Be Energy Efficient
Becoming more energy efficient is something most businesses would like to achieve, but with employees busy with day-to-day tasks it can be easy for those efforts to fall off the radar.
Take Stock spoke to Mark Bowen, UK marketing director for ScottishPower, to see what small actions can be made that will cause minimal disruption, not break the bank and have a positive effect on energy efficiency. “No matter what type of business you own, it’s important to make every penny count to ensure you can maximise your business’ potential,” said Mark. “At ScottishPower, we recommend starting with the following tips to help you reduce consumption and give your business a boost.”
Many hands make light work
Getting staff on board to help you with the energy goals you have set is a must.
• Assign staff responsibilities – from switching lights off to keeping fridge doors firmly closed, little touches can make a big difference. Appointing a monthly ‘Energy Champion’ to oversee the energy goals set is a good idea.
• Set targets – make staff aware of the current versus desired consumption. If praise is awarded for for even the slightest of savings then this will motivate staff – especially if some of the savings are put towards a staff bonus or outing.
• Promote your greenness – encourage staff to inform customers about the energy efficiency efforts you are making, as well as posting the information on your website and across your social media channels.
Get to know your technology
It is possible to meet high standards while reducing your energy consumption, simply by keeping an eye on equipment and ensuring it’s in tip-top condition.
• Be vigilant – knowing the preheating times for different appliances and regularly checking the sealing and gaskets on oven doors and refrigerators can help to keep energy waste to a minimum.
• Replace equipment – equipment over 15 years old should be replaced with more efficient models. For example, it can be useful to introduce bar cabinets and vending machines with timers that can be set to automatically turn off at the end of the day, and install occupancy sensors to ensure lighting is only in use when needed – that can save 30-50% on energy costs. This will save you money in the long term.
When cooking in the kitchen it’s important to take note of temperature recommendations to create a comfortable environment for all.
• Consider the most appropriate temperature for different areas of your business and make use of natural ventilation where you can. Keeping occupancy patterns of the building in mind and matching ventilation accordingly can lead to savings that can be invested directly back into your organisation.
• Recommended temperatures for specific areas – bars and lounges should be kept between 20-22°C compared to 19-21°C in guest bedrooms. Turning down your thermostat by just 1°C could save you up to 8% on your energy bills.
Take note of customer feedback
• The customer is always right – most businesses actively collect feedback from guests and with online review sites becoming increasingly influential for prospective customers, it’s important to monitor and take customer feedback on board. If certain rooms or water supplies are reported as being too hot this may indicate unnecessary heating, which should prompt staff to turn down the thermostat or avoid heating water to excessive temperatures. Reports of draughty areas could indicate that window seals may need checking, or staff may need reminding to close doors and windows.