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Time to shed some light on summertime energy efficiency

21 June marks the longest day of the year – summer solstice, when we can say hello to 17 hours of natural light.

What does this mean from a business perspective? We might not be able to bank on sunshine every day for the next few months, but it does mean that changing conditions can give you an opportunity to make some tweaks to your business environment that can help save on energy and keep those bills in check.

Mark Bowen, Marketing Director at ScottishPower, has some top tips to help your business embrace the summer spirit.

Let there be light

Long and light days provide a great opportunity to cut back on electricity use, especially as lighting typically accounts for around 15% of a business’ energy bill.

Simple changes like ensuring all windows and skylights are clean and letting as much natural light into the working space as possible make it easier to cut back on using artificial light, saving energy and improving staff wellbeing in the process.

Excess artificial light can cause glare, eye strain and headaches in addition to wasted energy, so for the sake of both employees and customers aim to establish a comfortable environment.

To cut back on electricity use try labelling light switches in your office or working space to make sure you’re only using what you need. Installing light sensors in bathrooms and other less frequently used spaces can also help save up to 30% on energy consumption.

Keep your cool and consider heatwave investments

It's not a huge surprise that we tend to spend more money on heating than cooling in the UK, but having appropriate measures in place in the event of a heatwave can improve working conditions and productivity.

Most of the time, we can control temperatures just by opening windows and doors to ensure your business is adequately ventilated. If you do have an electric cooling system, it’s worth doing some research on how to make it operate in the most energy efficient way. Many systems, especially newer technology, will have efficient features included so take some time to work out how to make these fit your business’ requirements.

It can also be worth auditing other sources of heat that can easily be missed, such as coffee machines, printers and monitors which all emit excess energy.

Embrace flexible working

Everyone’s talking about it, and for good reason. It might not work for every business but, with the right provisions in place to keep businesses running as usual, flexible working means that less employees need to come into the office each day, decreasing energy expenditure and creating a less crowded office atmosphere.

Try making use of modern technology such as video conferencing and chat features to keep things running smoothly.

Flexible working schemes can help boost staff morale, particularly within the millennial workforce who value flexible working as one of their top priorities when it comes to choosing a business to work for.

Service your boiler

After summer solstice, the days will gradually begin to get shorter, so now is the best time to ensure that your boiler is safe and working properly; a faulty boiler can be a serious safety risk in addition to draining energy and money.

Book in for a service during the warmer months to avoid unnecessary hassles in business routine later in the year when things do get cooler. There’s no time like the present!

For more energy saving tips, visit the Carbon Trust website at

www.carbontrust.com/news/2016/11/energy-saving-tips-for-small-businesses/