How Can Companies Manage Their Energy Use Better in an Age of Increasing Technology Adoption?

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An analysis of the rising electrical costs for businesses (and homeowners) has confirmed that while the wholesale energy cost has remained unchanged in the UK for a decade, non-commodity costs have been rising faster than inflation. In fact, it is the tax levies which have mostly been the cause of end-user price increases witnessed by UK businesses.

When looking back a decade, tax levies have increased ten-fold since 2008. The kilowatt per hour was then 0.456 pence and in 2020, it will be a full 4.332 pence. This accounts for the majority of price hikes experienced by companies.

Due to the rampant price increases far beyond the UK’s reported inflation levels, it’s necessary for companies to look for ways to manage their energy usage better to balance out future price hikes. Accordingly, here are a few tips to help with that.

Set Goals for a Reduction in Power Usage

Use the past electricity bill and meter readings to determine power usage past and present.

Set a realistic goal for the business to reduce the power consumption per employee. This means, for companies that increase their workforce by 20 percent through the next 12 months, lowering power consumption becomes tough to do. Therefore, measure power usage on a per employee basis to get a like-for-like comparison of whether the workforce is growing or contracting.

A Thorough Systems Review

Review every physical system within the business. Look at the power consumption for each system and piece of equipment within it. Examine ways to reduce the total kilowatts used for each system.

For instance, run through all the heating and cooling systems at the various premises. Determine if they are using the optimal settings or if they could be tweaked to get acceptable performance while reducing kilowatts consumed. See if any of the systems are due a replacement for a more energy-efficient model and whether it makes financial sense to move up the timeline?

Also, look at lighting in the various business locations. Usually, older lighting setups can be replaced with energy-efficient lighting fixtures that devour far less power for the same (or higher) level of illumination.

Power Down

Plan to power down all equipment at night and over the weekend if it isn’t needed outside of normal working hours. Bear in mind that even a monitor running on a low-power setting is still consuming wattage. Run network software that can trigger a shutdown of all relevant PCs and monitors at a certain hour.

The Microsoft Windows’ Sleep mode works well but powering off is even better. Hibernation mode on Windows PCs is still consuming some power to allow the PC to get out of hibernation quickly. Change the Power Management settings within Windows for all business computers to turn off the screen and power down the internal hard drive when it’s been idle during the day (perhaps due to a business meeting) too.

Always look for ways to use less electricity in the business. Otherwise, the energy usage and the costs for it will grow out of control through inattention.

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