One approach that you can be sure will be beneficial to your business now and into the future, however, is energy efficiency. However you choose to do so, reducing your consumption is a sure way to ensure that your energy bills are as low as possible – and becoming more energy efficient can have many other benefits as well.
Here’s why we think that every business should make energy efficiency a key priority:
Mitigate rising energy costs
In 2018, we saw an increased volatility in the wholesale market, with prices spiking at levels not seen for almost two years – in which time non-commodity costs have also risen by up to 25%. This year, commodity costs are likely to be compounded further by potential currency fluctuations during Brexit negotiations, while non-commodity costs are set to rise with the increase in the Climate Change Levy (CCL) and the potential lowering of the Energy Intensive Industries (EII) exemption threshold, which will pass additional costs onto non-energy intensive consumers.
With both sides of your bill set to rise, using less energy may be one of the only ways that you can mitigate the effects of external influences on your bottom line. Reviewing your existing processes to make sure they are as energy efficient as possible should bring your overall energy consumption down, so you’re not paying more than you need to for energy that is going to waste. Even small changes can make a real difference – for example, turning your heating down by just 1°C can reduce your heating costs by 8%!
Every business can get involved
Increasingly innovative approaches to energy efficiency are entering the market every day, as we can see from the projects that have been chosen for funding as part of BEIS Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA); they’re investing £2.7m into seven novel energy schemes, including one project that manufactures low carbon cement, and another that replaces hot water with cold electrolysed water in cleaning processes.
While it’s great to see investment in cutting-edge energy efficiency developments, there are so many ways to reduce your consumption that your business should be able to get involved in even if your budget is limited. If you have the upfront capital to invest in efficiency improvements such as smart lighting systems and controls or upgrading your machinery, then you could see a real return on investment. But there are also many low-cost measures you can take, such as encouraging your staff to switch off lights when they leave, or enabling energy-saving modes on all devices.
Make the most of your obligations
Many businesses will be called upon to report on their energy consumption and emissions this year, through Phase 2 of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and the new Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) regulations, which come into effect on 1st April 2019 (although the SECR reporting deadline isn’t until late 2020). While neither of these schemes require eligible businesses to implement energy efficiency measures, it makes sense for those that complete audits or reports for SECR and/or ESOS to take action to reduce their consumption.
If you’re required to comply with ESOS then you will have a number of energy efficiency improvements that are tailored to your organisation, so you should make the most of the time and money you have spent on compliance by implementing the improvements you have identified. Equally, if you need to report under SECR, then your greenhouse gas emissions may be subject to public scrutiny, which may motivate you and your stakeholders to challenge your sustainability policy.
Boosting your organisation’s energy efficiency
We know that for many large energy users, it can be difficult to identify exactly how and where you could reduce your energy consumption, but doing so can bring some real benefits to your business.
That’s why gaining an external perspective can be really useful in finding key areas for improvement that might not be immediately obvious. Inenco’s team of energy experts have a wealth of experience in helping businesses to become more energy efficient – give us a call today on 08451 46 36 26 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.