When a business in the UK clamps down on all its utility expenses with proper, sustainable strategies, it is possible that they will be able to decrease their total consumption rate significantly, while reducing the total expense of paying utility bills by thousands of pounds every single year. The exact numbers will differ, of course, depending on the sector, the operating hours, where the company is located, the various rates of the various utilities being used and other similarly crucial details. Nevertheless, a majority of SMEs and enterprises can save a fortune at the end of every financial year if they pay more attention to the following aspects.
Implement the “Switch Off” Policy in Office
Most of us simply close the lid of our laptops when we are done with work, for the time being, seldom bothering to switch it off. This is a bad habit which we are all guilty of, but in an office environment, this one poor habit can cost the company dearly. To further worsen the situation, there are misleading and outdated articles on the internet that encourage keeping your laptop in sleeping mode, rather than switching it off completely. It’s a myth that switching your computer on and off once or twice a day will damage any computer that isn’t more than five years old at this point. Let’s take a look and properly get an understanding of how laptops in sleep mode can be a huge, hidden expense that needs to be stopped with strict policies in place:
- While laptops do go into sleep mode once we close the lid, they still continue to draw a small amount of power from the battery or the wall charger
- Even if it is not plugged in, the battery will slowly drain over time, which means that throughout its lifetime, the laptop will be charged several more times than should have been necessary
- If a mouse is attached to the laptop via USB, one accidental click after closing the lid will turn the laptop on in that state
- Sometimes, an accidental click is not even necessary, as mice tend to refresh their connections from time to time
- Since the lid remains closed, the fact that the laptop is now on will most likely remain unnoticed for the time being
- In such a scenario, the laptop is now consuming full power and building unnecessary heat due to the closed lid, when it should have consumed zero units
- If it’s on battery, this will not only drain the battery but will lower the laptop’s overall lifetime as well
The situation gets even worse with desktops, as employees can often be found guilty of not even bothering to switch the big machines off before leaving office. Desktops consume significantly more electricity than laptops, and they draw power directly from the wall, so keeping them on unnecessarily will have a huge impact on the company’s monthly bills.
Now, what makes all of this many times more expensive is the fact that we are talking about offices with several laptops and desktops. Once you factor in all the laptops, desktops, lights, and other electronic equipment that might be drawing power during off-hours every single night of the year, it shouldn’t be hard to imagine why implementing a strict “switch off” policy is so essential.
Implementing the following easy steps with necessary follow-ups can help companies both big and small to save more money in electricity bills than they might have ever thought possible before:
- Make it mandatory for all personal computers to be switched off before leaving work
- It should be a rotating duty among the office staff to ensure that every electronic appliance that can be switched off is indeed switched off after work hours are over
- The same applies to factories as well, where all equipment that can be turned off should be turned off before leaving
If one or more employees are particularly unwilling to cooperate, even after several explanations and warnings, adequate measures should be implemented, as per the company policy.
Switch Water Supplier
Water bills can be a huge expense to deal with, depending on how large the office/workplace is, what kind of business you run, and the strength of your workforce. For example, a factory usually requires a lot more water than an office because water is necessary for cooling several types of equipment, especially those that are used for cutting, shaping and contouring different materials. Therefore, the possible measures against over-usage of water will also have to differ accordingly. That said, there are still plenty of common things that most businesses can do to save money.
These days, you can easily switch water supplier online so there’s no need to stay with the same supplier. Most water suppliers will be able to offer you some sort of saving or discount for switching, particularly if you’ve got multiple sites or you use a lot of water in your business processes. So, moving supplier is likely to save you money without doing anything. That said, margins in the water market are slim, so it’s best to find a supplier who will be able to work with you to lower your bills. Look for a combination of good discounts on your unit rates and help with water efficiency. By combining the two, you’ll make the biggest savings.
Seal Gaps and Fix Leaks: Air and Water
Air: Find and Seal Gaps
If air manages to escape through gaps in insulation at your workplace, you will have to pay more in utility bills for keeping your office warm/cool during summer/winter months. If it’s a big enough office or factory, the office will need professional help to detect where the air is escaping from exactly and seal them accordingly. Complete insulation, energy-saving ventilation and an energy-efficient heating and cooling system could further reduce your electricity consumption and carbon footprint by a massive margin.
Water: Fix Leaky Pipes and Taps
Call in a plumbing team and have them inspect the plumbing system and taps for leaks. You cannot see leaking pipes normally, as they are hidden from sight in most places. This is why annual or bi-yearly check-ups can make a big difference in how much you end up paying every year in water bills. Additionally, make it a policy for every employee to close the taps properly after use and report any leaks that they might come across in the office.
In addition to the objective of saving money, utilities such as electricity and water are finite resources that we should all be using judiciously for the sake of our future generations. It’s fortunate that saving the planet and saving money is so closely related, and any business owner not taking full advantage of that already should definitely reconsider their utility strategies in 2020.