Have you thought about how your business is consuming energy? It may just be a facilities cost that only gets looked at when the bills roll in – but if this is the case, you’re in more need than ever to put together a business energy policy.
Documenting an energy policy for your small or medium business is a great way to let investors and employees know your goals and how you are going to achieve them. It should not be a list of idealistic statements, but a working document you can use as an action plan over the selected time period. To make sure you get the most out of your energy plan, here’s a list of suggested topics you should include.
It all starts at the source
How green is the energy your business is using and how green do you want it to be? If renewable energy is high on your list, you should start by looking at your supplier.
Ofgem requires all suppliers to disclose the source of the energy they provide and how their fuel mix compares to the national averages. This should be readily available on everyone’s websites (as an example, you can see Opus Energy’s supply sources here).
Are your business needs being met?
Are you getting the right balance between price and service to meet your needs? Decide what is most important to you in an energy supplier and put your current one to the test. If they aren’t measuring up, mark your diary with a reminder to shop around when your contract is due for renewal.
Changing behaviour for the better
If you’ve spotted opportunities to reduce energy wastage in the office through behaviour changes, make sure to include them in your plan. Write them up as SMART goals with clear targets and plans on how you will track and measure your improvement.
Don’t forget about investments
Now is the time to start thinking about how important energy consumption will be when you go to buy new appliances and machinery for your business. For planned purchases, book out time in advance to research into the costs and savings potential for the different efficiency levels available.
For unplanned replacements, having an idea in mind of how much more you’d be willing to spend to either reduce energy consumption or get a more environmentally friendly unit can take some of the pressure off when you’re rushing to find a replacement.
Once you’ve written your energy policy, it is critical to make sure that everyone within the business is on board. Depending on size, this could be as simple as reviewing it in an employee meeting or might require more formal approval by the business leadership or the Board. The sooner you get everyone working alongside you, the higher the likelihood that you’ll be able to meet (and hopefully even exceed) your objectives.