Smart Ways To Save Money
No one likes waste, whether it's out-of-date food from your fridge or time stuck in slow-moving traffic.  But for small- and medium-sized businesses, managing and reducing energy waste is vital, especially with recent predictions showing electricity prices may rise by as much as 30% in the next 5 years. 

Cost-Savings Are Profits Too!
In these tough economic times, it's important to remember:
A cost saved is a profit made.
Take a company with a 5% profit margin - a £500-a-year energy saving is the same as the profit it makes from £10,000's worth of sales!
Once you start to think of cost-savings as profits, you may find your approach to becoming more energy efficient a bit more, well, energetic!

A Quick Reminder...
Before we get into cost-cutting tips and tricks, a quick reminder - always be sure to take regular meter readings so you can easily track how much energy your business is using and how well your improvements are working.

Simple Saves
Let's start with some easy (and free!) ways to be smarter with your power:
• When the timer's right - the longer your heating's on, the more it'll cost you, so make sure your timers are set to the right dates and times, taking into account bank holidays and daylight saving adjustments
• Be a thermo-statto - every 1°C increase in temperature means an 8% increase in costs, so ensure your workplace temperature is set at the recommended 21°C (or between 13-16°C if the work involved is of a more strenuous nature)
• You're not Blackpool illuminations - your business isn't there to light up the night sky -   lights left on in empty rooms or not turned off at the end of the day might look pretty from a distance, but they're wasting your business money
• Stand-by for savings - don't leave computers, monitors, printers and kitchen equipment on stand-by overnight; turn them off at the plug to bring down those bills.  According to The Energy Savings Trust, the average home wastes £80 a year due to appliances left on stand-by - now imagine how much your business could save!
Spend a little, save a lot
Sometimes getting the most out of your energy requires investment - but the rewards are worth it:
• A light bulb moment - if you've not changed your light bulbs in a while, now might be the time.  If you're still using standard incandescent light bulbs then consider changing them to energy-saving bulbs - each one will save you £100 over the course of its lifetime
• If you can't stand the heat loss... - double or secondary glazing can cut heat loss through yours windows by half.  But if new windows aren't in this year's budget, sealing gaps around windows and doors with weatherstripping will also reduce heat loss by as much as 15%
• Make the grade - when the time comes to update your business equipment, consider their energy efficiency ratings.  A product that costs a little more but that has an A+++ rating will save you back that initial expense many times over the course of its lifetime

The Team Works
All the above will be more effective by fostering an energy-saving culture within your team, so consider organising training sessions, offering incentives ('This month's Energy-Saver Award goes to...') and empowering Energy Champions to limit your energy losses. 
Only by educating and involving your colleagues will your business reap the full rewards of an energy-efficient future.