Unfortunately for UK businesses, research has revealed that companies spend almost £4,000 per year on energy. It’s clear to see that there’s never been a better time for companies to take a good look at their gas and electric usage and find quick and easy ways to slash their bills. Becoming energy aware (and energy smart) can not only help businesses boost their bottom line, it can also dramatically reduce their carbon footprint – making for a more profitable, greener company all round.
What does the spending of UK businesses look like?
The rising energy prices are predominantly down to a change in usage patterns and government initiatives. These have resulted in business energy bills soaring by over 100% in the last seven years. For most SMEs, gas and electricity charges now make up a considerable chunk of their monthly outgoings – taking a hefty portion of their profits. The majority of UK businesses are using between 15,000 and 25,000 kWh of power per year, but annual consumption figures for large business and industry can reach in excess of 250,000 kWh.
And, what about bills? The latest data shows that businesses in the UK are spending an average of £3,061 on their annual electricity bills, and an additional £856 a year on gas. Small businesses in particular fare slightly better – but with the average electricity bill for an SME reaching £2,958 (and that’s before putting business mains gas into the equation), it’s still a considerable outlay.
What can businesses do to lower their outgoings?
Although the numbers are shocking, and energy-intensive businesses are suffering, there are ways for companies to bring their energy prices down. Business gas mains supplier Flogas Energy shares some expert tips on how companies can slash their energy costs:
- Keep up to date with energy usage
To secure a lower energy cost, you need to know how much you use, and how much you’re currently paying. The average unit prices in the UK are currently 14.36p per kWh for electricity and 4.25p per kWh for gas, with standing charges on top of this. Finding out your business’s annual usage figures – and knowing when your contract is due to come to an end – means you’re well equipped to accurately compare your current supplier’s prices with others on the market.
- Compare prices between companies
Facts have proven that by letting your existing tariff roll over without comparing it to other providers could increase your bills by an enormous 100%! Ahead of your contract ending, it’s worth finding out how much switching could save you. And, whether you use a broker, online search or go direct, make sure you don’t limit yourself to the Big Six. Switching to a smaller business energy supplier could mean significantly lower bills, and benefits like better customer service.
- Read up on your contract
Make sure that you’ve got the best contract for your business.. For example, an extended fixed-term contract could help protect you against future price rises, giving some valuable peace of mind and making budgeting easier. Or there might be an additional discount on offer if you opt for a Direct Debit payment plan.
- Install a smart meter
Get in touch with your supplier and ask them to fit you a smart meter.That way you’ll know exactly how much your business energy supply is costing you day-to-day – and because you only pay for what you use, there’s no need for estimated billing or meter readings. As well as saving on monthly charges, it can also help you wise up to your company energy use and make better decisions on where you might be able to curb your consumption. Energy management software can also help provide useful insight for larger businesses.
- Make small changes
Every little helps, especially when it comes to energy saving. It could be as simple as making sure computers are switched off outside of office hours, or putting your lights on a timer, but encouraging employees to find more efficient ways of working is a great place to start. Some companies even introduce incentive schemes to help foster better habits, offering staff tangible rewards for greener behaviour.
- Invest for long-term savings
Investing in energy efficient equipment might be expensive to start with but it can save you money in the long run. Whilst this approach might come with a heftier price tag in the first instance, any piece of kit that helps save energy on your everyday operations will pay for itself and more in the long run.
*Statistics from BusinessEnergy.com