When it comes to saving energy, businesses throughout the UK are working hard to ensure that they get the basics right. Energy efficient windows and doors, properly insulated buildings and large scale recycling have largely been embraced in this country following pressure from government and the need to reduce costs wherever possible in the face of difficult financial conditions.
However, we still waste millions of pounds every year on behaviours that would be incredibly easy to alter - and most importantly cost us nothing. By leaving appliances on when not in use, putting them into stand-by or leaving them plugged into the socket after turning them off, businesses are slowly leaking money.
So how much energy is your business wasting? Below Enerco High Speed Doors analyse some of the appliances that are the main culprits and calculate exactly how much money you could be losing.
Do the Math
Before we can understand how much energy your business wastes we need to know how to calculate the cost in the first place. A kilowatt hour (kWh) is the unit of measurement we will be using; if an appliance's energy usage is measured at 1kWh it basically means it uses 1,000 watts in one hour. One kWh will typically cost around 15.1 pence.
If we know the cost of a kWh then by finding out how much energy the most common appliances and equipment use when idling or in stand-by we can begin to get a picture of how much is being wasted.
Let's take each device in turn.
Nowadays, computers are used more and more in the workplace, and as a result they are on for much longer periods - even when they're not actually in use.
A desktop PC that is idling will typically use about 100 watts (tower and monitor combined) which is 0.1 kWh - 1.5 pence. Now let's say the PC is left on but not used for two hours per day, we can use this information to work out how much money is wasted for any period of time:
1.5 pence x 2 hours = 3 pence/day
That doesn't sound like much, but imagine you have 100 desktop computers on your premises each idling for two hours a day:
(3 pence x 100 PCs) x 260 days = £780 per annum (based on a 5-day week 52 weeks per year)
We can do the same kind of calculation for your company's lighting as well.
A light bulb typically uses 60w of electricity when on, which is 0.06 kWh, or 0.906 pence per hour.
Let's say that again your lighting is on for two hours unnecessarily, then for every 100 light bulbs you are wasting:
(1.812 pence x 100 light bulbs) x 260 days = £471.12 per annum
Many households and businesses put their TV sets into stand-by mode rather than switch them off completely, and this can waste hundreds of pounds every year.
Although a TV uses just 10 watts (0.01 kWh) when in stand-by they are typically left in this state for the majority of the day, and thus that small amount can add up quickly.
A TV that is in use for eight hours during the working day but then only set to stand-by for the other 16 hours wastes 2.42 pence per day - £8.83 per year. This may be a small amount when compared to the previous numbers, but if your site has multiple television sets this waste soon starts to look a lot worse.
Believe it or not, even when completely switched off some appliances will still use energy if plugged in to the socket. These 'Vampire' appliances add between nine and 16 per cent to annual domestic electricity bills according to the Energy Saving Trust, costing UK households £1.3bn in wasted money, and the problem can also affect businesses.
The thirstiest of these 'Vampires' include:
- Laptops & desktop computers;
- Cordless phones.
To ensure your business is not losing money in this way always make sure your equipment and appliances are switched off and unplugged.
There are many things we can all do to save more energy and few are as straightforward as the ones we have outlined here, but by doing so you could potentially see thousands of pounds knocked off your overheads - so what are you waiting for?
This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of Enerco High Speed Doors, providers of rapid roll and energy efficient roller shutters.