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Energy efficiency priority for cost cutting businesses

Regular checks on heating equipment and avoiding turning up the thermostat are some of the simple measures businesses are being advised to consider so they can save money.

According to new research by the Carbon Trust energy efficiency is rising up the agenda looking to reduce costs in the face of the credit crunch and a potential economic downturn.

The survey by YouGov found that nearly a third of companies looking at cutting costs were encouraging staff to be more energy efficient and reduce waste. This means energy efficiency is now ranked ahead of the issue is ahead of recruitment freezes, redundancies, freezing salaries
or giving below inflation pay rises as a potential cost-saving measure.

Carbon Trust Tips:
Don’t turn up the heating unless you really need to

Try to keep your thermostat to at least 19 degrees Celsius - heating costs go up by 8 per cent each time you increase the temperature by just one degree

Regularly check your heating equipment as badly performing systems can add more than 10 per cent to your heating bill
The Carbon Trust – an independent company set up by the Government to tackle the threat of climate change – says UK industry wastes almost £7 million a day on poor energy efficiency and estimates small and medium enterprises could potentially save themselves £1.3billion a year by taking action.

Hugh Jones, Solutions Director at the Carbon Trust, said: “Our research shows that energy efficiency measures, not job cuts or salary freezes, are the cost-cutting steps businesses are considering first during this economically challenging time. It’s an encouraging sign that wise companies are realising that cutting carbon and being green is the easiest way to make a business lean.

“Our new statistics provide stark evidence that if companies are starting to feel the bite from the economic downturn, the first place to look for cost savings should be their energy bill. There are literally millions of pounds going out of the window every day, across the UK.

“We’re talking about money that could be saved by making quick and easy changes such as encouraging staff to turn off computers and lights, turning down the heating, or maintaining equipment properly.”

Neil Bentley, Director of Business Environment at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) , said: “The analysis confirms the compelling business case for urgent action to improve energy efficiency and common-sense measures like turning off lights and turning the heating down can lead to substantial reductions in firms’ energy bills.”

David Boomer, Head of Energy Efficiency and Climate Change at the Institute of Directors, said: “IoD data also confirms the findings of the Carbon Trust. Energy Efficiency is one of the most cost-effective measures that business can take to reduce operational costs and improve their competitiveness.'