Nonprofit News from 4imprint
Businesses are well aware that acting sustainably and efficiently can help them secure a competitive advantage. Yet how many actually think about one of the biggest contributors to their overall environmental impact – their energy usage. Indeed, a recent survey by YouGov and the Telegraph found that almost half of senior managers don’t know how much they are spending on energy bills. The same study revealed that more than half of senior managers are unaware of who was responsible for energy management in their business.

Given that the amount being spent on energy can be tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds, it’s worrying this issue is often overlooked. However, the looming winter months might just remind bosses what they spend on energy, as it’s essential to keep the office warm and comfortable as the temperatures falls on the thermometer.

So what can businesses do to avoid paying over the odds on heating their premises when winter rolls around and whilst minimising their environmental impact at the same time?

Set your heating appropriately
According to government data, heating costs increase by about 8% for every 1°c increase, which means turning it down 2°c could knock £140 off a £1000 bill. So ensure your timers are correctly set to suit your working days and operational hours.

Vary temperatures in different rooms
The recommended heating level for an office is 19°c, with cooling set at least 24°c. However, the temperature can be set lower in areas where there is more physical activity, such as store rooms, break out areas and corridors.

Limit aircon use
Air conditioning can be costly, so it’s worth making sure staff know to turn it off when leaving a room unoccupied. At the same time, tell your team to not to open the windows if the aircon is being used – as it’s unnecessary and a waste of money.

Don’t block radiators
To make the most of your radiators don’t put cupboards and filing cabinets in front of them as the heat won’t reach your staff and it may tempt them to turn the thermostat up.

Have one person in charge of office heating
Finding a temperature to suit everybody is difficult, but it is important that people aren’t unilaterally altering the settings on your heating system as they could be inadvertently pushing up your bills. With that in mind, it’s vital you make staff aware of the cost of wasted heat and have one member of staff in charge of working the controls. Offering staff who feel the cold a fleece may be an idea, whilst a pocket fan may be perfect for others!

According to government figures, for a company with a 5% profit margin over three years, a £500 annual saving from energy efficiency makes the same profit as £30,000 of extra sales. That’s a huge amount, particularly when you consider that – according to a survey by Make it Cheaper – 94% of SME owners expect energy prices to go up in the near future, while two-thirds anticipate prices to increase by over 10% in the next year.

This adds up to a strong case for cutting heating costs where possible, and what’s more it can bolster your green credentials at a time when a firm’s environmental commitment often influences purchasing decisions.


Further reading
Which energy saving solutions does your company have? The Telegraph
SME Guide to Energy Efficiency DECC