As more businesses reopen as we move through phases two and three of the Roadmap for reopening society and businesses many companies are taking the opportunity to take stock and  review their business and become more efficient. 

According to Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), the average SME could reduce its energy bill by up to 30% by implementing energy-efficiency measures. Some investment may be needed to achieve the full savings however, you can generally have payback in about 18 months.  

The SEAI has a range of grants available to help your business save on energy costs.

Get your lights right  

  • Sensors are particularly useful in toilet facilities and break-out areas – occupancy sensors alone can cut energy use from lighting by 30%.  
  • External flood light can be expensive. A single 500w flood light will cost around €250 a year if it’s left on for 12 hours overnight.  
  • Switch to LED lights or high frequency T5 fluorescent lights. These can save 45% in energy costs compared to T8 and T12 tubes. And switching your halogen light bulbs to LEDs can cut your lighting costs by up to 80%. 

Look after your heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC)  

  • Regular maintenance of your HVAC system will lead to cost savings in the long run as units will last longer and require few repair costs.  
  • Use fans. Moving air can make higher temperatures feel more comfortable and reduce the need for air conditioning. It is a much cheaper alternative to air conditioning, which can double your energy bill. Make sure to turn off the air conditioning in meeting rooms when meetings are over. 

Programme your thermostats 

  • Making small adjustments to how long your heat is on, and to the thermostat settings can have a sizeable impact on your bill. Set your heating at 19°C (18°C is fine for corridors and storerooms) and cooling set at 24°C or higher. Be mindful of your thermostats if you have different working hours at the weekend. 
  • Invest in smart thermostats which can be controlled remotely giving you access to your HVAC settings 24/7 – savings at your fingertips. 

Energy audit 

  • An energy audit is a review of your company’s energy use. An audit involves a full inspection of your facility and all your equipment that consumes electricity. After the inspection, the auditor will make a series of energy-saving recommendations. To find a registered, independent energy auditor in your area, click here to see the full list on the SEAI website. Once you understand your usage, savings will follow.  

Weigh up your transportation costs 

  • If you have a fleet of vehicles on the road, check out whether electric vehicles (EVs) would work for your company. Electric vehicles are far cheaper to run and can be charged overnight using low-tariff electricity.  
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