The UK’s sudden cold snap shows that winter is on its way. With energy costs set to rise again, now is the time to improve your building’s energy efficiency and cut your heating costs in the process.
Recently, we told you about London’s largest ‘living wall’ and how, apart from looking pretty, it also serves to insulate the building and help prevent flooding.
We’re all aware of the benefits of saving energy. After all, you pay to heat your workspace, and any heat that escapes through draughty windows, doorways, walls or a poorly insulated roof is money down the drain.
Consider this. In the UK, research from Make It Cheaper (via Real Business) suggests that 94% of small businesses believe energy prices are about to go up again, with two thirds (67%) anticipating a rise of 10% or more over the next year.
Make It Cheaper polled 500 business owners and the results suggested that energy was considered the most “unfairly priced” running cost.
“Of all the overheads we speak to businesses about, the relentless rise in energy prices has caused the most bitterness,” said Jonathan Elliott, MD of Make It Cheaper.
Government statistics show that, on average, 30% of energy in buildings is wasted. So what can you do about it?
Some business centre operators are tied-in with landlords and have little control over the building. If you’re lucky enough to own your building outright, it’s down to you to make it more efficient. The long-term cost savings are usually well worth it. If you take up a percentage of a leased building, why not engage your landlord in energy-saving talks? It doesn’t have to be a large-scale project, and various measures could be installed over the course of a few years to reduce disruption.
Among the long-term measures you should consider are:
- Insulation: Measures like cavity wall insulation, exterior insulation and improved lining in the roof can make a huge difference and significantly contribute towards energy cost savings.
- Draught-proofing: Reducing draughts through poor window and door fittings can help to conserve energy, keeping warmth within the building and preventing cool air from getting in (this will keep your clients happy too!)
- Double glazing: Experts now recommend triple glazing, but as with double glazing, this works best if the rest of the interior space is fully insulated and virtually air-tight.
Going one-step further, various renewable energy and harvesting schemes play their part in energy conservation too. All sorts of measures exist – ranging from green roofs and walls to rainwater harvesting, sensor-controlled lights and solar panels.
And of course on a more basic level, all staff should be encouraged to help save energy through simple day-to-day routines. This includes recycling at work (separating general rubbish from plastics, paper and cans), switching off lights at the end of the day, not leaving devices on standby, and closing doors or windows when heating or air-conditioning is in use.
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For a more instant fix, all businesses should monitor their utility bills closely, and consider switching tariffs to take advantage of the best rates. This is recommended by entrepreneur and small business advisor Doug Richard, who says: “The best way to keep a lid on your energy bills is to get into a regular switching habit.”
Brits love talking about the weather, so a drop in temperature is a sharp prompt for many to seriously discuss improvements in heat and energy retention. But this is something that business centres – and all businesses, for that matter – should be thinking about at all times of the year. Wasted energy is wasted money. Why not get a little greener this year and drive down your energy bills in the process?
Do you have ‘green’ or energy efficient processes in place at your business centre? How does your workspace help prevent energy loss? Get in touch and let us know – we’d love to hear about it and feature your ideas on OfficingToday.Share this article