6 behavioural changes you can make
Cut your carbon footprint to benefit your bottom line
There are lots of things you can do to save money and cut your carbon emissions. Upgrading to energy efficient appliances, switching to smart metering, investing in renewable energy sources and installing insulation can all make a big difference. But sometimes, making changes doesn’t require a major investment – it just needs everyone to think about their actions and modify their behaviour.
Here are six ways that a change of behaviour could benefit your energy efficiency:
1. Turn off the lights
Natural light is free. Granted, it’s a little harder to come by in winter, but in summer months is there any real need to switch the lights on at all? Not only are you adding to your energy consumption – you’re probably increasing the potential sources of glare.
Areas with no natural light (loos, stairwells) are prime contenders for having the lights left on all day, so either encourage people to switch off when not in use or install light sensors that can automatically switch the lights on and off as necessary.
2. Make it a brew run, not a relay
Your average domestic kettle costs around 2.5p in energy every time you boil it. On the assumption that your team drinks tea and coffee in industrial quantities, that means you have a choice. Either get into the habit of making drinks for everyone, which saves time and costs about 2.5p in energy per hour (assuming one drink per hour). Or let everyone make their own drinks in an endless kettle relay, which can effectively see it running permanently throughout the day. That would cost around 37p an hour. Or £3 per day. Or almost £800 every year. And that’s just for a single kettle!
3. Switch off everything at night
Even in standby mode, electrical appliances can still use up to 50% of the energy they would use in full power mode. We’re not just talking about desktop PCs, which are probably the simplest thing to remember to switch off when you leave work (because they’re right in front of you). Remember to power down the coffee machine, the printers, the photocopiers and, providing there’s nothing that needs refrigerating, the vending machine.
4. Switch every last bulb to LED
By now, most businesses have switched most of their bulbs to LED. But the crucial part of that last sentence is the word ‘most’. Virtually every business still has non-LED lights lurking somewhere: in the window, in the hard to reach areas of the ceiling, in the fridge.
So just to give you an extra incentive to carry out that final push, think of it this way: each halogen bulb that you replace with LED is likely to save you £175 over its lifetime.
5. Get everyone involved in heating and cooling
Keeping your workplace comfortable for less means keeping cold air out and warm air in. Installing insulation (in walls and above ceiling cavities and suspended ceilings) and fixing seals in aging windows can help. But just as important is changing the culture, so that everyone realises the impact of their actions in managing energy costs.
When your people understand that changing the air con by as little as 1 degree could reduce your annual bill by up to 8% (source: Carbon Trust). Or that shutting the shop door could cut energy bills in half (source: Close the Door) they’re more likely to support your energy saving measures.
6. Get funding for your improvements
Most businesses suspect they could be doing more to reduce their carbon footprint. But many believe that realising the full potential of their energy saving measures will cost money, so they put it on the back burner.
MaCaW is an EU funded project which provides free support to Lancashire based SMEs to help them reduce their carbon footprint. Through us, you can also access up to £8,000 of grant funding for the purchase of low carbon technology. (£15,000 as of November 2019)
So the last of our behavioural changes is the simplest of all to make. Call us to explore how MaCaW can help you reduce your carbon footprint.
For help reducing your carbon footprint email MaCaW
or call 01772 893963.
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MaCaW, the Making Carbon Work Project which operates from UCLan and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, is helping SMEs across Lancashire reduce costs and carbon.