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Top energy saving tips for small businesses

Being green can be difficult for many small businesses, who operate on tight margins and who don’t have the economies of scale of their larger corporate brethren.

This being Small Business Week, however, suppliers are lining up to give energy efficiency and other green advice for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

Utility company nPower says SMEs can slash energy bills by up to 20 per cent by taking some simple steps.
nPower’s advice is based on energy efficiency ‘makeovers’ the company did for four small businesses – a pub, a small printers, a car auction and a shoe repair shop – cutting their energy spend by £1,200 and reducing CO2 emissions by almost 4.9 tonnes.

Some of the top tips to come out of this exercise included: #

  • Reducing the air conditioning temperature setting in a pub by just two degrees centigrade will save £232 a year
  • Defrosting the fridge freezer and replacing lighting contributed to cutting a car auction’s energy bill by £300
  • Draught-proofing doors and changing light bulbs in a shop could lead to savings £400 on its energy bills

Other more obvious energy saving tactics included replacing light bulbs with energy saving equivalents; switching kettles to eco-friendlier alternatives; fitting reflective radiator panels; fitting timers to electrical equipment to switch if off when not in use; installing a wind-up radio and solar powered phone charger, substituting them for existing electric equivalents

Next up with advice for SMEs is BT, which found in its own research that while reducing energy consumption is one of the most popular environmentally-friendly business practices among SMEs, other less obvious carbon footprint reducing practices are being missed out.

BT found only one in six SMEs has looked at reducing commuting by car, while one in ten admits to having taken no steps at all to help the environment.

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