Five Low Cost Options to Improve Energy Efficiency

Our previous blog (that you can read here) discussed why you should consider energy efficiency when setting your environmental goals and targets.  This blog will suggest 5 low cost options to kickstart your energy efficiency journey.

1. Switch off equipment when not in use

This can save a surprising amount of energy.  According to the Carbon Trust, office lights left on overnight for a year could heat a home for almost three months.  In an office environment, you can encourage your staff to switch off lights, monitors, computers and printers.  For other operations, you can assess the running times of equipment and address idling engines in vehicles or MHE.  If you close in an evening, it could be someone’s job to go around and make sure everything that needs to be, is switched off.

2. Effective climate control

This includes heating and cooling of the workplace.  Reviewing when heating or air conditioning comes on can save a lot of energy and money, making sure rooms are kept at a comfortable temperature but aren’t being temperature controlled when not in use.  You may want to consider taking away local control so staff can’t constantly adjust the temperature and control it centrally.  Also make sure that windows and doors are not open when the temperature is being controlled, whether through air conditioning or heating.

3. Proactive maintenance

By ensuring all of your equipment is maintained, you can identify any problems early and make sure it is working effectively and efficiently.  You will ensure that any ductwork is clean, insulation (e.g. around pipework and boilers) is in good condition and any blockages have been removed.  As well as saving energy, this should save you money on reactive maintenance and call outs.

4. Energy efficient equipment

When replacing equipment, you can consider more energy efficient equipment.  Most equipment will include energy efficiency information when purchasing so you can make an informed decision.  You can also look at lighting and consider installing LED lighting, which is more energy efficient.

5. Staff training

Putting various energy saving measures and policies in place will support your energy efficiency initiatives, but it is essential that staff are aware of those policies and procedures and their role in implementing them.  Training and awareness could be delivered through tool box talks, awareness posters and signage, inclusion in meetings and environmental awareness training sessions.  This is also an opportunity to allow staff to offer suggestions on how your business can further reduce energy usage and become more efficient.

Reducing energy consumption is a fantastic opportunity to reduce costs and manage your environmental impact, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot, especially in the early stages.  There can be a lot of ‘low hanging fruit’ that you can address for a low cost and begin to see improvements.  These quick wins can then be used to support further projects and help your business continue in becoming more energy efficient.