The Derby and Derbyshire Energy Efficiency Team give advice to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Derby and Derbyshire on how to reduce energy use and save money. A small number of grants are also available for businesses in Derby for energy saving measures.
The sections below give an idea of where to start and links to further information.
Switching from fluorescent, halogen or metal halide / SON lighting to LED can reduce energy use by up to 70%. LED lights also emit less heat (reducing air conditioning costs) and provide better quality light.
Even better savings can be achieved by using daylight and occupancy controls, so that lights are off when not needed. Simple steps like labelling switches to help staff know which lights can be switched off and which should stay on can also save energy.
Draughty and poorly insulated buildings cost far more to heat, can be bad for staff morale and may not meet statutory Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards. Improvements include:
For a workshop or warehouse with a high ceiling, installing recirculation fans will move warm air back to the shop floor and can reduce energy use by 25%.
Ensure that windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling systems are in use and set a ‘dead-band’ of 4-5 degrees between heating and cooling to prevent systems from operating simultaneously.
Heating controls should be used so that the building is only heated when occupied. Automatic heating controls are suitable for buildings where:
Controls usually pay back their investment within a couple of years.
Installing optimum start/stop and weather compensation controls will enable automatic adjustment of your heating system in line with the weather and can often provide a 10% efficiency improvement.
A-rated boilers can achieve efficiencies of 90% or more compared to 60-70% for older generation boilers.
Most office equipment will have standby and sleep settings, which reduce power use after a period of non-use. However, according to the Carbon Trust, office equipment left on standby during bank holidays and weekends could cost small and medium sized office based businesses a significant amount over the course of a year, so switching equipment off regularly is still important.
Wasted energy from process equipment can be tackled, for example by:
For most companies, purchasing energy from renewable sources is more cost effective than investing in on-site generation. However, in some cases the payback period for renewable technology such as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is very good, particularly if the premises have un-shaded south facing roof space.
Businesses based in Derby or Derbyshire may be eligible for a free energy visit from the D2EE team, to assess current energy use and make recommendations on energy saving measures. Contact the team to find out more.