Energy-saving advice for the public sector

Looking after public money is a big responsibility, particularly in these times of spending cuts. Every penny saved can make a difference.

The good news is that simple measures can really help. According to the Carbon Trust, the public sector’s energy bill could be cut by £1 billion by making simple changes to daily routines.

Just think, cutting a hospital’s energy bill could mean more money for patient care. Or in schools, extra pounds could go towards new facilities.

Here are some ways to get started:


Did you know that for every 1°C of overheating in a school, its fuel consumption will increase by around 8-10%? Keep an eye on thermostats – heating should be set to 19-21°C and water at 60°C.

Make sure the heating’s only on when people are in the building. Consider switching it off for 30 minutes to an hour before the end of the day. The building will stay warm until everyone has left, and you’ll save money on your business gas bills.

If you have blinds, use them. They will keep heat in the building during winter and stop it from getting too hot in the summer months.

Check if the radiator circuit is weather compensated. That way, it will reduce overheating. If it does get too hot, turn down the heat rather than opening the windows.


To cut your business electricity rates, consider swapping conventional lamps for compact fluorescent and LED products – they’ll use 80% less energy.

Convinced the lights are getting dimmer? It could just be that your fittings, windows and skylights need a good clean! Light levels can fall up to 30% in three years if glass isn’t cleaned regularly.

Only light the rooms people are using or for security. Making use of daylight in a classroom, for example, can reduce its lighting costs by as much as 19%.

On darker days, time switches will ensure lights are only on where you need them.


Fans and pumps can add to your bills, so install variable-speed drives to help reduce running costs by 30%.

If you plan to replace your organisation’s heating, ventilation or air conditioning systems, then consider high-efficiency equipment. The outlay might be more, but you’ll quickly make the money back through lower bills.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within the British Gas Business Blog are those of the author alone and do not represent those of British Gas. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this blog are not guaranteed. British Gas accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright in the content within the British Gas Business Blog belongs to the authors of such content and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them. For more information about the mix of fuels used to generate our electricity simply visit You can find information about how to make a complaint at