University of ReadingEnergy-efficiency initiatives implemented by businesses could cut the UK’s business energy use by up to 75 per cent, a new study has revealed. Researchers from the University of Reading, working in conjunction with KiWi Power, found that business electricity demand from some industries could be cut by more than three quarters at times of peak load on the national grid.

How can all this be achieved? The answer is astonishingly simple, not to mention rather obvious: simply switch things off. Non-essential equipment like air-conditioning, heating and lighting swallow huge amounts of electricity but in many cases they can turned down without negatively impacting customers or employees.

According to the study, the knock on-effect of implementing these measures would be a reduced need for extra power stations and less climate-damaging carbon emissions – not bad for just making the effort to press the ‘off’ switch.

The research also suggested that if businesses were given four or more hours of warning of the need to reduce their energy use, then reductions in demand could potentially be doubled. The study highlighted the examples of warehouses pre-loading their fridges to build up cooling, which would mean they could safely be turned down so that electricity use could be reduced at times when the grid needs it.

Yoav Zhinger, director and co-founder of KiWi Power, said: “This research from the University of Reading shows the clear potential to reduce energy demand by encouraging businesses to turn down non-essential power for short periods of time and that’s a far more environmentally friendly option than building more power stations, and will reduce peaking power issues as the grid becomes increasingly congested.”

If prices rise, using less energy and resources will be a measure that UK businesses will need to rely on in order to thrive, so it’s important to think about your own energy expenditure, and what you can switch off now.

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