With the non-commodity and government levy components of the overall electricity price set to rise exponentially over the next few years, it is becoming increasingly important that businesses take active steps to reduce energy use.
It is unlikely that securing the most competitive energy pricing alone is enough to protect your business' bottom line. To secure future financial stability, steps will need to be taken to manage reductions in energy usage.
1. Appoint an energy manager
Energy managers are an important attribute, they will engage with all levels of the business to drive efficiencies and the effective use of energy. Having a member of the business whose sole objective is to scope and implement business process changes is becoming imperative. They actively promote company CSR policy and drive cost and carbon change.
2. Embrace AMR's (Automatic Meter Readers)
Don’t just settle for a meter that only delivers your supplier with monthly meter reads, make sure that your metering systems are set to supply you with the data that you need to make a difference. Record and profile your use, set targets on baseload reduction and eradicate areas of unnecessary consumption.
3. Optimise lighting
Installation of low energy rated or LED lights is a proven way to reduce your electricity use in your business, but this change needs to be effective. Swapping units out for like for like replacement will make a difference but the real benefit will be realised if lighting is carefully designed to provide the most suitable light levels within certain areas of the business premises.
4. Engage with your employees
Your workforce can have a profound effect on your business’ energy consumption if empowered to do so. Set mitigation targets for a department or shift and promote energy leaders within the business. Successful engagement with staff is a low cost solution and the first step in reducing energy consumption.
5. Let the daylight in
Take advantage of natural daylight, keep skylights and windows clean and free from debris. This can actively reduce the business' dependency on lighting during a sunny day and reduce your baseline energy usage.
6. Take advantage of available technology
Utilise proximity sensors and their timing features effectively to reduce the energy in the least occupied areas of your premises. This can be from reducing or turning off lighting when not in use to ensuring that flush controls do not continue to release.
7. Manage your heating and cooling effectively
Set base and max heating and cooling temperatures in different zones throughout your premises. Find the optimum settings for your unique business environment and this will eradicate energy wastage.
8. Make good use of assistive technologies
Implementation of technological advances to help reduce your energy use is only the first step. Actually taking the time to program and audit their use is the real driver behind achieving your energy and carbon reduction targets.
9. Maintain equipment
Promote efficiency by maintaining key equipment, this will reduce the possibility of load disturbance and power quality that could otherwise cause inefficiencies in the system.
10. Avoid standby mode
Whether you are a small professional services provider or a large manufacturing company, any non-business critical device or equipment should be switched off and shut down properly outside working hours.
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