What steps have you taken to make your business more energy efficient?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by ChrisGoodfellow, Oct 12, 2016.

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  1. ChrisGoodfellow

    ChrisGoodfellow UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

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    Hello,

    We're running a series of articles on energy efficiency and sustainability in partnership with E.ON, and wanted to find out what practical steps you've taken to save money and help the environment.

    Research for a recent feature turned up the following steps:
    • Beauty product manufacturer Faith in Nature used a government grant to replace energy-intensive electric heaters with a 100kW biomass boiler
    • Money.co.uk's expert recommended installing motion sensitive lightbulbs and closing doors
    • Manufacturer Penny Hydraulics cut its heating bill by 30% by updating equipment
    • And, communications company 42group is challenging the nature of presenteeism
    • Do you have any advice you can share?
    Let us know what you think!

    Thanks,

    Chris
     
    Posted: Oct 12, 2016 By: ChrisGoodfellow Member since: Jul 10, 2014
    #1
  2. FreebieBoy34

    FreebieBoy34 UKBF Regular Free Member

    117 9
    As for me, since I'm mostly just sitting in front of the PC what I do to save energy is to turn off the airconditioner once I feel that the room is cooled. I also make it a point not turn on all the lights, just the ones that I'm using at the moment...:)
     
    Posted: Oct 13, 2016 By: FreebieBoy34 Member since: Sep 28, 2016
    #2
  3. Kat Haylock

    Kat Haylock Community Editor Administrator

    453 227
    As above, air con is a huge one for us: we try to make sure the air con isn't on for longer than needs be and that all the windows are shut if we do have it on. It was the challenge of the summer to reign in @Francois Badenhorst's arctic tendencies.
     
    Posted: Oct 17, 2016 By: Kat Haylock Member since: Jul 11, 2016
    #3
  4. JEREMY HAWKE

    JEREMY HAWKE UKBF Legend Full Member

    4,169 1,308
    I am looking at an electric hatchback for local medical runs in and around Exeter
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
    #4
  5. ChrisGoodfellow

    ChrisGoodfellow UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

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    @JEREMY HAWKE How tough is the balancing fuel savings over the long-term with added initial investment? When I worked as an emissions analyst a lot of fleet owners would look at payback time on new tech.

    @JEREMY HAWKE Also love the avatar. My wife's from a small town in Nova Scotia near where Trailer park boys was filmed, so you sometimes see them around town. :)
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: ChrisGoodfellow Member since: Jul 10, 2014
    #5
  6. Root 66 Woodshop

    Root 66 Woodshop UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,951 1,335
    Whenever I need to excrete methane gases - I go into the back-room and sit on the dispenser that I've installed which is piped to a small ethanol 12v generator - I have had this adapted to accept my personal bubbling gases which in turn boils my kettle...

    I must also point out that I fart due to the amount of coffee or tea that I drink as I currently can't afford food - therefore I am also re-using energy.

















    :D
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: Root 66 Woodshop Member since: Nov 22, 2011
    #6
  7. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

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    I don't believe you - show us a video!
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #7
  8. MikeJ

    MikeJ UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    I have no idea what that is. I could Google it, but seriously? Speak English..
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: MikeJ Member since: Jan 15, 2008
    #8
  9. Kat Haylock

    Kat Haylock Community Editor Administrator

    453 227
    @MikeJ, "presenteeism" is a trend of people feeling like they must always be present at their job, often skipping holidays or coming in sick because they're insecure about, well, not being present.
    Quite interesting article on it here :)

    @The Byre - please don't encourage a video of that! :eek:
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: Kat Haylock Member since: Jul 11, 2016
    #9
  10. Root 66 Woodshop

    Root 66 Woodshop UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    unfair :(

    I was about to provide footage of my second energy saving idea...

    self stirring cups of tea.

    I have a small residential mouse which I have stapled to a wheel in a cage - I have installed a small 3" TV screen with a video of a cat running towards to the screen which is facing the mouse... the mouse's survival instinct is to run... hence stirring my cup of tea.

    :D
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: Root 66 Woodshop Member since: Nov 22, 2011
    #10
  11. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

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    No, it's idea number one I wanted to see in action. 4K and with slo-mo replay!
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #11
  12. Root 66 Woodshop

    Root 66 Woodshop UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,951 1,335
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: Root 66 Woodshop Member since: Nov 22, 2011
    #12
  13. ChrisGoodfellow

    ChrisGoodfellow UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

    143 43
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: ChrisGoodfellow Member since: Jul 10, 2014
    #13
  14. Root 66 Woodshop

    Root 66 Woodshop UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,951 1,335
    [​IMG]

    Meow!
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: Root 66 Woodshop Member since: Nov 22, 2011
    #14
  15. ChrisGoodfellow

    ChrisGoodfellow UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

    143 43
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: ChrisGoodfellow Member since: Jul 10, 2014
    #15
  16. ChrisGoodfellow

    ChrisGoodfellow UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

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    Any other more, say, practical tips on energy saving out there? :)
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: ChrisGoodfellow Member since: Jul 10, 2014
    #16
  17. JEREMY HAWKE

    JEREMY HAWKE UKBF Legend Full Member

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    For the investment on battery lease it's worth it but only on local runs and buying second hand
    I think it will be the future though
    Trailer park boys is just like Devon
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
    #17
  18. Ashley_Price

    Ashley_Price UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    7,121 1,309
    The difficulty is I am in serviced offices, so there is only so much I can do (e.g. I cannot change energy supplier).

    However, I still switch the PCs off at night (not just the screens). I don't leave screens on when I don't need them. The printers are switched off when not in use (sometimes it can be days before they are needed the next time).

    I also don't put the lights on unless I actually need them for reading/seeing - not just because the room is a bit dull. When in the communal parts of the building, I switched off lights in less-used corridors (one corridor is empty for about 90% of the day, but the light is left on, if I don't turn it off).

    And immediately around work, I don't drive so I either walk to/from work and to other local businesses, or I get the bus.
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: Ashley_Price Member since: Feb 9, 2008
    #18
  19. Mitch3473

    Mitch3473 UKBF Regular Free Member

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    I'm going to keep my part time driver. He somehow manages to get 40.2 MPG in the van, I get 39.9 on a good day.
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: Mitch3473 Member since: Aug 25, 2011
    #19
  20. Psl

    Psl UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,537 619
    Any business becoming more energy efficient is dependant on many factors;

    1. Type of business: a service business based in an office i.e solicitors or e commerce, will require fewer actions to become more energy efficient than a nursery school with a higher need for heat and power, through to a large manufacturing business with an even higher energy consumption.

    2. The fabric of the building: An older building will be more porous in the main, therefore a greater heat load requirement will be required, which in turn requires more energy to produce the said required heat load.

    3. The monitoring of energy consumption should always be the start point because once you know what you are consuming, you can then look at ways to reduce consumption.

    As mentioned above, the physical act of 'turning off' energy consuming assets when not needed is the start. But ensuring that everyone in the business follows the same principles, is a must.

    Any business can make savings by installing LED's, draft proofing for older buildings, ensuring the fabric of the building is as airtight as possible, installing PIR sensors linked to the AC/HVAC in rooms and/or areas of infrequent use, reviewing maintenance regimes on equipment; a well maintained energy consumption asset will always perform better and be more energy efficient - reactive maintenance is always more costly!

    All business from the small to the large can, invest in, and have installed, technology that can save them money and reduce CO2 emissions. It all depends on what the activity of business is!

    There are a number of cost effective and innovative products on the market from additives for wet heating systems that can save up to 15%, nano technologies that coat the exterior walls to enhance airtightness, solar therm kit for hot water, solar thermal kit to reduce energy consumed by AC/HVAC units, additives for chillers that reduce consumption...the list goes on.

    There is currently a grant of up to £10,000 backed by the Carbon Trust for LED and Solar PV installation. (Pls note that if you get a Govt grant for any non-domestic renewable technology, you cannot then claim any of the Govt tariffs until the grant is repaid).

    We are not involved in this scheme but if anyone is interested I can send you details of a Carbon Trust accredited company that will help you. The scheme is available to small businesses, manufacturing and industrial sectors.

    For the larger consumers of energy - heat and power - with annual bills of £15k Gas and £20k electricity there are options to use biomass/CHP or gas/CHP. Although the CAPEX on a biomass/CHP unit is circa £320k for 50kWe - 150kWth the ROI is upto 32%, with a payback term of 3 years, and a Net Cashflow of £2.2+ million after 20 years. It has to noted that the renewables industry firmly believes that the current tariffs will not exist after April 2017. So if you are exploring installing either standard biomass boilers or biomass/CHP in your business premises, contact your supplier and installer and order the kit now! On the other hand if you are exploring the ESCO model ( a fully funded installation with no CAPEX from the end user), then contact them and move the deal forward as there is a longer lead time due to the ECSO contract process.

    Larger consumers of energy can also take advantage of Demand Response Services - basically helping the National Grid stay balanced, and preventing power cuts.

    There are 27+ various DSRS programs that businesses can enroll in, but it all depends on what energy consuming assets they have, and businesses get paid vast amounts when enrolled which can then used to offset the CAPEX cost of installing renewable technology.

    My advice would be to undertake and energy audit to ascertain the current energy consumption position of the business - this will give you base loads/peak loads and an energy profile - then continually monitor energy consumption.

    See what 'quick wins' the business can achieve, and implement them.

    Look at the the longer term investments into renewable technology, but base the calculations on projected savings to be achieved without incorporating the current Gov renewable tariffs, as they more than likely will not be available after April 2017 as mentioned.

    Finally, the most effective manner in which to start to become energy efficient is to ensure everyone in the business, from the owner to the tea maker, takes proactive steps to turn energy consuming assets off, when they are not in use.
     
    Posted: Oct 22, 2016 By: Psl Member since: May 4, 2010
    #20
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