Both industries have become heavily dependent on imports over which we have no control. Some “green” alternatives including wind turbines and solar panels don’t look quite so green when you factor the costs of their importation, installation and disposal. Nor their dependence on uncertain subsidies and expensive nuclear energy to bridge supply gaps.
Fortunately, there are two things that businesses can do to lower their overheads and protect their competitiveness.
Reduce your energy use with technology
The second thing we can do is to reduce our dependence on energy. We waste so much energy that the potential for saving some, without suffering, is often staggering. Cutting waste is by far the most practical approach but difficult for a business to achieve without using new technologies in one form or another. Those technologies include new insulation materials, heat exchangers, smart devices, greener light bulbs and motion sensors.
Energy frugality is the way to go – both for your business and the planet. We don’t need new ways to generate it, we need to stop wasting it.
Compare business electricity prices
Ensure that business electricity suppliers and gas suppliers compete to deliver us the best possible prices. We can do that by making it a routine to compare prices and change supplier often if necessary. The more competitive we make their market, the more motivated they are to reduce fuel prices.
To ensure you compare prices on a regular basis: schedule a twice yearly review into the company diary. Like phone companies and mortgage lenders, rates can be lower for new customers than loyal ones so why do we let them take advantage of us?.
Before a business electricity comparison can be conducted accurately, it is sensible to perform an audit of how your business is using energy. This is also an important opportunity to explore other ways to save on those bills.
It is important to underline the fact that conducting a comparison only delivers significant long-term benefits to your bottom line when you support it with careful audits of how and where you are using your gas and electricity.
Smarter energy management
By “smarter” we mean using equipment that looks after your bills automatically. Believe it or not, the first thermostat was invented in 1620 to regulate temperature in an egg incubator, so it is hardly a new idea. However, we now have devices that can be programmed or even driven by Artificial Intelligence. Using the Internet of Things (IoT) you can monitor electrical devices in your factory or office from the other side of the world if you want to – just with your mobile phone. By installing motion and activity sensors, your system can power down lighting, computers and other machinery when there is nobody around to use it.
A lot of modern devices steal electricity even when they seem to be switched off. You can buy plugs and plug boards that detect this “phantom energy” consumption and cut the power entirely.
Many people, and businesses, don’t know the difference between LED and CFL lightbulbs. LED are more expensive initially but more efficient and longer lasting. Switching can deliver significant long-term savings.
In summary, if you fit smarter appliances, audit your energy use and compare business electricity prices routinely, this will go some way to reducing your business costs and cost to the environment.
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