Most businesses will find that their energy bills are higher in winter than in summer. It’s wise to prepare for the onset of the colder months and although some increase in energy use is inevitable, understanding your winter fuel needs and how to cope with the worst the weather can throw at them can really help to reduce wastage and keep things running smoothly.

Heating

Over the Christmas period many business owners set heating to come on periodically in order to stop pipes freezing and prevent machinery seizing up. However, as was the case this year, bouts of warmer weather during winter months are not uncommon in this country, so it’s wise to pay attention to the forecast and to make sure you’re not heating an empty building unnecessarily.

Energy suppliers like British Gas provide smart business energy solutions that give businesses greater control over the energy they are using. Smart meters are one such device, allowing business owners to see exactly how much they’re spending with up to the minute monitoring.

Lighting

Unsurprisingly, the use of artificial light increases during the winter months but there are ways to monitor the situation and make sure it’s only being used where necessary.

Think about your business and the building you work in. A construction firm called Westoz booked in regular power washing and cleaning of their sky lights. This allowed them to make the most of natural light and keep artificial lights off for at least one third of every day. The company’s turnover doubled between 2009 and 2011 but their energy consumption remained steady due to their energy efficiency policy.

One of the best ways to reduce the use of lighting in the workplace is to ensure that lights are always switched off as the last employee leaves in the evening. To help with this it’s a good idea to consider installing motion sensitive systems. 

Machinery/equipment

Preparing for winter often includes checking that heating machinery is running efficiently. The Carbon Trust claims that heating costs can rise by up to 30% if equipment is not running as well as it could. This rule isn’t just for heating either, most equipment and machinery will be more efficient when it’s up to date. A fact that is particularly relevant to businesses with factories or industrial machinery and who want to keep a firm grip on business gas prices affecting their work. 

Everything from inefficient kettles to faulty refrigerators could be consuming more energy than necessary so doing a company-wide check can be a valuable exercise.

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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 britishgas.co.uk/business/about-us. You can find information about how to make a complaint at britishgas.co.uk/business/complaints.