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Savings resources

Energy Efficiency for businesses

Whether you own or lease your building, you typically need energy to power your lighting, heating, and air conditioning and computer systems among other essential services.  Here are some simple cost-effective measures that can save your business up to 20% in energy costs and help you reduce your environmental impact.

Lighting

  • Turn off lights (and other equipment) when not in use. High energy costs often include paying for energy that’s being wasted
  • Replace standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED)
  • Consider upgrading older T12 fluorescent lamps with more efficient T8 lamps with solid state electronic ballasts
  • Install occupancy sensors in applicable locations to automatically turn OFF lighting when no one is present and ON when people return
  • Natural daylight is free! Turn OFF or dim electric lighting according to available sunlight

Office equipment

  • Unplug battery chargers when batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use
  • Turning OFF any machines when they are not in use can result in massive energy savings
  • Turn OFF your monitor or set it to automatically enter into sleep mode– it is a common misconception that screensavers reduce energy but they don’t
  • Consider upgrading to laptops, they use much less energy compared to desktops so it can reduce your bills
  • To maximize savings with a laptop always keep the AC adapter connected to a power strip with an ON/OFF switch or unplug it when not needed for charging. The transformer in the AC adapter draws power consistently, even when the laptop is not plugged into the adapter
  • Ensure photocopiers, computers, printers and other equipment are switched off at night, weekends and during holidays
  • Even if you switch something to ‘stand by’ or ‘hibernation’ modes it will still use a small amount of energy. If you’re not using it, turn it off

Heating and Air conditioning (HVAC)

When it's cold

  • Encourage colleagues to adjust the thermostat radiators in their rooms and to keep them as low as is comfortable. The room won’t heat up quicker just because the thermostat is turned to its highest setting
  • Don’t use extra electric heaters – they are one of the most expensive heat sources and can also be a fire hazard
  • Keep curtains or blinds open at windows that face the sun. This will heat your office with solar radiation and reduces the pressure on your heating system. Close them in the evening to avoid night time heat loss
  • Ensure heaters and vents are not blocked by furniture or other items
  • Adjust your dress code according to the weather. Layers work better when it’s cold and you can find your own comfort level

When it's warm

  • Keep curtains or blinds closed to block direct sunlight from heating the building during warm days
  • Open the windows in the evening. Not only will enable night time cooling it will also recirculate the air inside the building
  • Keep areas in front of vents clear of any furniture or paper. As much as 25 percent more energy is required to distribute air if the vents are blocked
  • Keep external doors closed when the building’s air-conditioning is in use

Essential maintenance

  • Schedule your HVAC inspection and maintenance at the beginning of heating and cooling season. Regular maintenance ensures the system will last longer and help save energy and money whilst improving air quality
  • If you have air conditioning, ensure your thermostat is correctly adjusted both for heating and cooling. During winter season you can set the thermostat between 18°C and 21°C and during summer season you can adjust to 22°C
  • Consider installing solar screens or solar films to your windows. This is a quick-win solution that will keep your building cooler by preventing the summer heat from getting past the window
  • Planting vegetation around the buildings can keep them cool. Trees provide shade and help clean the air
  • Avoid heating and cooling areas that are not frequently used such as storage areas or meeting rooms
  • If it’s broken, fix it! Repairing damaged insulation or installing insulation where there is none can keep cool air from escaping the building

Empower your staff

  • Inspire behaviour change by creating positive competition or challenges for employees
  • Display posters, internal messaging and quick facts sharing energy saving tips
  • Inspire behaviour change by creating displays, posters, internal messaging
  • Appoint a green ambassador within your company
  • Include energy awareness into job descriptions and HR welcome packs where appropriate

 

Energy efficiency at Home

In 2016, an average family household spent around £1,344 on their energy bill (electricity and gas combined). This is a major expense that is likely to go up in the coming years. There are however, simple and cheap solutions that can help you save on your energy bills and make your house more comfortable and sustainable to run.

  • Turn OFF lights and other electrical appliances when not in use. High energy bills often include energy that’s being used for no practical reason
  • Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED), they last up to 10 times longer and use 80% less energy
  • Use draft excluders at your doors and rugs to avoid drafts and keep your house warm
  • During winter leave the curtains or blinds open to let solar heat in. During warm days keep them closed to block direct sunlight entering your house
  • Consider investing in roof and ceiling insulation. It can save you on average 20% on heating costs
  • Where possible install renewable technology at your property
  • When purchasing a new appliance makes sure you check the energy label. The more efficient the appliance is the less energy it will use

For further information and advice visit the Energy Saving Trust or National Energy Foundation websites.

 

Saving water

Saving water at home

Each day a typical household in the UK uses on average around 165 litres of water, costing about £380 a year. Here is our top water saving tips to help you use water wisely saving you money whilst cutting your carbon footprint as well!

At Home

  • Check all taps, pipes, tanks and toilets for leaks
  • Install water-saving devices you can attach to your taps and toilet flusher (e.g. aerators, low flow shower head, water hippos)
  • Turn OFF the tap while cleaning your teeth, shaving or peeling vegetables
  • Make sure you have a full load when using the washing machine or dishwasher, using the shortest cycle possible
  • Defrost frozen food in the fridge
  • Take shorter showers rather than fill a bathtub

Outside

  • Water your lawn earlier in the morning or later in the evening to avoid evaporation
  • Don’t water on cool, rainy or windy days
  • Install ON/OFF timers on your sprinklers or drip irrigation systems where possible
  • Use a bucket instead of a hose to wash your car
  • Install a rainwater tank or water butt so it can be used to water your garden
  • Plant flowers that need less water
  • Re-use your cooking water. Rather than tipping water from cooking your vegetables down the sink, you can use it as a free fertiliser for watering your plants

For further information and advice visit water wise or Energy saving trust website.

Water deregulation for businesses

The deregulation of the English business water market has opened up competition between suppliers, enabling non-domestic users, regardless of size, to switch their water services provider (including waste water and drainage services) allowing them to negotiate a more competitive price.

Licenced retailers will buy wholesale water services – the physical supply of water, including waste water, from licensed regional water companies or "wholesalers". Regional water companies will continue to supply, treat and maintain the water and wastewater pipe networks.

These changes will offer a variety of benefits such as:

  • Small discounts on existing tariffs;
  • Consolidated billing, reducing administrative time from multi-site organisations;
  • More leverage and resources to change supplier and/or renegotiate rates;
  • Considerable cost savings from improved service levels and water efficiency;
  • Offer of a wide range of added services (i.e. automatic meter readers; data reporting, leak detection and water surveys).

For further information and advice, visit the Ofwat website.

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