Smaller channel companies should plan now for a cold winter, according to gas and electricity supplier Npower.
Phil Scholes, sales and marketing director at Npower SME, said: "As SMBs look to keep premises warm and bright during the winter months, they can see their energy use rise significantly. Time and cost remain key issues for SMBs."
The energy firm – one of Britain's largest – has released a list of ways that businesses can save power as its data reveals that SMB energy use can double in the winter.
"We hope that by sharing these simple tips, businesses will be able to make significant savings on the amount of energy they are using," Scholes said.
• Check timers
Check that heating time clocks have been adjusted to reflect Greenwich Mean Time and are only on during business opening hours. Turning heating off when the business is closed, for example at weekends, could save nearly 30 per cent in costs, according to Npower.
• Service the boilers
Service boilers now to ensure they run efficiently over the winter. Inefficient boilers can waste up to 35 per cent of energy compared to modern models, according to Npower. Many boilers can also be retrofitted with energy-saving devices or optimisers to reduce energy consumption by 10 to 15 per cent, the energy retailer said.
• Check the thermostats
Make sure thermostats are set correctly. Turning the temperature down by just a degree can achieve savings of eight per cent. However, 21 degrees Celsius is the recommended temperature for office and shop environments – although the heating itself may often be set at 19 degrees Celsius, as the heat given off by equipment and lighting often brings the temperature up enough keep employees warm and comfortable.
Npower also noted that anything that emits heat, such as a radiator, must not be obstructed, preventing heat from circulating.
• Switch everything off when it is not needed
Turn off all machinery and equipment at the end of each working day. Computers, photocopiers, lights and heaters are frequently left on overnight and at weekends. Switching them off when they are not in use can save up to 12 per cent, the company said.
• Different lighting may reduce bills
If you're looking to save more longer term, consider deploying more energy-efficient lighting, with automatic controls. Npower said this can reduce energy consumption by as much as 80 per cent.
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