Last week, ThermaFY attended a presentation on “reducing your business's energy bills and carbon footprint” by Resource Efficient Scotland. The presentation highlighted the importance of understanding your energy, water and waste costs, identifying saving opportunities and taking action to start saving money.
Scotland aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2045. This is five years before the rest of the UK’s target year of 2050. To achieve these goals, we need to collectively practise sustainable behaviour within our homes and in the workplace. These are small changes you can make to everyday life that add up to make a real difference in mitigating our carbon emissions and climate change.
The following low and no-cost tips can reduce your business’s energy bill and carbon footprint by up to 24%:
- Use natural light – keep windows clean and free from obstructions. Situate office desks near windows so staff get the productivity benefits of natural sunlight.
- Reduce wasted heat – set timers for heating systems to switch on 30 minutes before staff arrive at the office. Monitor room temperature fluctuations over time and adjust heating patterns accordingly. 80% of heating systems in the UK are inefficient. The ThermaFY heating efficiency app can be used by heating engineers to check if your system is clean and balanced. If there are any issues, the app offers a treatment plan to quickly fix your system and start reducing your monetary and environmental costs.
- Fix leaks – A dripping tap can waste 5300 litres of water a year. In office bathrooms and kitchens, place signs next to sinks reminding users to close the tap when done and report any leaks.
- Draught proofing – identifying and blocking draughts can reduce energy bills by 15%. The ThermaFY thermal imaging app can be used to identify any cold spots such as gaps under doors or spaces in wall insulation.
- Hot-desking – only using the office space you need. Try hot-desking schemes. This reduces wasted energy used to heat unnecessarily large offices.
- Staff training – reinforce good sustainable practices with your workforce. Consider having a sustainable training day or appoint a ‘green champion’ to oversee the office’s energy-saving plans.
- Run a ‘Switch-Off’ Campaign – use company communication channels (e.g. emails, Slack, noticeboards) to encourage staff to turn off appliances and equipment after they are finished using them. Reward good behaviour with prizes such as food, or a team day out. A fun way to do this is ‘environmental bingo’ – staff can mark on a grid when they remember to switch off various devices.
- Label your lights – encourages the switching off of unnecessary lighting. In the home, consider the rule of only switching a light on if you switch another one off.
- Fridge Usage – check the temperature of the fridge is appropriate. Don’t put hot food in the fridge because this requires a lot of energy to cool down. Have a sign on the fridge door to close it immediately to reduce temperature fluctuations.
- Monitor and Measure – Ensure any energy usage is monitored and adjusted as the environment changes. The ThermaFY app can be used to monitor the efficiency of your heating systems to ensure you are reducing your environmental impact. The more efficient a system, the lower temperature you can run it while still achieving the same room temperatures. Office buildings often have time-sensitive energy usage. e.g. turning off electric frost protection in the warmer months or adjusting how often urinals flush depending on the footfall. Discuss energy saving schemes with staff to keep them engaged and use their feedback to maintain staff comfort while reducing energy usage.
It can be difficult to stick to new behaviours like the above suggestions, but ThermaFY can visually illustrate how improvements to your property and heating system can reduce your business's energy bills, reinforcing the sustainable behaviour we strive for. These small changes cost very little to make but the costs of not doing them could be very serious for all of us.
Resource Efficient Scotland, backed by the Scottish Government, is an organisation helping businesses to reduce their costs by saving energy and water, reducing raw materials use and managing waste efficiently. They offer support to Scottish SMEs including free bespoke consultancies - www.resourceefficientscotland.com/.