A sustainable business is easier than you may think

A simple guide to improving your business energy efficiency

Being more energy efficient can help you reach long term business goals, and being sustainable is of growing importance to customers. Smarter technologies and even generating your own power are steps you can take, but creating a sustainable business doesn't need to be difficult. Even simple changes to buildings and processes can make a difference and we have put together some suggestions you could consider.

Creating a sustainable business can seem like a massive undertaking. As well as the potential for disruption during the transition, it can also feel like there are so many (too many) different elements that it's difficult to know where to begin.

We know from our own research1 that more than half of people in the UK believe we’re not doing enough as a nation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle our impact on the planet. And around a quarter of people said it’s the responsibility of business to take a lead on driving change.

What are the benefits of a more energy efficient business?

There are numerous advantages to taking a more considered approach to how a business uses electricity and gas. First, it’s a more long-term solution to reducing the cost of your energy consumption, as well as improve your reputation as a greener and eco-friendlier organisation (of growing importance to customers). From an environmental point of view, using energy more efficiently can reduce energy waste and lower carbon emissions, which in turn will help the planet.

So what could you be doing? We’ve a few suggestions for actions – large and small – that you could consider within your organisation. The good news is that these could potentially save you money as well.

Choose renewable

The first step in creating a more sustainable business lies in your choice of energy. We've made this easy for our eligible small business customers2, who now get 100% renewables-backed electricity at no extra cost when they renew or agree a new supply contract directly with us3.

We do this by matching the volume of estimated annual electricity used with our own renewable generation assets, the power from a number of independent generators with whom we work as well as purchasing renewable electricity certificates.

With much of the general public looking for businesses to do their bit on the climate crisis – and voting with their wallets to support those that are – that’s probably something worth shouting about.

Track your usage with a smart meter

Getting a smart meter helps you to be more in control of your energy use and is another way to showcase your sustainability credentials. They form part of a smarter energy grid which enables companies like E.ON to be more precise about energy production – how much is needed and when. Getting a smart meter fitted means your organisation is contributing to this system, in which excess energy production is reduced and your carbon footprint falls too. 

Generate your own power

You can also look at generating your own energy – taking less from the grid and perhaps creating it from renewable, or at the least more efficient, sources.

One option is to use the sun’s renewable power to generate your own sustainable electricity or hot water, which has the advantages of lowering your energy bills and your carbon footprint. Other renewable sources of energy which can be used to boost your green credentials by generating power sustainably at your own business site are wind and biomass. For those with the land available, wind turbines are one of the most affordable energy solutions and biofuels are cheap and accessible.

Heat and cool your space with a heat pump

Heat pumps are an option for a more efficient source of heat. They work by extracting heat produced as a by-product of cooling equipment, or from natural sources like the ground or air. This heat can then be stored until it’s needed, and redistributed as heating or hot water for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. 

Prepare for electric vehicle charging

With 13m electric vehicles expected on UK roads by 2030, is your business ready for the transition? Providing charging facilities at your business premises may help you attract and retain staff and encourage more visitors to your site. And if you operate a fleet, converting it to run on electricity can help reduce your carbon emissions as well as bring protection from the costs and other obstacles associated with the Clean Air Zones that an increasing number of British cities are developing.

With a little will and some know-how, there are plenty of ways you can make your business more sustainable. The only question is which one you will consider first.

Educate your employees

Informing and educating employees on how best to use equipment in a more energy efficient way can be a helpful way to reduce energy waste. This can be as simple as displaying guidance on tips to use tools and systems efficiently. Keeping the temperature of the workplace at a consistent level that is comfortable and stimulates productivity can also help reduce energy waste.
 
Introducing best practices to turn off appliances that aren't needed can cut down on unnecessary energy use, and businesses can take this a step further by using building energy management systems to automate this.
 
 
  1. Survey of 7,000 adults across UK, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Czech Republic and Hungary. Research conducted by research institute puls on behalf of E.ON
  2. Eligible customers include SMEs who are fed by a non-half hourly meter agreeing a Fixed Business Plan directly with E.ON
  3. Electricity sourced from E.ON’s renewable generation assets, supply agreements with independent UK wind generators and the purchase of renewable electricity certificates. The electricity supplied to homes and businesses comes from the National Grid.

 

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