The Ethical Business Guide: Ethical Energy – Reduce Costs & Plan for the Future

BY KATIE CLARK
GOOD ENERGY SHOP

SAVE MONEY AND LESSEN YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT BY SWITCHING TO A RENEWABLE ENERGY PROVIDER OR EVEN GENERATING YOUR OWN!

In the current credit crunch, many businesses will be looking for opportunities to cut their operational costs, and one area that has come under scrutiny is the annual energy bill. While it may be tempting to seek out a new provider on the basis of a competitive quote, this is actually an ideal opportunity to take a different, longer-term approach to energy usage.

Good Energy places great emphasis on the environmental aspect of energy supply. However, we also recognise that a business under financial pressure from a turbulent economy needs to be as cost efficient as possible.

It is possible to be an ethical energy user and still save money, and here are some top tips on how your business can achieve this.

MONITOR USAGE

The first step in reducing energy costs is to gain an accurate picture of usage across the company, preferably over a year long period, which will allow you to assess seasonal changes. The best way to do this is by using an energy monitor that measures the amount of electricity used in the workplace and tells you how much money you are spending.

SET CLEAR GOALS

Work out the percentage by which usage should be reduced over the coming year. Make this a realistic goal otherwise it’s easy to get disheartened.

ENGAGE EMPLOYEES

Involve your team in identifying areas of poor performance throughout the company so that they don’t feel the finger is pointed at them when you deliver the policy.

APPOINT ‘ENERGY AMBASSADORS’

These employees will be responsible for helping to implement the policy and encouraging others to take action. You might also want to incentivise people by introducing
a quarterly award for the team member who has taken the greatest steps towards becoming energy efficient.

PRODUCE A WRITTEN DOCUMENT

This should outline the overriding reduction goal and how this is to be achieved. Make the information freely available to all employees and new recruits. Elements you may wish to include are ensuring that all electrical items are turned off at the end of the day or outlining a commitment to donate old IT equipment to charity.

TURN DOWN THE THERMOSTAT

A reduction of 1°C can reduce heating bills by up to 10 per cent.

TURN APPLIANCES OFF AT THE WALL

Leaving items on standby uses 85 per cent of the total power. Always try to turn things off at the switch, and remember not to charge up appliances for longer than necessary.

LESS IS MORE

Kettles use a lot of power, so encourage employees to only boil the minimum amount required. Another way of getting around this is by purchasing an eco-kettle, which can help you to use up to 31 per cent less energy than with your standard kettle.

CHECK YOUR WATER TEMPERATURE

A cylinder thermostat must be at least 55°C but does not need to be any higher than 60°C.

INVEST IN ‘A’ OR ‘A+’ RATED APPLIANCES

An old fridge freezer can cost you two and a half times more to run than a newer version. Also, if possible, when buying a computer chose a laptop over a desktop as they use far less electricity.

LIGHTING

Use energy efficient light bulbs. These can be up to 80 per cent more efficient than standard light bulbs and offer around the same amount of illumination, as well as lasting up to 12 times longer than standard bulbs. Also, placing lamps in the corners of rooms will reflect more light and will mean you do not need as much energy to power any given room.

SWITCH TO A GREEN ELECTRICITY PROVIDER

Good Energy supplies electricity that comes from the natural power of the wind, sun, biomass and water. To compare the amount of renewable electricity provided by all electricity suppliers in the UK go to www.electricityinfo.org

CONSIDER SELF-GENERATION

A solar panel, wind turbine or other form of generation on your premises may offer a great investment for your business in both monetary and energy terms. Good Energy Shop offers a whole range of microgeneration products to buy and, once installed, you can even earn money through Good Energy’s generation schemes, where you get paid for every unit of electricity that you produce.
Visit www.good-energy.co.uk for more information.

Good Energy is the UK’s only 100 per cent renewable electricity supplier, supplying renewable green electricity and low carbon solutions to help companies reduce their footprint and cut energy costs. Good Energy’s advice, products and services effectively allow businesses to reduce their impact on climate change. Find out more at www.goodenergy.co.uk

Following these suggestions will place you firmly in the category of an ethical energy user, reducing your environmental impact and your energy bills in one fell swoop!

© BLUE ROCKET AND THE GOOD FOLK 2009