Everyone is looking for ways to save money on their energy bills, and reducing costs in the office is not too dissimilar from reducing them at home. In this article, we share some of our top energy saving tips for office buildings, from the small tweaks you can make in minutes, to the long-term investments that could save you thousands. Discover our office energy saving tips below, and start cutting costs today!
Why is Saving Energy in the Office Important?
So why is it important to reduce your energy costs? It boils down to more than just saving money. According to the ONS, in 2020, businesses accounted for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. And with the ever-looming effects of climate change on everyone’s minds, now is a crucial time to start making changes.
Not only is an energy efficient office good for the environment, but it is also a much more comfortable working environment for your employees. Modernised buildings with a comfortable temperature, good lighting, and improved air quality all contribute to employee comfort and in turn, increased productivity.
Of course, financial factors will play a large role in any changes you make to your office. Saving money on your energy bill will allow you to improve your business, both for staff and customers while investing in energy efficient equipment is likely to pay for itself in the long run.
Analyse Your Current Energy Usage
The first step towards making savings on your office’s energy costs, is to calculate your current usage. Which energy bills are you paying the most for? Where do you fall against the average usage for your business size and type?
The best way to get the most accurate bills for your utilities, and monitor how much energy you’re using, is by installing a Smart Meter. Not only will this save you the hassle of taking and submitting meter readings manually, but it will also ensure that you only pay for the energy you use, with no more estimated billing. The insights gained from your smart meter will also help you better understand your usage and identify areas for improvement.
If you’re unsure whether your current usage is high or low, you can use our free Energy Health Check Tool. Figure out if your usage is normal and if you’re paying the best price you could be, all in under two minutes!
Energy Saving Tips for Offices
Once you have calculated your current usage, it’s time to get a plan in place and get the team involved. Make sure you communicate any changes with your whole team, to ensure everyone is on the same page. Ask for suggestions and feedback from your employees, remember, if everyone is working towards common goal, you are far more likely to succeed.
Here is a handy list of hassle-free, small changes that you and your employees can implement to save energy in the office:
- Sustainability training – Start off by enrolling all your staff in a sustainability training course. Whether this is online or in-person, delivering the same high-quality standard of training to all staff means they will be more likely to tackle the goal as a team.
- Use the stairs – If your office has multiple floors, encourage staff to take the stairs instead of the lift wherever possible. According to figures provided by Kone to Slate, the average lift servicing a three-story office building uses around 3,800 Kilowatt-hours per year. So, not only are stairs better for your fitness, they’re also better for your bills!
- Tea rounds – Encourage staff to take it in turns to make a ‘round’ of tea for their colleagues, rather than boiling a kettle individually for each cup. This can help save both energy and water!
- Turn off appliances – It might sound obvious, but you may be surprised by how often appliances are accidentally left on overnight. Use signage, emails, or staff newsletters, as gentle reminders to help staff get into the habit of turning off appliances that they have finished using.
- Adjust the settings on your tech – By setting computers to sleep after a period of inactivity, you could be making small, easy savings. A PC monitor on standby only uses 0.1w per hour, whereas it uses around 140w when ‘awake’. This amounts to around 56p for an eight-hour shift. It doesn’t sound like much but think about how many PCs there are in your office. Some staff might even have multiple monitors. Now imagine no one turned their monitors to standby when they went on their breaks, or left the room to attend a meeting…these small costs very quickly add up!
- Print less – As well as using paper, printers use a lot of energy. Making the switch to paperless billing, communications, or contracts could help you save both energy and money. Here at Yü, we use DocuSign for our contracts, meaning contracts are signed electronically, and our process are more sustainable.
- Reconsider your dress code – By allowing more flexibility with dress codes, allowing employees to wear jumpers in the winter and short sleeves in the summer, you could reduce your need for heating or air conditioning. As a bonus, you may increase staff productivity and comfort. According to a study by TALiNT, 61% of employees are more productive when dress codes are relaxed.
- Gentle reminders – If you’re implementing new rules, people are bound to forget them from time, particularly in the first few months. Try introducing posters or newsletters as gentle reminders to staff to keep up their hard work, switch off lights, recycle paper and plastic waste etc. Position these in helpful places, such as above light switches or electrical sockets.
- Have fun with it! – Turning energy saving habits into a game or a competition is a great way to encourage everyone to get involved – divide your workforce into teams, each responsible for a different area of the office, and create a leaderboard, offering incentives or prizes to the winners.
There are also several ways that you can upgrade your office space to invest in long-term savings. For example:
- Switch to more efficient lighting – If your office uses florescent lighting, try switching to LED. LED lighting converts 95% of its energy into light, only wasting 5% as heat. And although they may be more expensive to install, they have a much longer lifespan; you would use roughly five fluorescent bulbs during the lifespan of just one LED bulb!
- Install light sensors – As well as switching to LED, you could also install light sensors that turn off automatically when people leave the room. This can be particularly useful for shared spaces such as office kitchens or bathrooms.
- Replace old, broken, or damaged appliances – Though you may be reluctant to splash out, investing in new, more efficient appliances is likely to save you money in the long run. For example, a fridge with a broken seal will be working much harder to stay cool, using a greater amount of energy to keep running. Over time, these little inefficiencies could be costing you much more than it would to replace them!
- Keep up with building repairs – As well as damaged appliances, building faults can also force you to spend more money on your bills. For example, a cold draft or poorly insulated walls may mean you need to prematurely put your heating on as the weather gets cooler. If you’re looking to review the energy efficiency of your premises, make sure you check out our free business energy audit checklist, to help you get started.
- Adopt Hybrid Working – Working from home has grown more popular recently, and many businesses have adopted a hybrid working approach in the years after covid. You could consider letting employees choose to work from home one or two days a week (where roles allow). This means less people in the office, and less energy used. And the benefits don’t stop at cost savings, as hybrid working can help with staff retention and employee wellbeing. According to Forbes, 71% of workers say that working from home helps them keep a healthier work-life balance, with a staggering 98% of workers wanting to work remotely at least some of the time.
- Switch energy supplier – It’s always a good idea to shop around to find the best energy prices for your office. Think you could be getting a better deal for your energy? Our cheapest rates can only be found online, and are some of the best in the market! Use our free online quote tool to find out how much you could be saving with Yü.
Reduce Your Costs With These Office Energy Saving Tips
Saving energy in the office doesn’t have to be complicated and it certainly won’t happen overnight. But starting off with small changes will stand you in good stead to start seeing some significant benefits soon.
Choosing the right energy supplier can help you reduce your costs, whilst simplifying your energy management. Find out if you could be getting a better deal for your energy, with our free online quote tool.