Invest in your business and not energy firms this winter

Where will you be forced to focus your funds this winter? It’s likely that a large chunk of your overheads will be made up by your expenditure on energy as the frost bites and the heating comes on.

But what would you rather your business spent its money on? When you step back and take a ‘big picture’ look at your business you will likely see things you want to invest in that would save you money. Perhaps it’s the creaky boiler that was there long before you arrived, the single glazed draughty windows and doors that may as well not exist when the wind picks up, or old IT, motors and machinery that are consistently under performing. Or maybe the only thing your ancient light fixtures are good for is to enable you to see your energy bill so clearly that your eyes water!

The life of a business owner seems to be like a never ending to-do list. Business growth is a lot harder to achieve if you are lining the pockets of energy firms rather than using money saved on energy bills to invest in staff training, recruitment, the development and marketing of new products and services, or revamping your website.

The chances are there is too much waste in your business full stop, because almost every business has something they are wasting, whether it be talent, inventory, products, services, or time. But none quite pinch as much as wasting energy. The frustrating thing is that it’s normally very easy to spot energy being wasted.

Low Carbon Workspaces works with businesses to help them spot ways they can cut their energy bills and supports them with grant funding to implement energy efficiency measures. There have been some great examples over the years, including one business owner who claimed to have almost done away with the heating altogether after installing ceiling cavity insulation and double glazed windows in his office.

Spotting energy waste and becoming more energy efficient is a team effort that, as ever, starts at the top. If the company values and employee handbook include references to energy usage, with tips on how to ensure waste is reduced, then turning the office lights off in the evening can become as natural at work as it is at home. Explaining to employees what it is you hope to purchase or invest in with any money saved is another good way of helping people visualise the benefits of saving energy.

Realising these savings takes a bit of thinking and a bit of investment. Things like double glazing, cavity wall and ceiling insulation, and new efficient boilers don’t come for free, but investing in them can pay off. LED lighting is another very popular measure for driving down energy costs that has the added appeal of improving light quality in the workplace. E. Hulme & Son Ltd, which manufactures small leather goods using recycled leather in Walsall, has been awarded over £1,000 towards an LED lighting project. Meanwhile, The Crossing at St Paul’s Ltd has been awarded a £5,000 grant to replace their old boiler system and install new controls. They’re projected to save 55,000kWh, 10 tonnes of CO2e, and nearly £2,000 a year.

Low Carbon Workspaces worked closely with these businesses to support their drive to save money. Team members operate as energy advisers first and grant deliverers second, and can help identify those all important areas for efficiency improvements.

In a business environment where growth is increasingly the word, it’s time for businesses to take control of their energy bills and free up funds for projects that yield results.

When temperatures drop this winter and you turn the heating dial up, ask yourself if perhaps it’s time to bite the bullet and treat yourself to some warmth. You’ll thank yourself, your employees will thank you, and the energy firms will wonder if you’ve gone part-time as your bills substantially drop.

Low Carbon Workspaces is delivered by Ngage Solutions Ltd, with office locations in the West Midlands at Wolverhampton Science Park; as well as Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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