Saving Money in a Precarious Energy Market

by 22 July 2019

With ever-increasing energy prices thanks to a volatile energy market and rising non-commodity charges it seems almost impossible to obtain a saving on energy contracts. Aside from turning everything off and ceasing business how else can we reduce our energy costs?

There are a variety of energy-efficient technologies available in the market that reduce usage and in turn directly reduce costs. We would always recommend a site survey to identify which technology would be the highest return on investment for you, a qualified site assessor would be able to do this for you.

You may be concerned about having to invest upfront, the whole point of this exercise is to save money isn’t it? But as the proverb says- speculate to accumulate. Don’t worry, there are a number of funding opportunities available to you:

  • Energy Performance Contract (EPC)- An investment company pay for the install and then the savings are shared between you.
  • Energy Contract Uplift: Free of interest, upfront and repaid through your energy invoices, directly to your energy provider. An exclusive initiative from Utility Team called the Revolving Green Fund.
  • Traditional Finance– Obtaining a loan with a bank.

These funds can be utilised in a number of ways, the most effective ways are as follows:

LED Lighting

This can be one of the easiest ways to reduce your consumption especially if your lighting has not been upgraded in the last 10 years. Replacing old inefficient lights and fittings can reduce usage by up to 20%. When you combine all the benefits of switching to LED lighting in the office, studies show LED lights can be a very important source of savings, as well as this, work productivity can also be increased. Increased health, happiness and overall morale of office employees as well as overall savings = better business acumen altogether.

Energy Monitoring

Keeping an eye on your consumption will not directly reduce your usage, however, it will identify when savings can be made. Energy monitoring is really the first step towards a sustainable energy reduction plan, just by looking at consumption during shutdown can show if there is any wastage. Mistakes can easily be made with Building Management Systems (BMS). One customer of ours identified that their BMS was programmed incorrectly and the air conditioning was coming on at 2am in the morning, once this was identified and resolved our customer saw a significant reduction in their costs.

Solar

There has been a lot of speculation about solar following the closure of the Feed-in-Tariff scheme in March 2019. Although the financial benefit of building a solar farm may no longer be viable, there are many benefits of having this renewable energy technology. Using self-generated electricity reduces the cost of electricity overall and has the imbedded benefits of reduced non-commodity charges. You can generate electricity or heat depending on your needs. Solar energy can be used to produce electricity in areas without access to the energy grid, to distill water in regions with limited clean water supplies and to power satellites in space. Solar energy can also be integrated into the materials used for buildings. Many companies are coming up with unique varieties of this product for example recently Sharp introduced transparent solar energy windows and Lightsource BP has created double-sided solar panels.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

A CHP unit is a cogeneration system that produces heat and electrical power from gas simultaneously. A CHP unit is used for supplying power to buildings and hot water for heating or cooling through highly efficient heat and power generation. CHP can benefit all types of businesses. With payback in 2-3 years CHP can cut your energy costs by up to 40%, it also provides a solution to businesses in areas with low electricity capacity.

To find out more about how you can access funding through your energy contract, free from interest and hassle please call Julie Plunkett-Dent Business Development Manager on 02476 997 901 or email julie.plunkett-dent@utilityteam.co.uk

 

Article written by Julie Plunkett-Dent, Business Development Manager