Powering up the workplace – Business energy

Jen Sena, Customer Service Director at business energy supplier Opus Energy, shares advice on switching energy suppliers and managing energy for busy business owners.

business electricity

Generally, most businesses will consume more energy than the average household. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that businesses can benefit from being energy savvy. Knowing the market and different options available to you will help get you the best energy deal.

Why switch?

Changing energy suppliers is really simple. All you need is your latest electricity or gas bill and then the energy suppliers will take care of the rest. There’ll be no disruption during the switch of suppliers – it’ll be business as usual!

Switching is a great way for businesses to make sure that they have the correct contract for their energy needs. Energy suppliers, price comparison websites or independent energy brokers will be able to help you understand the options if you’re unsure about which contract you should choose.

When to switch?

Most businesses will already have a fixed term contract agreement. These businesses will only be able to switch once this contract has come to an end. Different energy suppliers will have different termination clauses, so before agreeing a new contract with another supplier, check your current contract to find out exactly what you need to do (if anything).

What happens if I don’t switch?

You don’t always have to switch to get the best deal; the most important thing is to agree an energy contract. Without this, you’ll have to pay out-of-contract rates, which can be considerably more expensive than agreed contract prices.

Start saving

Whether a business is happy with its current energy supplier or has just switched, it is always advisable to focus on managing the premises’ energy effectively. However, when daily operations are busy and energy isn’t a priority, it’s easy to forget that even the smallest of appliances is going to contribute to your energy bill.

Did you know?

The Carbon Trust has calculated some figures that give pause for thought:

  1. Leaving a computer on overnight for a year creates enough CO2 to fill a double-decker bus.
  2. A photocopier left on standby overnight wastes enough energy to make 30 cups of tea.
  3. A typical window left open overnight in winter will waste enough energy to drive a small car over 35 miles.

Ways to save

  1. Heating – Are you heating areas that don’t need to be warm, such as storage cupboards or stairwells? Consider heating your office space in zones so you can choose where to heat and where to save energy.
  2. Lighting – Use energy-saving light bulbs. These last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs, and can save you up to £45 over the lifetime of the bulb. According to The Carbon Trust, lighting in a typical office costs about £3/m2 annually, but in the most efficient office only costs about £1/m2.
  3. Habits – Simple changes among staff can make savings add up. For example, it’s vital that equipment is turned off when it’s not needed and that chargers are unplugged if not being used. The Carbon Trust has found that on average, 20% of the total energy bill in commercial offices is accounted for by office equipment – about half of this use stems from PCs and monitors.

Saving energy doesn’t need to take much time or resources. These simple tips show that a business can make a difference to its energy costs, whilst maintaining a comfortable environment for its staff.

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