Energy Efficiency Improvements Could Save UK Businesses £2.5 Billion per Year

London Eye and the Thames River at night photo

While I admit I’m exaggerating the effect of the lights a bit with this long exposure image, the Carbon Trust says businesses could save up to 15% in lighting costs if they turned off lights in room and hallways when the spaces are not occupied. Not to mention decreasing light pollution at night.
photo by Jason Jeffries

In the world of energy, going after the metaphorical low-hanging fruit can yield big savings. In the case of energy efficiency, making improvements in this area could save UK businesses £2.5 billion a year, according to the Carbon Trust.

£7 Billion Lost due to Energy Inefficiency
New analysis by the UK organization indicates that UK businesses are losing £7 million every day because of poor energy efficiency, and that addressing this should be the first priority when it comes to cutting business costs. Carbon Trust ranks this a greater potential cost savings than recruitment freezes, laying off workers, or freezing salaries. On a yearly basis, the collective £2.5 billion is equal to 13% of UK companies’ energy bills, or the combined annual salaries of 100,000 employees paid an ‘average wage’.

Hugh Jones of the Carbon Trust:

Our research shows that energy efficiency measures, not job cuts or salary freezes, are the cost-cutting steps businesses are considering first during this economically challenging time. It’s an encouraging sign that wise companies are realising that cutting carbon and being green is the easiest way to make a business lean.

Our new statistics provide stark evidence that if companies are starting to feel the bite from the economic downturn, the first place to look for cost savings should be their energy bill. There are literally millions of pounds going out of the window every day, across the UK.

We’re talking about money that could be saved by making quick and easy changes such as encouraging staff to turn off computers and lights, turning down the heating, or maintaining equipment properly.

Easy Ways to Improve Efficiency
Most of these are probably old hat to the average TreeHugger reader, but the Carbon Trust reminds us of some simple ways businesses and individuals can reduce their wasted energy:

Switch off lights in empty rooms—You could save as much as 15% in lighting costs by turning off unused lights in rooms and hallways.

Don’t turn up the heat unless you genuinely need to—The Carbon Trust recommends you keep the thermostat no higher than 19°C (66°F). Increasing the thermostat by one degree increases heating costs an average 8% for every degree. Although The same can be said for air conditioning, assess how cool you genuinely need a room to be and don’t over-cool.

Additional methods include—Maintaining heating and cooling equipment properly, turning off computers when not in use, installing compact fluorescent bulbs in light fixtures.

Considering that business generates 40% of UK carbon emissions, the financial savings are on top of the greater public savings in emissions reductions.

:: Carbon Trust
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