This week British Gas launched a range of new online guides, full of help and advice aimed at helping businesses save money on their energy bills during the colder months.
The creation of these industry-specific guides followed a spike in calls from businesses needing emergency repair work since the end of summer 2012 – an increase of 60 per cent. While the weather may still be relatively mild, it can change at any time so being prepared for any coming cold snap is advised.
Here are five top tips to help you get your business in shape through both effective energy management and business gas and electrical equipment checks ahead of winter:
1) Give your boiler a healthcheck: Before winter really sets in check to make sure your boiler is working properly. The older your boiler the more inefficient it is likely to be. Heating bills can be cut by up to 20 per cent each year by swapping an older version for the new energy efficient boilers on the market. For added assurance your heating appliances should be serviced once a year by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
2) Check your central heating: Even though it may seem a little early to turn the heat up to high, try and run your central heating on full to check that your radiators heat up properly. If you can feel any cold spots, especially at the top, they may need bleeding. Bleeding your radiators is a simple task that will make your business warmer and your central heating system more efficient.
3) Prepare your business for the cold: Heating and drainage systems should be given a check-up to ensure they are in tip-top condition. Start by making sure that your pipes are not too exposed to the cold. You should also lag water tanks and pipes to conserve heat and prevent freezing. It may seem a bit premature but spending the time now to prepare your business could prevent a crisis when temperatures plummet.
4) Make your business energy efficient: Lighting can account for 25% of a company’s total electricity bill. By installing energy efficient lighting, businesses can help to save almost a third on energy bills. Also speak to your provider about getting a smart meter, as this will give you accurate bills based on accurate readings. It has the added benefit of giving you valuable insight into your energy use allowing you to take measures to reduce it. British Gas customers can also sign up to Business Energy Insight, a smart meter based service that provides real-time electricity usage data to customers via a simple online dashboard, allowing businesses to see savings of up to 20% on their electricity bills.
5) Have a back-up plan: Make sure your business has in place a Service & Maintenance contract from a trusted brand. Make sure it covers an assurance that an engineer will be on site quickly if something does go wrong with your gas appliances or electrical installation. Putting this plan in place now can prevent a breakdown turning into a debilitating business crisis later on.
Visit www.britishgas.co.uk/businesswinter for more tips and advice on how to save energy and cut costs this winter.