Run your own business, entrepreneur? Top tips to cut your business gas and electricity bills this winter

Increasing energy bills and cold winters represent a dangerous combination for businesses hoping to survive the winter. Amid challenging economic conditions, it has become necessary to cut consumption of gas and electricity for business purposes. How exactly can companies reduce usage when the winters are as dark and cold as ever? Provided below are five top tips for firms hoping to save money on energy bills this winter.

1. Control the lights

There can be little doubt that lighting is one of the more significant overheads in any office-based business. Controlling lights, therefore, is essential if companies want to save money on energy bills.

In addition to replacing old, energy inefficient bulbs with the latest LED, induction and T5 fluorescent lighting – a move that can save plenty of money over the years – companies can install motion sensors to control exactly when the lights turn on and off.

Motion sensor lighting ensures that lights come on when staff enter a room and switch off when they leave. This completely automated process can dramatically cut energy bills, especially when deployed in a large office with lots of small rooms.

2. Install new windows

Most companies are aware of the benefits of double glazing. Indeed, the majority of modern office buildings in the UK have long since replaced single panes with double-glazed windows. Not all companies however, are aware of the benefits – or existence – of triple glazing.

Used extensively in Scandinavian countries, triple glazing may seem like overkill for most firms, but its thermal qualities are indisputable. As Britain continues to experience colder winters than usual, triple glazing may be an option if firms wish to save money on heating bills.

On average, triple glazing is 30 to 50 per cent more energy efficient than double glazing, which means that half as much heat is able to escape an office building through triple glazed windows. As less heat is lost, less energy is required to heat the building.

3. Insulate and exclude

Triple glazing is just one-way in which to ensure reduced heat loss in the office. Insulating cavity walls, ceilings and loft spaces is essential to ensure maximum energy conservation. The importance of installing insulation throughout the office cannot be overstated. Every effort to reduce heat loss ensures that less energy, both in the form of gas and electricity, is required to maintain a comfortable temperature in the office.

On this point, it is also worth noting that draught excluders should be used on doors to further minimise heat loss. Setting the thermostat just one degree lower than usual can also save significant amounts of energy over the year.

4. Switch off monitors and let idle computers sleep

Switching off monitors when they are not in use is almost as important as ensuring that lights are only ever used when necessary. Computers should also be set to sleep or hibernate when left idle for a time – usually 20 minutes or so. Not only does this reduce power consumption, but it can also extend the lifespan of hardware.

5. Switch energy suppliers

Finally, the most effective way for businesses to cut energy costs this year is to switch suppliers. Free online consultancy firms such as uSwitchforbusiness provide guidance as to how best to go about this task. It is not difficult for most small and medium enterprises to determine precisely how they might benefit from switching tariffs or suppliers.