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Time to get your business summer ready

Mark Bowen UK Marketing Director, gives SMEs his top tips for putting energy efficiency top of the list this summer

Before digging out the sun screen and dusting off the barbeque, small business owners should take the time to consider adapting their energy practices to make the most of natural heat and light ahead of this summer.

Taking control of your energy choices in line with the change in seasons isn’t just important for saving you money, but is good practice for creating a productive and comfortable setting for employees to work in.

We’ve got some simple guidelines on recommended practices that are easier than you might think to put into action, which should help you notice a difference in your business’ energy consumption and general working environment.

1) Turn your thermostat down by 1°C

With warmer weather on its way it’s time to think about turning down your thermostat.

Turning your business thermostat down by just 1°C could save you up to eight per cent on your energy. For example, the recommended temperature level in retail spaces is between 19 – 21°C, so keep an eye on the heat in your business to ensure it’s not going to waste.

2) Keep things fresh

Humid summer days can hamper staff comfort and productivity. By keeping your working atmosphere fresh and comfortable you can help ensure a positive working environment.

Before using a cooling system, you could simply test the effectiveness of opening doors and windows. If you’re using air conditioning units, ensure these are only active in occupied rooms.

Try and avoid the use of personal fans which can be very inefficient, and perhaps consider an office re-shuffle and find out staff preferences, as some people may prefer being exposed to different temperatures.

3) Make use of natural light

Lighting accounts for up to 25 per cent of a business’ energy use, and with longer and brighter days setting in it’s likely that you won’t need to use nearly as much lighting as usual.

The easiest way to manage your lighting is to ensure all lights are turned off when a room is unoccupied and encourage staff to only use lights they need rather than your main lighting system. If your office has sky lights, ensuring these are kept clean can give you the best effects of natural light, which is great for general well-being.

Switching incandescent bulbs for LED ones can result in energy savings of up to 90 per cent. Although this may require initial investment, the long-term savings will pay off.

4) Let technology do the work

On a beautiful sunny day keeping an eye on your energy consumption might not be at the forefront of your mind.

Why not consider investing in the latest technology such as temperature monitoring systems that will automatically adjust cooling and heating accordingly in line with the office environment.

You can also manage your business’s energy consumption on the go using an app or online tools. This means you’re able to focus more time on the general running of your business. To take advantage of these tools all you need to do is register and log in to your account online at scottishpower.co.uk/account/login or download our free YourEnergy App, available at Google Play and on the App Store.

Also for more information, download our free Energy Smart Pack and learn even more about how you can save energy: www.scottishpower.co.uk/pdf/sme/energy-smart-pack.pdf

Source: Carbon Trust (June 2017)