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The fluxing British weather is highlighting to most businesses (and homeowners) the rising cost of energy this Winter.

The East Lancashire Chambers of Commerce, together with Boost Lancashire and Fylde Council are joining to provide 1-t0-1 Business Support to help you reduce your bills and raw material waste, look at your business energy and water efficiency. Some businesses may be able to tap into forms of financial support depending on their project, and there is research and development type grants for those who have an innovating energy saving idea they’d like to market.

The scheme is free of charge. A specialist advisor will come out to your business and take you through an on-site audit and carbon footprint analysis drawing up an action plan. If further intervention is required they will guide you to the right additional sector support where potential grants and loans may be available.

Call the Chamber Low Carbon team on 01254 356487  or register here on their website.

To help you start saving money in your business, here are some tips for no-cost and low-cost energy efficiency measures which are easy to carry out.

1. Controlling the heating

Tempting as it may be to turn up the thermostat dial every time you pass it, that little nudge could cost you dearly when it comes to bill time. Instead of turning it up, try pulling on another layer of clothing. When was the boiler last serviced? Are your radiators the correct btu for the room? Does your business space have insulation? Check your thermostat is not adjacent to areas in the sun or draughts which can affect its sensitivity.  If it’s a remote unit, double- check that it is temperature controlling the right area.

2. Encouraging your Staff

From switching lights off, to pulling on a jumper, keeping active to keeping the doors closed, include your Staff when appreciating the costs to the business that energy brings can bring about. Encourage ideas and suggestions. There is Government guidance for Staff welfare when it comes to warmth make sure you are complying. Maybe you could provide your staff with a business-branded top to help keep them warm, and to show them you appreciate their support in a joint need to make the business more sustainable in all areas.

3. On and Off

A typical desktop computer is around 140 watts, which is the equivalent of 0.14kWh. That means that if the computer is running for eight hours a day, it would cost 56p a day to operate or 7p an hour. It might be an idea to check out all your appliances and assess how much electricity each uses by using a power meter plug. If you’ve not done so already swap your light bulbs for more energy-efficient ones. Remove the fan heater for something more efficient. Check your lease agreement, is your Landlords lack of maintenance costing you money, and what is your responsibility? Create a checklist so at the end of each day you ensure the power-draining devices are switched off, not on standby wherever possible.

4. Check your bills

When was the last time you negotiated your energy prices with your supplier? It could be time to renegotiate. The Govt also brought about the Energy Bill Relief Scheme to protect all consumers. These schemes provide energy bill relief for non-domestic customers in Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI). Discounts are being applied to energy usage at source initially between 1 October 2022 and 31 March 2023 so don’t be caught out by the price hikes come March, discuss with an expert. There are numerous local and national energy specialists, the Fylde borough has several companies offering this service, keep it local and ask a local business for some energy bill advice too.

5. Seek Sector Specialist Support

Perhaps you are a larger business or manufacturer and would benefit from advice on improved production processes and resource efficiency? The Chamber Low Carbon team can guide you to find the pinch points in your business’s efficiencies including time, energy, waste, supply chain and finances, and help you to plan the integration of energy and sustainability management into your organisation.

Do keep on eye on our website for futher information on the Energy Crisis, and sign up to receive our business newsletter which commences in early 2023.