Concerned about rising costs for your business?
The Business and Investment team have compiled a list of the latest cost of living and energy related schemes and guidance available.
There are a number of cost-free quick wins which you can undertake as a business to manage the above and we have listed them below for guidance
Involve your staff
- Get everyone involved from the start!
- Ask for suggestions, ideas and opinions.
- Why not challenge staff to come up with innovative ideas to save energy.
- Ask them to review their own workstation or practices.
- You could even appoint an energy champion, someone who is a good motivator and will boost employee enthusiasm!
Energy saving trust - a guide to energy efficiency in the workplace [external link].
Extending equipment lifespan
- Ensuring regular maintenance and servicing can extend the lifespan of equipment as well as improving its efficiency and keeping your costs down eventually.
- Everything from large-scale machinery down to the staff fridge should be included!
- Even keeping the coils behind the fridge dust-free can make cooling more energy-efficient and save you money!
- Ensure you record all your servicing dates and, when investing in new equipment, ensure they are energy-efficient purchases!
Check the Energy Technology List before making a purchase
- The Energy Technology List gives details of energy-saving products – from lighting to refrigeration equipment – for businesses and the public sector.
- It’s updated monthly by the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and currently includes around 10,000 products which could save money for your business.
Energy Technology List [external link].
Laptops vs desktops
- With more people working from home, many businesses have invested in laptops instead of desktop computers.
- As well as giving staff flexibility, using laptops can help reduce your business’s energy consumption: the annual cost of running a laptop for eight hours per day can be more than £200 less than the equivalent cost for a desktop.
- If you have desktop computers, ensure they’re switched off when not in use – the overnight costs of leaving them on could be costing you around £35 a year for every desk.
Make your lighting more efficient
- LED lighting can lead to big savings and is more efficient than fluorescent lighting.
- BEIS calculates that a 100 metre square shop which replaces its lighting with 25 18 watt LEDs could save £440 a year.
- Using motion sensors or timers can also save money.
- They ensure that lights are only on when they’re needed, or simply by asking staff to make sure they turn out all lights whenever they leave a room and at the end of the day.
Try a Smart Meter
- Smart meters offer SMEs a range of benefits which could come in helpful.
- They could help make your budgeting and forecasting more accurate as you only get a bill for what you’ve used, and they could give you valuable insights into how your business uses energy, day, and night.
- Plus, they automatically send readings to your energy supplier – so you shouldn’t have to.
- Firms with 10 employees or less could be eligible for a smart meter.
Smartenerygb.org - request a smart meter [external link]. You can also contact your energy supplier or broker.
Regulate the temperature
Legally, you’re required to provide your employees with a workplace that’s a ‘reasonable’ temperature (usually a minimum of 16 degrees Celsius).
Health and Safety Executive - temperature [external link].
This can mean turning the heating up in winter or using fans or air conditioning when it’s hot.
Here are a few quick ways you can minimise your costs and make sure you’re not burning through money unnecessarily:
- Set the thermostat to keep the temperature within an acceptable range;
- Position desks nearby to heaters or radiators;
- Remove anything placed in front of radiators, like cabinets;
- Check draught-proofing – are your windows and doors letting heat escape?
- Turn radiators off in unused areas and close windows when the air conditioning is on.
Grants loans and support
Energy bill support
In September 2022 the Government announced an energy price guarantee for businesses meaning they will have their energy costs capped for six months at the same price per unit as households.
The cap will be reviewed in December 2022 and could be extended for certain industries or vulnerable businesses.
Energy Bill Discount Scheme
For eligible non-domestic customers who have a contract with a licensed energy supplier, the government is announcing the following support:
- From 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, all eligible non-domestic customers who have a contract with a licensed energy supplier will see a unit discount of up to £6.97/MWh automatically applied to their gas bill and a unit discount of up to £19.61/MWh applied to their electricity bill.
- This will be subject to a wholesale price threshold, set with reference to the support provided for domestic consumers, of £107/MWh for gas and £302/MWh for electricity. This means that businesses experiencing energy costs below this level will not receive support.
- Customers do not need to apply for their discount. As with the current scheme, suppliers will automatically apply reductions to the bills of all eligible non-domestic customers.
For eligible Energy and Trade Intensive industries, the government is announcing:
- These businesses will receive a discount reflecting the difference between a price threshold and the relevant wholesale price.
- The price threshold for the scheme will be £99/MWh for gas and £185/MWh for electricity.
- This discount will only apply to 70% of energy volumes and will be subject to a ‘maximum discount’ of £40.0/MWh for gas and £89.1/MWh for electricity.
Find out more about the Energy Relief Scheme for non-domestic customers.
- Gov.uk - if you cannot pay your tax bill in time [external link]
- Ofgem - energy advice for businesses [external link]
- Energy savings trust - businesses [external link]
Loans to support your business
British Business Bank
A government-owned business development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses.
British Business Bank - recovery loan scheme for businesses [external link].
Business Enterprise Fund (BEF)
BEF provides finance and support for businesses in the North of England
Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) [external link].
FW Capital provides finance to help businesses based in the North of England.
FW Capital [external link].
For one-to-one advice and details of other business support, finance and funding that may be available for your business, contact the Business Growth & Investment Team via the following: