Energy Price Crisis: How To Reduce Business Overheads

When you have a business to run, it’s crucial to save on energy bills as much as possible as we head into winter. Amid the backdrop of soaring gas prices in particular, cutting energy costs is important to your financial wellbeing.

However, looking into what you’re paying in terms of gas and electricity costs and keeping an eye on your energy efficiency is probably something you’ve put on the back burner for now, as the day-to-day running of your business gets in the way.

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With energy bills rising over the past few years, assessing your energy efficiency is worth moving up the priorities list, as it can create some significant savings. This, in turn, will free up your money to invest in other areas of the business.

If every establishment made efforts to improve their sustainability, this would reduce the demand for fossil fuels in the future, creating a healthier environment for everyone on the planet.

With consumers expressing a preference for businesses with eco-friendly practices, being able to show green credentials is always a positive step. Independent research by Smartest Energy has revealed 81% of consumers prefer to shop at brands that commit to sustainability.

When it comes to reducing expensive bills and pollution, reviewing your energy use is a bigger priority than many business owners realise.


Energy costs

In the UK, the average business could be spending around £6,500 on energy bills each year, according to data published by Smarter Business.

A micro business has average electricity costs of between £650 and £1,800 and gas costs of around £516 each year; small businesses are likely to spend between £1,900 and £2,900 annually on electricity and £965 on gas; a medium business will usually pay between £3,300 and £5,000 for electricity each year and £1,502 for gas.

The costs are affected by various factors, including the type and size of electrical appliances and machinery used, plus the intensity and duration of their operation. It also depends on the time of day you’re using the equipment if you have cheaper rate electricity at certain times.

Moving forward, it’s crucial that every business aims to reduce overheads – so, how can you start to reduce your energy consumption?


Automatic doors

Investing in the development of your business means spending money in the short term to help you save money in the long run.

Many businesses are investing in automatic doors, especially those with a high footfall. Retail stores, health centres, educational establishments and busy office premises, where people are coming and going all day and evening, can make a big energy saving if they reconsider the main access point to their building.

You may not consider the benefits of automatic doors, viewing them as an expense you don’t want to incur, but they can be a great investment. Very durable: once installed, your only task is to keep them maintained so they continue to operate smoothly.

Offering great energy savings: automatic doors protect your business premises from temperature changes. If you have manual doors that many people are passing through continually, there’s a chance they will be left open, due to the sheer volume of traffic. If they’re left ajar all day in winter, imagine how cold your premises will become and how much extra energy will be required to keep the interior warm.

Automatic doors will be open for the minimum amount of time needed to let people in and out of your building. This helps maintain a constant temperature, so you won’t need to turn up the heating after the manual door has been inadvertently left wide open!

With options for double and triple glazing, the automatic doors can also have heat curtains that switch on when the doors operate and open. This saves even more heat from being lost, as the heat curtain is not continuously blowing.

Energy consumption can be reduced by up to 43% by installing automatic doors, according to a study carried out by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. The research assessed energy consumption based on fixed gas and electricity meters over a period of time.

The savings occur because the automatic doors open only when they need to, creating an “air curtain” that prevents cold air from blowing inside. Features such as tight door seals and insulated glass ensure extremely energy-efficient sliding doors.

Ideal for businesses such as retail stores, where people are likely to be laden down with shopping, or health service premises frequented by elderly and infirm people; automatic doors have other benefits, such as improved accessibility.

Automatic doors also improve business premises’ disabled access, ensuring they comply with UK legislation that demands no barriers to disabled people entering public buildings.


Other energy-saving ideas

Other measures adopted by businesses include energy-efficient lighting and turning appliances off overnight, rather than leaving them on standby; this includes computers and office electrical equipment, as well as kitchen appliances, such as microwave ovens and coffee machines.

According to research, many employees don’t turn off their computers at night, instead leaving them on standby. This can cost your business an extra £35 a year for every computer left on overnight – it soon adds up if you have a large workforce!

Take steps now to weather the energy price crisis and reduce your business overheads to increase your business’s future chances of success.