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New dawn for business energy saving with the clock change

This Sunday the clocks change back an hour. At 2am the United Kingdom reverts to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) by turning back sixty minutes to 1am. While it (sadly) marks and official end of British summertime, there’s the delicious anticipation of an additional hour in bed.


clock photo

October, and there is no doubt that the we are in the autumn season. Turned leaves are falling, as are temperatures. Mornings take longer to brighten, and the nights are drawing in.

Autumn is a time of readiness, preparation for winter. And you can be business ready too. Here are a few simple things you can do to reduce your energy use and save money in your organisation.

To get you started our expert advisers have come up with a handy list.

Embrace the ethos of daylight saving

It’s so obvious we weren’t sure we should even mention it. But making use of natural daylight instead of burning bulbs is one of the most practical things you can do to save money and be more resource efficient.

Let the light in by opening the blinds, keeping window glass clean and tidying up anything on the sills that blocks light.

On the one hand you will be cutting your energy costs. On the other, natural light in the office improves productivity and sleep and overall wellbeing of your staff. Win win.

Upgrade your lighting with an unsecured, interest-free loan

Lighting technology has come on a long way in recent years and offers lots of money-saving opportunities. Did you know that upgrading to LEDs can slash 75% off lighting bills? It’s one of the popular energy efficiency projects to help your businesses pocket extra profit.

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about a lighting upgrade project, and have been putting it low down of the list of things to do for one reason or the other.

If the reason for delay is not knowing where to start, we are here to help you do an energy audit of your entire organisation, for free. A detailed report with indicative energy and cost savings follows so you can plan your project with confidence.

Perhaps it’s a question of money.  Now is a great time to act and take up the Scottish Government offer of a 0% interest SME Loan for energy efficiency projects up to the value of £100k. Our expert advisors will help you every step of the way. The sooner you upgrade your lighting, the sooner you’ll start saving and the sooner you’ll stop burning money on lighting.

Ask staff to ‘switch off’ lights

Darker nights mean staff flick on the light switches earlier and earlier through the autumn and winter. All this extra wattage costs money. What most businesses don’t realise is that lighting can be as much as 50% of their electricity bill. 

Not all rooms are used at all times. Meeting rooms, storage cupboards, kitchens, toilets and corridors do not need to have a light burning continuously, but often do, due mostly to habit.

A small investment in lighting sensor technology is another solution to turning unneeded lights off. But staff co-operation is not only free, it can be part of wide behaviour change around resource efficiency. To help encourage everyone to flick the off switch when lights are not needed, you could run a ‘switch-off’ campaign. Everything you need is available, for free, online including a range of professionally designed downloadable posters, stickers and web graphics.

Edinburgh Leisure community leisure club managed to cut energy use at one site by 13% by encouraging staff to take part in wider resource efficiency improvements.

“Our energy and water costs are nearly £3 million so any reduction in usage can result in significant savings. And in the current financial climate that’s important. We are aspiring for ‘working green’ to simply be a way of working – our sustainability team and our Green Champions are instrumental to us achieving this.”  June Peebles Chief Executive, Edinburgh Leisure.

To plan and implement change, you can develop your own Green Team through the free CPD Certified Green Champions Training online course. The course has been designed to develop new skills with tools to accelerate understanding of the benefits of resource efficiency and quickly teach staff how to:

  • Identify cost savings and environmental improvement opportunities
  • Effectively collect and analyse data; and
  • Be able to bring about change.

Label light switches

Picture this. You’re the last to leave a room and go to switch off the lights in the area where you were sitting. But, you’re faced with a bank of light switches on the wall. Which switch is for your area, and which light will plunge your colleagues into darkness? 

Like most people, you’ll probably just head out of the door, leave all the lights on, and let the last person out switch them all off. It’s so typical this is a common reason for energy being wasted. Solve the problem once and for all by labelling your light switches with this handy free template.

Time your heating system, just right

Most heating systems need to have their timer clocks manually adjusted. Taking just a few minutes to change the time by an hour will prevent you from heating an empty building and wasting energy. In addition, you’ll keep the space comfortable until staff head home for the night. 

We hope you’ll agree that these are super practical ways to help keep your energy bill tamed over the darker months.

Enjoy your longer lie at the weekend but do remember to change your clocks so you get to the office on time on Monday. You only make that mistake once (or twice) a year.

Top tip for knowing which way the hour goes with the clock change "Spring forward, Fall (autumn) back".

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