Next week (21 January) is Big Energy Saving Week – a chance for UK energy users to get advice and support on how to waste less and make big savings on gas and electricity bills.
Each year, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Citizens Advice join forces to reach more people. The key aim of the event is to support more energy users, particularly vulnerable consumers, to save money on their energy bills.
This year’s theme is ‘Check, Switch, Save’ a call to arms for consumers to switch their energy suppliers.
Although the Big Energy Saving Week is predominantly aimed at domestic energy users, there are opportunities for businesses to get involved.
Raise awareness in your office
One of the reasons why the Big Energy Saving Week’s success popular is because of the style of help that’s on offer. It’s a community-led initiative, with volunteers helping people feel more confident about saving money and energy.
Your business can help raise awareness among employees and anyone else that comes to the building by putting up posters, leaflets and booklets in public areas like waiting rooms and reception areas.
You can also share information in staff briefings or over mass emails. You could even give staff some time off their usual work so that they can use energy switching tools like comparison sites.
Make sure you follow up with staff to see if they save money by saving. It could make for a great case study or some media coverage.
Organise an event
A significant number of people mistakenly believe that they are already getting the best deal on their domestic energy tariff.
One important way of reaching these people is to provide local, face-to-face advice on reducing energy bills. Your business can contribute to this by hosting an event and to give people real life support.
Anyone is welcome to partner up with Citizens Advice and hold an event during Big Energy Saving Week.
Citizens Advice have lots of resources that you can order or download on their website to help run an event.
If you are a third sector organisation or community group, then you can apply for government funding to make a bigger impact, delivering energy help and advice to vulnerable energy customers.
Last year, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy made £1.7 million of funding available through the Big Energy Saving Network to support eligible organisations.
Promote your efforts
Whether you encourage your employees to switch and save or host an event, you can increase your impact by promoting your efforts on social media and in the local media.
A social site like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is the perfect place to share what’s going on in the office. Citizens Advice has a number of high-quality social media and digital graphics that you can use.
You can also send a press release and some photos to local media outlets to demonstrate your commitment to reducing energy and saving money.
Set an example
Just like with domestic energy, regularly switching your business energy supply is one of the best ways to save money.
And the easiest way to change your business energy supplier is to use an energy broker.
An energy broker will do the shopping around for you. They will speak to all the best suppliers and negotiate on your behalf to bring down annual gas and electricity rates.
Your business can also set an example by encouraging employees to bring down energy consumption.
Very simple changes like switching equipment off overnight and turning heating down by one degree can save hundreds of pounds per year and set an example for employees and visitors to follow.