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Twelve days of Christmas: energy efficiency

Top tips to help your business save energy.
26 November, 2019

Top tips to help your business save energy.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me…energy efficiency! For the festive season SSE Business Energy has had some fun matching up the classic carol with simple energy saving advice.

With climate change a hot issue, reducing carbon emissions will help your business towards Net Zero and satisfy customers who are dreaming of a green Christmas. 

Financial savings can also add up from putting in place energy efficiency measures. Most businesses could reduce their energy bills by around 10% by implementing ‘low or no cost’ energy management measures, according to The Carbon Trust. With a modest investment in energy efficiency measures, cost savings could rise to 20%.1

12 Drummers Drumming
Drum up your team’s support by designating an energy champion. As your business grows, set up an internal group to help cascade messages on energy efficiency and collate ideas from colleagues. Create posters and competitions as well as joining in national and global events, such as Big Energy Saving Week.

11 Pipers Piping
Are your radiator pipes piping hot? Install and use thermostats and timer or sensor switches, so heating is only in use when needed. Use thermostatic radiator valves (TVRs) to adjust the temperature, rather than opening a window when the heating is on.

10 Lords a Leaping
It’s hard to keep everyone at the right temperature. See if swapping desks could help: could employees who like it cooler sit closer to the air conditioning unit or window and those who like it warmer sit closer to the radiators? New year could be a perfect opportunity to make the leap.

9 Ladies Dancing
Dressing for office party season means sparkly shoes and Christmas jumpers, but dressing for the weather is just as important. Encourage employees to wear extra layers in the winter rather than ramping the heating up. You could promote your company identity at the same time with some cosy branded tops.

8 Maids a Milking
Milk and two sugars? If you’re putting the kettle on for a tea round, or just your own coffee, only boil what you need. If you have a point of use hot water tap, check to see if there is a timer so it can be switched off overnight. If there isn’t a timer, see if a timer plug can be used.

7 Swans a Swimming
Leaks waste water as well as heating. If you spot a dripping tap, urinal or toilet, get it fixed or report it to your facilities manager or landlord as soon as you can. It’s worth keeping on top of maintenance in general – get boilers serviced, defrost fridges and freezers and check door seals.

6 Geese a Laying
Is your old computer’s goose cooked? Consider replacing outdated equipment with energy efficient models. When buying new appliances, have a gander at the power rating, energy consumption and expected running costs as well as the initial price. This applies to tech such as printers and monitors, and white goods like fridges and dishwashers.

5 Golden Rings
Decorating your workplace? Choosing LED lights could reduce power consumption by up to 90%.2 It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep lights switched off when they’re not in use. Don’t walk by if you see a room or corridor that is unoccupied or has enough natural daylight. If car park lighting is on when there is enough daylight, check the settings or inform your facilities manager or landlord.

4 Calling Birds

Switch off electrical appliances like phone chargers, computers, printers and projectors at the end of each day, and set their sleep or power save mode. If an early bird switches these on first thing in the morning, they should be up and running in the time it takes to make a cuppa. Turning off PCs when they’re not in use could save around £35 per year per machine.3

3 French Hens
Whether your windows are French, bay or bow, use them for natural ventilation rather than air-conditioning units – just don’t open the windows and turn on the air-con at the same time! Make sure your air conditioning doesn’t operate below 24°C. You can also use internal or external shades to stop glare and excess heat on a sunny day.

2 Turtle Doves
Are draughts ruffling your feathers? Ventilation accounts for around 30% of heat loss in most commercial buildings (an estimated 25% in industrial buildings).4 To stop heat escaping, insulate roofs and walls. Fit insulation strips around windows and doors, and keep them shut.

A Partridge in a Pear Tree
If you quail at how much your utility bills cost, stop grousing, and pair a smart meter with an energy management app to pinpoint when your business is using energy. You can spot abnormalities, such as high energy consumption when your premises is closed. This knowledge empowers you to investigate where you can reduce energy usage and utility bills.

This article comes courtesy of, who supply electricity and gas to commercial and public sector customers and offer solutions to support your business growth in a responsible way.

1 The Carbon Trust: Energy Management (CTG054) P6. Published: September 2011 (Updated: December 2013).