Every good manager knows that cost-cutting is an important part of running a business efficiently. Learning how to reduce energy consumption in business is one way that you can yield impressive savings for your company.
But getting to grips with your business’s energy usage can often feel like a hard task to master, so we’re going to show you how to get the best business energy deal to help cut your annual bills.
A good place to begin is by looking at how much energy similar-sized companies tend to consume, and to give you a helping hand, we've compiled a useful list of average business energy consumption figures.
|Business size by employees||Business size by revenue||Average business electricity consumption||Average business gas consumption|
|0 - 10||£0 - £1,400,000||5,000 kWh - 15,000 kWh||5,000 kWh - 15,000 kWh|
|11 - 50||£1,400,000 - £7,000,000||15,000 kWh - 25,000 kWh||15,000 kWh - 30,000 kWh|
|51 - 250||£7,000,000 - £36,000,000||30,000 kWh - 50,000 kWh||30,000 kWh - 65,000 kWh|
|251 +||£36,000,000 +||50,000 kWh +||65,000 kWh +|
If your business is spending more than others of the same size, don't worry - just think of it as an indication that savings may be able to be made going forward.
You should also bear in mind that each business is unique in its consumption habits, and the nature of your business’s operations may mean that it simply needs to consume more energy than others - so think of the figures above as a guide rather than hard and fast limits.
The good news is that there are usually a number of ways in which businesses can reduce the figures on their gas and electricity consumption meters.
Unlike households, businesses are offered bespoke quotes based on their individual circumstances. Energy suppliers must consider a lot of information about a business before they can offer them a quote. For example, the size and daily usage pattern of a business are two factors that will affect this.
If you run a larger business, you will use specially designed electricity consumption meters that give very frequent and accurate readings. These are called Half Hour Meters as they record power usage in blocks of half an hour or less. They allow energy suppliers to offer price incentives to big customers who can reduce their demand at peak times.
As a result, energy prices will often vary from business to business, but you can consider a range of between 10.5p and 12.5p per unit for small or medium businesses as the norm. On top of your unit price, you’ll also need to factor a Standing Charge into your business energy prices. This is a charge included on your bill to cover the cost of:
The Standing Charge is a daily cost that’s added onto your bill, and each supplier will charge a different rate for their standing charge. Understanding your electricity consumption meters and your energy bills is an essential part of knowing how cut your usage - if you need some help breaking down your energy invoices, we've got you covered with our guide to business energy bills.
Ultimately, the price you pay for your business’s energy will depend on the terms of the contract that you agree with your supplier. That’s why it’s so important to thoroughly research the quotes available to you before making a decision to switch business energy suppliers.
It won’t come as a surprise that the more energy your business uses, the higher the figure on your electricity consumption meters will rise and the more expensive your bills will be.
When putting together a strategy for reducing energy usage in your business, start off with the simple things, such as reminding staff to switch off lights when not in use, and making sure computers are properly shut down at the end of each day.
It might also be worth printing posters and hanging them up close to doors to remind people to switch off, or nominating someone to be responsible for flicking the switches at the end of each day.
Upgrading your office equipment to modern, energy efficient appliances is another way to save. If your business owns its own premises, you could go a step further and improve the insulation in the building or redesign floor layouts to maximise natural light.
These measures will require a certain level of investment but, over time, you may find that the savings made far outweigh the initial cost. For further information on how to reduce energy consumption in business, check out the GOV.UK energy efficiency guide.
Running a business energy comparison can often help you to find a better price per unit for your business and reduce the amount that you’re paying even further.