Cracking the Cost of Living: 7 ways to lower business energy costs in 2023

With soaring energy prices and the cost of living rising, now is the time to think about how you can lower your business energy costs and save money along the way. In this guide, we’ll take you through our top tips and strategies on how to do just that and where to get support if you need it! 

Why are energy costs rising? 

Energy prices are impacted by events that happen across the globe such as natural disasters & conflicts in gas-producing countries. As Europe is reliant on gas sourced from Russia, this means that their ongoing conflict with Ukraine has caused the UK’s gas and electricity prices to soar over the last year. 

So, to save your business from forking out for those sky-high energy bills, it’s important to know what energy-saving strategies you can use to keep your business energy costs down.

7 ways to lower your business energy costs

  1. Have an energy audit 

If you haven’t had one already, get an energy audit. This is a great way to help your business understand more about how much energy you use and where you can reduce it too. 

These audits typically take around 4-6 hours to do and a professional will check how effective your insulation is, where there may be air leaks, and what your lighting is like in your workspace. Audits can be completed free of charge by certain energy suppliers, so we recommend you get in touch with your current one to check what they offer.

There are also talented sustainable energy advisors on PeoplePerHour who may be able to help too!

  1. Upgrade your energy thermostat and meter

A smart meter is a type of energy meter that gives you more control and visibility of how much energy is used on a daily basis. Not only do they save you time, but they are also much more efficient in readings compared to doing it manually. 

It’s also wise to consider installing a ‘programmable thermostat’ in your workspace. This is a device that lets you set and schedule a desired temperature and is controlled by an app on your phone. This handy bit of tech is effective in cutting business energy costs as you can make sure the temperature is set low but also that it isn’t on when you’re not there! 

  1. Watch your temperature!

Did you know that by reducing your room temperature by 1°C can reduce your energy cost by 8%?! When we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, 1°C isn’t all that much to change but can have a big impact on your energy bill. 

You can also maximise the energy you already use in your office/workspace by doing little things like cleaning out air conditioning filters (so it doesn’t work as hard) and moving furniture and equipment away from radiators too. 

  1. Switch to LED bulbs 

LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes) use 75% less energy than normal lighting and can last up to 15 years! Switching your lighting to more energy-efficient ones will save you loads of money in the long run, including the cost of replacing broken bulbs along the way. 

  1. Keep an eye on the kettle

Yes, watch the kettle! What we mean by that is, to check how much water you’re boiling in the kettle. The Energy Saving Trust found that collectively, overfilling the kettle costs the UK roughly £68 million per year! That is staggering and quite shocking, right? 

To save your business money, encourage your staff to be sensible when making their daily rounds of tea and coffee. Investing in a hot water urn can also be a great way to bring your energy costs down without hassling your employees. Applying this simple strategy could make all the difference to your monthly energy bill. 

  1. Turn everything off after you’re finished! 

Turning off your desktop computer and monitor overnight will save you approximately £10 per year! If you are a business owner with multiple staff members and lots of computers, multiply that by £10 each and it could be a worthwhile saving on your energy bill. 

This also applies to lights, appliances, and equipment – turning off and unplugging these at the end of the day is an effective way to bring your business energy costs right down. 

You’ll also be doing good for the planet too. By switching your equipment and electronics off and watching your water waste (remember the kettle?), you’ll be reducing your business’s carbon footprint and being more sustainable in the process. 

If you’re considering reducing your carbon footprint and would like to speak to a consultant, you can find passionate freelancers like Maria on PeoplePerHour who’ll be happy to help!

  1. Go digital 

You can cut business energy costs by reducing the amount of paper you print. The printer uses up a lot of electricity so think about other ways you can be more efficient that don’t involve printing.

For example, opt for digital document signs (DocuSign) over lengthy printed contracts, move your meetings online and share work collaboratively or try implementing more email & digital marketing strategies too. 

How to get help if you can’t pay your business energy bills in the UK 

For many businesses, even these steps aren’t enough at the moment. If you’re a UK business, here’s how your energy supplier and the government can help.

  1. Get a tax break

If you’re a UK business, you may be eligible for some tax relief – especially if you’re struggling with the rising energy costs! 

  1. Check for business schemes and grants 

Your energy supplier, the government, and some charities offer business schemes and grants to help with increasing energy costs. Check in with your local council to see what is available and also get in touch with your energy supplier too.

Some useful resources to use are: 

UK Government Website – Finance and Support Finder 

Grants Online – Free Grant Search

Let’s Talk – Business Funds offered by charities 

  1. Check out the Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS)

The UK Government has introduced a new energy bill discount scheme that will run for 12 months from April 2023 to April 2024. It is intended to provide some relief on energy bills for UK businesses. You can check your eligibility here. 

The government will apply a discount to your business gas and electricity unit price, which will automatically be deducted from your energy bill by your supplier. This means that if you’re eligible, you don’t need to do anything and you should see this deduction in your monthly energy bill statement. 

If you think you’re eligible but are not seeing these deductions, get in touch with your supplier to double-check this for you. 

  1. Build a payment plan with your energy supplier 

If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills, Ofgem advises businesses to get in touch with their supplier and agree on an affordable payment plan. 

A payment plan can help you review your payments, get a break or reduction to your bill, give you more time to pay it off, and get access to suitable hardship funds that’ll help. 

By following these handy strategies and links to the necessary support, you should feel much more equipped to tackle the increasing energy prices, as well as continue to run your business in a more efficient way in the process!