Carrying out an energy audit is a great way to identify how, when, and where your business uses most gas and electricity, and help work out how you can cut consumption, to save energy and save money.
Your current gas and electricity supplier should have energy-saving experts on hand to carry out an audit either on-site or over-the-phone, before providing you with a report outlining ways your business can make savings.
Alternatively, you can carry out your own energy audit, here's how:
Identify energy deficiencies and efficiencies
The first thing to do is make a note of exactly how and when your business uses energy, keeping an eye out for unnecessary use of electricity, such as leaving lights on when rooms are not in use and leaving non-critical equipment switched on overnight.
It also helps to take a look at your energy bill, to see exactly how much gas and electricity you’re using each month, and the amount you’re paying for each unit you use – if the costs are too high, consider switching energy supplier and taking out a tariff that offers cheaper rates:
iChoosr - Switch your business energy provider (external website)
You can also use this information to identify some energy efficiencies. If, for example, the office is clear by 5.30pm each day, set the thermostat timer so the heating switches off half-an-hour before everyone leaves. This small change ensures heat isn’t wasted when no-one is in the building.
Make an energy-saving checklist
Your energy audit needs to build a comprehensive picture of your energy, so It’s important to make sure you cover every aspect of your energy usage. So, compile an energy-saving checklist, taking in every room and piece of equipment used by your business, and arrange them into categories, for instance:
- Cooling and ventilation
- Equipment on site
- Gas, electricity and water use.
Then split these categories down even further, making notes for every item on the checklist. Lighting, for instance, could include the following considerations:
- A plan of where each light switch is positioned, and consider whether automatic lighting might be more appropriate for infrequently used spaces.
- Take a look at windows and blinds to assess whether you could make more use of natural light.
- Consider whether you could switch to more efficient light bulbs – this alone could save as much as 75% on lighting costs.
- Check that lights and fittings are regularly cleaned if dust builds up this can reduce efficiency.
And remember to check around doorways and windows for gaps where cold air can enter and hot air can escape.
Make sure employees are doing their bit
Energy-saving is a collective effort, so get employees involved in the audit to help get the energy-efficiency message across – they may just have some ingenious ideas to help reduce your business energy bills.