Conserve energy – boost profits

Imagine if you could save thousands of pounds a year and attract more customers to your business. And as a useful by-product, you would be saving the planet.

All this just by saving a little energy.

Making your business more energy efficient can help save 20 or 30 per cent on your annual bills, claims British Gas Business, who believe simple changes to lighting and heating to improve energy efficiency will make your premises a more comfortable place for both customers and employees, thereby driving sales and improving productivity.

Furthermore, with research showing a quarter of consumers would prefer to buy from environmentally conscious firms, advertising any green measures put in place could increase sales.

‘It’s essential that owners of small businesses keep an eagle eye on energy costs, believes British Gas Business’ commercial director, Adrian Harvey. ‘If a retailer has a ten per cent margin, £100 a year saved on electricity has the same effect as increasing turnover by £1,000 and frankly it’s much easier to do.’

‘It is vital to take a systematic approach,’ says Vince Wells of energy consultant Energys. ‘Start your review nearest the point of consumption and work back towards the point of supply. So if you take lighting, look at the lamps and fittings and decide how to make them efficient first; then you can evaluate the potential benefits of measures such as lighting controls.’

British Gas Business offers the following tips to get started:

  • Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps, which last eight times longer than tungsten bulbs and use a quarter of the energy.
  • Clean your light fittings for maximum reflection, and clean windows and skylights.
  • Set your heating thermostat to between 19 and 21 degrees centigrade. For every degree of overheating, energy consumption rises by between eight and ten per cent.
  • If you have air conditioning, only use it on days where temperatures are 25 degrees centigrade or over. Open windows and doors on hot days, fit solar film onto windows to reduce the heat from direct sunlight. Avoiding air-conditioning could reduce your energy spend by half. Moreover, customers can be driven away from stores that are too cold.
  • Keep the gap between the switch-on temperatures for your heating and air-conditioning as wide as possible so that most of the time neither are operating.
  • Make sure you and your staff turn computers off when not using them, especially at night, or install a simple timer to control the power.

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