It came as little surprise when energy companies were hauled in front of parliament recently to answer for yet more price rises.
It’s not just households that will be feeling the pinch as a result of these, businesses will also increasingly come under pressure as the mercury drops and costs soar.
We’ve put together a few ways your business can beat the energy price hike. (N.B. Triumphantly burning your gas bill isn’t one of them – no matter how satisfying this option may seem).
There are loads of little things you can do around your workplace that won’t really affect office life and could save you a few pennies:
- Switch off at the end of the day: Perhaps the most obvious thing of all, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t switch off laptops and monitors come 5pm. We’re not talking about putting things on standby either, blinking lights cost money too! The combination of a single monitor and laptop left on standby overnight every night can cost almost £20 a year. Factor in printers, copiers, television screens and the costs can really build!
- Shop around: It can often pay to look around for the best tariff – you could potentially save hundreds. Companies such as USwitch will even take care of all the switching process for you. When you’re looking for a new tariff it might also be best to look for a fixed rate to protect yourself against further price hikes in the near future.
- If you’re making hot drinks: Make them in rounds rather than as individuals. A 2012 survey found solo-brewers could be costing businesses up to £38 million every year.
- Home-working: Recently, Microsoft implemented a ‘Virtual Summer’ where staff worked from home while their offices were refurbished. You could do the same (albeit it would be more of a ‘Virtual Winter’). You don’t have to send the entire office home, but perhaps encourage some to do so. This would mean less laptops, monitors and maybe even lights on in the office, costing you money.
The whole hog
One real way to stick it to the energy companies would be to ‘grow your own’. Installing your own renewable energy supply is a fairly extreme (and long-term) option but it definitely is an option. So, what’s out there? Well, there are the usual suspects:
- Solar Power: Use solar panels to convert the Sun’s warmth into electricity and heating for the office.
- Wind Power: A turbine works in wind speeds as low as 12mph. This can be a brilliant way to generate electricity.
- Hydroelectric Power: A water-based turbine; create energy from the natural flow of a river.
There are also less conventional options such as biomass (where you burn natural occurring fuels in a ‘biomass boiler’) or even geothermal energy (converting heat that occurs in the earth into energy). You can read extensively about these options, and a few more, on Energyshare.com.
Most importantly, Energyshare (and the Government’s Green Deal pages) will tell you all about the various funding options available. It’s the generous grants and loans that make renewable energy more than just a pipe dream. Factor in the fact you can sell surplus energy back to the grid and renewable energy may seriously represent a way to beat the rising cost of energy in your office!