Winter is upon us and thoughts are naturally turning to the rising costs of energy at this time of year, and the need to keep business premises warm through the coming months. Much research has taken place into strategies for combatting these rising costs and at UHL we are keen to keep abreast of all such developments, and use those findings as part of our service to our many customers.
One idea that particularly grabbed our attention was to empower the workforce to themselves become proactive in the process of energy saving. We have distilled that research into five simple steps, helping you to manage energy costs through the winter months:
Create an energy policy for your business
Be public, and explicit, about your strategy as a business that’s efficient with energy use, and your commitment to helping both the sustainability of the business and the wider environment. Publish this policy, either online on a company forum, or even print and distribute the policy as you see fit. Such a policy might include the overarching company strategy, but also advice as to what employees might do to assist, for instance in terms of powering down computers at night, and turning off lights when they leave the premises.
Get the staff involved
For any small to medium enterprise to meaningfully make changes to energy policy and enjoy the benefits that might accrue from such changes, everyone has to be in it, together. Use staff meetings and newsletters to disseminate the company’s new strategy for energy efficiencies, and be clear that this relates to everyone in the business… from Chairman to office cleaner. That way, you are clear that this is a company strategy that involves a change in behaviour from everyone, and a pressing need to take seriously the impact of rising energy use, and costs. And then be equally public about the savings you have made, and the impact that is having on both costs, and the environment.
Incentivise the workforce
All the best, and most successful, businesses are at their core a family, and each and every member of that family should be encouraged to do what they can to help the energy efficiency of the wider company and create an environmentally-friendly space in which to operate. Equally, employees should be rewarded for best practice. You might demonstrate your commitment to this new policy, for instance, and resulting energy efficiencies, by truly incentivising your workforce to do what they can to assist. From powering down PCs, even at lunchtimes, to not overfilling the kettle when making the mid-morning brew, if everyone does what they can then the company will save money, and some of that money might be returned to the employees doing the best.
Turn this process into a fun competition
If staff members are incentivised, the process of energy saving can be turned into a competition. You might, for instance, offer prizes for the best suggestion to save energy, or reward staff members who go out of their way to do their ‘bit’ to help the business and the environment. Equally, departments might be pitted against one another to find out which one has the best ideas for energy saving, which in itself might well further engender the buzz of competition, with teams looking to out-do one another, in a competitive (but fun!) environment.
Appoint an Energy Tsar
Appoint someone from the company to be the designated ‘Energy Tsar’. This person, perhaps someone with an interest in environmental matters, would be empowered with the responsibility of creating ideas for better energy efficiency. In addition, they can be entrusted with the role of sourcing, and implementing, energy saving ideas from the workforce… working as a kind of energy champion for the business, managing all the different ways the business is going to save energy, save money, and help save the environment. The Energy Tsar can also take on a communications role, in terms of feeding back to both management and the workforce what steps are being taken to improve the energy efficiency of the business, establishing targets as a way of creating a strategy for energy efficiency.
Taking on board these ideas, if everyone pulls together – from the management to the shop floor – the whole company can feel they are working, as one, to improve the energy efficiency of the business, and help the future of both the company and the wider environment.
With the added assistance of UHL to source best rates, it’s a win win! Contact us today to make a real difference to your energy expenditure.