Two thirds of small businesses are saving energy by banning the dishwasher and even printing, according to research

By The Editor

9th Feb 2023 | SME's and Start-Ups

Cost savings for small businesses can be found anywhere
Cost savings for small businesses can be found anywhere

Two-thirds of small business owners have adopted more cost-saving working practices over the last 12 months to reduce their energy usage. The study of 500 adults who are either small business owners or decision-makers, found they have made an average of six tweaks to save energy.

Exactly a third have encouraged staff to adopt more energy-friendly behaviours, 20 percent have gone 'paper free' and 29 percent have turned down the temperature on their boiler. A quarter (26 percent) have turned off radiators in some rooms, while 24 percent have lowered their thermostat.

Banning printing, encouraging working from home, where possible, and only running the dishwasher when it was full were also popular ways of reducing energy costs.

Energy-efficient lightbulbs are now the norm for 32 percent, as is not overboiling the kettle (24 percent). Furthermore, 19 percent are reducing their opening hours and 33 percent are 'very likely' to consider actively moving premises.

The research was commissioned by Smart Energy GB, whose director Victoria Bacon said: "As business owners continue to reduce their energy usage wherever possible, actions such as changing to LED lightbulbs and turning off the lights when rooms are not being used are now increasingly commonplace.

"As is encouraging staff to adopt more energy-saving behaviours."

The research went on to find how new tech has helped firms with their day-to-day administrative tasks, with 89 percent of respondents agreeing that investing in new technology has been an effective way of reducing daily costs in the long run.

This includes email marketing and social media promotion, as well as using more software for accounting and procurement purposes. Nearly a third (32 percent) now consider energy efficiency credentials more than ever when upgrading equipment, with 51 percent also buying more 'smart' appliances.

Almost three in ten (29 percent) check their energy usage at least once a day, with just under a third (32 percent) checking several times each week. Of those surveyed, 58 percent admit they're still not sure of the most efficient ways to cut costs in their business, with 35 percent saying there isn't enough information available.

Nearly four in 10 (39 percent) use so much equipment that it's hard to keep track of energy use, while 34 percent can't afford to upgrade their gear.

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) fear that if they were to cut back on costs much further, their business simply wouldn't function as usual. And for 73 percent, 2022 was the only year so far they had to really consider cutting costs at their workplace. Yet 78 percent say it is a bonus that a lot of their energy-saving measures are having a positive effect on the environment.

With 65 percent said that reducing their company's carbon footprint is either more important or at least equally important, as reducing costs, according to the research by OnePoll.

Victoria Bacon from Smart Energy GB added: "We know from our research how hard small businesses are working to keep their finances under control.

"A smart meter measures energy usage in near-real time, providing accurate bills.

"This means businesses only pay for the energy they actually use, which can help business owners to manage their cash flow and budgets."


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