees lives easier!
- Encourage ‘tea rounds’ where people can take it in turns to make drinks for their colleagues, instead of each person boiling the kettle individually. (Did you know, each time you boil a kettle, it uses between 2-3 kWh of electricity?)
- Turn off and unplug all electrical appliances at the end of the day to make sure you’re not still guzzling unnecessary energy outside of business hours.
- An easy switch (literally) is to change the settings of computer monitors to make them go to sleep after a certain period of inactivity, such as during lunch breaks.
- Keep an eye on your temperature – did you know that over-heating your workspace by just one degree can increase your heating bill by as much as 8%?
- Consider your dress code – by relaxing dress code rules and letting employees dress for the weather, you are less likely to need to rely on heating and air conditioning, and your employees will be more comfortable.
- Start implementing sustainability training – Ensure all of your staff are on the same page, and understand the importance of saving energy in the workplace and why it benefits them.
- Posters can be simple yet effective! Having physical prompts in the form of posters can help remind people to do things they have otherwise forgotten to do, such as switching off a light, or using the hot water already in the kettle rather than boiling a new one.
- Keep staff updated – If you have an internal newsletter, you could include a section detailing the progress that you have made with your energy saving initiatives so far and encouraging employees to continue their hard work.
- Make it fun! – you could turn saving energy into a game with incentives and competitions, not only will this boost savings, but it will boost morale too!
Next Steps: Investing in Improvement
Once you’ve implemented our top energy saving tips for employees, it’s time to look at the next steps. While these simple changes will help, the most effective way to save energy is to invest in improvement.
This will involve spending money to save money. Although this may seem a little counter-productive at first, this is the best way to see changes and boost your savings over time.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of things you can do to start saving energy in your business.
- Invest in new equipment – when your appliances or tech need replacing, do some research into more energy-efficient alternatives.
- Stay on top of repairs – don’t let a leaky fridge sit unfixed or a drafty door force you to put the heating on if you don’t need to; encourage staff to report faults as soon as they’re spotted.
- Make simple swaps – for example, did you know that switching to LED light bulbs can provide up to 90% greater energy efficiency when compared with fluorescent lighting? You could even go the extra mile and invest in motion-sensor lights that shut off when not needed, saving even more energy.
- Consider EV (Electric Vehicle) charging – Many people are switching to electric vehicles, so by installing electric car charging points, you give customers another reason to visit you – and stay longer! You could even consider hiring out your changing points outside of business hours, generating an extra revenue stream.
- Upgrade your business with solar power – while this may be a large investment to begin with, installing renewable energy infrastructure will allow you to generate your own energy on-site and could boost the value of your property by as much as 14%.
- Consider switching supplier – could you be getting a better deal for your energy? Try using our quick, free, online quote tool to find out how much YÜ could be saving!
Some More Green Tips for Employees
While these tips may not directly affect your energy bill, they are still useful ways to reduce your carbon footprint and cut down on waste produced.
- Use paper recycling bins in offices – no need to buy post-it notes and notebooks; any scrap paper with a blank side can be used to leave notes for colleagues, make quick posters, or jot down notes.
- Cut down on single-use plastic – if your workplace has a coffee machine with plastic or Styrofoam cups, ditch these in favour of reusable mugs.
- Stop wasting food! – Try introducing a food waste bin and create your own compost – this can then be used to nourish a flower bed in a communal staff area, or even start your own mini herb or vegetable garden!
- Encourage green transport – if many of your employees drive to work, consider a carpooling scheme, promoting EVs (Electric Vehicles), walking or cycling, or even a subsidised public transport scheme to help them get to and from work.
Start Saving Energy with Tips for Your Employees
There are many approaches you can take to save energy in the workplace; some small, simple changes that you and your team can implement today, and some larger investments to help you see changes in the long run. Whatever initiatives you implement, remember that it’s important that management teams are involved and on board. The behaviour and drive must come from above and be fed through the company, or it will be much harder to change employee behaviours from the start.
Whatever route you choose to take, whether it’s installing EV charging, getting that drafty window fixed, or switching up your dress code, the best thing you can do to start saving energy, is to collaborate with your employees. (Be sure to celebrate successes with your team too – make sure they know that their hard work is paying off!) With a clear plan and a strong sense of teamwork, you will soon start reaping the benefits of lower energy consumption!