Posted on: 03 March 2015

As a small business owner the value you can gain from reducing your utility bills can have a significant impact on your business.

Business Cost Consultants, one of the UK’s leading independent energy management consultants, and Premierline share their top ten tips for reducing your small business’s utility bills.

Tip 1: Regularly procure utility contracts

One of the most effective ways to keep utility costs low is to make a habit of procuring them on a yearly basis. If you’re an SME you can get a quote just like regular domestic users from supplier websites.

Tip 2: Keep up to date with utility news

If you’re a facilities or procurement manager make it a weekly task to read through utility news to keep track of any developments. Business Cost Consultants recommend Utility Week and Edie Energy (as well as their own website).

Tip 3: Consider creating your own green energy

It is possible that creating your own green energy (using a government scheme) could be a cheaper way to keep your business fuelled. If marketing yourself as a sustainable business sounds attractive then the Feed-in-Tariffs or the Renewable Heat Incentive could be a more cost-effective way to go green than procuring a green tariff.

Tip 4: Check incoming bills for accuracy

Every time a new utility bill comes in remember to check it against your own meter readings. Check that the Climate Change Levy or other tax you pay is correct and ensure that the correct tariff is displayed on all bills.

Tip 5: Stay organised when moving between premises

If a business decides to move premises it is their responsibility to let their various suppliers know. If a business moves out and doesn’t inform suppliers they may still be charged for energy used after they have vacated (suppliers have the ability to find a business’s new address). Whereas if a business is moving into new premises it is their responsibility to find out who the suppliers are and either sign up with them or procure a new contract. Read more about how to find the energy supplier of your new premises by clicking here.

Tip 6: Get into the data

Take regular meter readings. It might be a pain, but the price for jotting a few numbers down on a monthly basis could significantly reduce your bills and enable you to identify unusual spikes. You might be surprised at what you find.

Tip 7: Get strict on office energy

Whether you’ve got 2 or 20 people using office equipment, put rules in place for turning things off when they’re not in use. These should include:

  • computers, laptops and tablets
  • printers and photocopiers
  • lights
  • vending machines and water coolers
  • heating and air conditioning.

Tip 8: Shine a light on your lighting

There’s a lot of technology in lighting these days. If you’re still using standard light bulbs, 38mm fluorescent tubes and tungsten halogen lamps in your floodlights, it’s definitely time for a light audit. Read more about the difference that energy efficient lighting can make to your utility bills by clicking here you could save up to 70%.

Tip 9: Make the most of your heating

If the building you work in is badly insulated and lacks draught control, you’re going to waste a lot of energy trying to keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Check that your water tanks, boilers, pipework and valves are appropriately insulated. Find out where draughts can be reduced without impacting on the smooth operation of your business. Then it’s worth finding the thermostat and deciding whether it’s in the right place. If it’s near the main doors to the warehouse, it’s unlikely to help keep the right temperature in the enclosed office at the back.

Tip 10: Work together

Working with your staff to reduce your utility bills will reap faster and better rewards than trying to do it alone. Include reference to everyone’s efforts in reducing energy wastage at team meetings, and publish information about the impact their efforts are having - financially as well as operationally. By making it a topic of conversation, people are more likely to remember their role in making it happen.

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