Small Scottish businesses can get their energy health in check with the help of a smart meter. This is the message from consultant Roddy Hamilton from The Carbon Trust.
Small businesses often struggle to keep track of how much they spend on energy, and which equipment or activities are causing unnecessary waste.
Many small businesses (with fewer than 10 employees) are eligible to upgrade to a smart meter, installed by their energy supplier. This new generation of gas and electricity meters provides accurate readings directly to suppliers, bringing an end to estimated bills, and showing customers what they are spending in pounds and pence, in near real time.
Roddy Hamilton has created an energy checklist to help small businesses get on the road to energy health (see below), he commented.
“When you have the right information and you pay attention to it, it’s simple to find ways to take control of your energy use. Many small businesses feel they can’t make energy efficiencies, because they think they have to invest lots of money in new equipment to make a dent.
“But with the help of a smart meter, it’s easy to identify what is using the most energy, at what times, and take action – big or small - to cut down. Every penny saved on energy is a penny saved on the bottom line.”
John MacNeil, Head of Policy and Communications Scotland at Smart Energy GB, said: “As Roddy has shown, knowledge is power when it comes to saving energy. It can be hard for business owners to know where to start when they want to cut their energy costs – especially when they can’t see how much they’re using, and at what times.
“Many small businesses are eligible for an upgrade to a smart meter from their energy supplier. They will give small businesses, firstly, confidence that they are only paying for what they use – and won’t get any unexpected bills at the end of the year. And secondly, the visibility they need to make changes to the way they use energy. Contact your energy supplier about getting a smart meter installed.”
- How much are you spending? - Speak to your supplier about getting a smart meter
- What’s using the most energy? Identify the energy hogs – a smart meter and plug-in watt meters will help
- Have you got your timings right? - Switch high wattage items on later, or turn them off earlier. Use plug in timers so you don’t forget
- Do you need new equipment? - Decide how long you’re prepared to wait for new kit to pay for itself. Check the Carbon Trust’s Green Business Directory of accredited suppliers and look into specialist energy efficiency financing
- Are your staff on board - Focus on the changes that save the most. And don’t preach
- Can you stop heat (and money) from escaping? - Check for drafts. Insulate lofts and walls and add foam strips and brush fixings to doors and windows
Watch the video of the Energy doctor here: