As the world continues to deal with the rising cost of gas, energy prices are not taking any dramatic falls just yet. While we navigate this new ‘normal’, businesses across the country will be particularly concerned about paying this winter’s energy bill. Some of the highest consuming industries in the UK include the retail and services sector, as well as the manufacturing industry. Consuming over 10,000 Ktoe each year.
In this latest blog article, we will be offering some top tips, unique to a range of industries, on how to deal with rising energy prices.
Retail & Hospitality Sector
As one of the largest consumers of energy in the UK, the retail and hospitality industry will have continued to use a large amount of energy this winter, despite rising costs. In order to keep customers satisfied, retail stores must continue to keep lit, heated and running as always. While restaurants require large amounts of energy to produce dishes, make drinks, and entertain guests. Despite this, there are a number of tips that retail and hospitality businesses can take on board in order to cut energy consumption and costs.
Firstly, these businesses should be paying close attention to the energy markets. Having the knowledge and understanding of energy prices and knowing how to predict fluctuations in the market will support financial planning within the business. Although you can never predict unexpected global events, like the Ukraine invasion, companies can use what they currently do know to ensure they have the budget set aside to pay higher bills than usual.
Secondly, restaurants in particular, should consider cutting down on the use of heating systems. With plenty of equipment in use and a crowded venue, restaurants don’t necessarily need to have the thermostat set to high. Instead it is useful to keep this set to a regular temperature that is comfortable for both guests and staff.
Both retailers and hospitality businesses will also benefit from switching off appliances and equipment that is not needed. For example a back office computer that is only used at closing time or televisions in hotel reception areas that do not need to be turned on 24/7.
Manufacturing & Warehousing
The manufacturing industry is another example of a big energy consumer in the UK. Responsible for the production and distribution of a wide range of products made and handled within the country, the industry uses a large number of machinery and equipment which requires lots of energy. As such, businesses within this sector are feeling the pinch.
Where many appliances are used, a manufacturer may wish to consider reviewing the equipment and tools they currently use and optimise these. Either by buying new or upgrading to more efficient, energy-saving equipment. This could be as simple as adapting the settings of your machinery to run more efficiently or having these serviced by an engineer.
Since warehouses and distribution centres are such large places, keeping these warm on colder days can be a challenge. Instead of turning up the heating system, it may be worth reviewing the insulation of your building. You will find large warehouses often have draughty spots or poorly insulated roofs and windows. By investing in new insulation now, you can help correct and enhance the working temperature of your warehouse for years to come.
One final tip for businesses within the manufacturing sector, is to pay attention to the industrial doors you have fitted throughout your buildings. In rooms that must be temperature-controlled, such as refrigerated storage rooms, the industrial doors should be of a high-quality. This is to ensure these rooms stay cold and the cooling systems do not need to work overtime to ensure the preservation of goods stored within. To enhance the operation of your industrial doors, be sure to have these regularly serviced and maintained by professional, qualified engineers.
With offices all over the country, we thought it best to also touch on how an office-based business can focus their attention on cutting energy this year.
If you work in an office, you will most certainly know the struggle of maintaining a consistent temperature that keeps everyone happy. And although some would love the office to feel like a sauna, other members of staff prefer the room on the fresher side. All this switching between temperatures does not have a great impact on energy usage. In fact, regularly playing with the thermostat can waste energy, money, and lead to breakdowns.
In order to keep everyone happy, keeping your office at a regulated, comfortable temperature is imperative. It has been suggested that temperatures between 21 – 22°C is best for office work. In fact, managers will be interested to know that temperatures above 23°C may actually have a negative effect on productivity.
We would also suggest turning off any office equipment that is not in use, off at the end of each working day. It is not necessary to have laptops and screens running all through the night and simply costs the business money. For more advice and information about your business energy usage and prices, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team. We can talk about the current support on offer for businesses and provide information on business smart meters for even closer monitoring of your business energy usage.