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Blog Post 28 February 2022 Updated 10 May 2024

A guide to energy efficiency for employees

With energy bills and operational costs rising, introducing measures to reduce energy use within your business could save you money and improve your sustainability credentials.

According to research from the Department of Energy & Climate Change, the average small and medium sized enterprise (SME) could reduce its energy bill by up to 25% by installing energy efficiency measures and implementing behavioural change. This is especially true for offices and retail spaces.

By installing low and no-cost energy efficiency measures, such as LED lighting or smart timers, your organisation could start to save energy and reduce costs. Benefits of installing energy efficiency measures include:

  • A more comfortable work environment.
  • Reduced energy bills.
  • Increased profitability.
  • Reduced exposure to future energy price rises.
  • Reduced carbon footprint.

There are many low and no cost actions that can make a difference – your organisation may be doing some of them already. Once you’ve reviewed and incorporated any action that work for you, you’ll be able to reduce energy bills, improve relationships with your employees, reduce your exposure to future energy price increases, and identify where bigger investments could results in greater savings.

Housekeeping and maintenance

Identify places where energy efficiency could be improved by conducting a regular walk-around of your workplace and operations. As energy use will change throughout the day, it’s useful to vary and note the times that these checks are carried out, to give you a better overview of how much energy is being used throughout the day. These could take place:

  • At the start and end of the working day.
  • During operational hours.
  • Just before a weekend or holiday period.
  • After starting an energy efficiency staff awareness campaign.

Your boiler and air conditioning will require regular maintenance to keep costs down in the long-term and prevent future repair bills. Boilers can be checked to make sure  they stop firing when the thermostat or timer is shut off and air conditioning units have air filters that may need replacing if they’re too dusty.

Checking your older lighting and replacing with LED’s or timers is another quick fix you should keep an eye on.

Download our energy walkaround checklist to give to staff to make sure you don’t miss anything.


Bills and meter readings

Checking energy bills and meter readings will help you understand the overall energy performance of your workplace and identify any spikes in energy use. You’ll also be able to compare with previous years and build a picture of your seasonal energy use pattern.

Recording meter readings or collating bills regularly will help you see any fluctuations and report on improvements. Your energy consumption will probably look similar to the working hours on the graph below, courtesy of Transition Bath.


We recommend creating an emissions inventory for your organisation that lists each operation, service and product from highest to lowest emissions. This will allow you to see which areas use the most energy, whether its electricity, gas, oil, maintenance or water.

Get competitive quotations from several suppliers before your billing period ends. If your business is struggling to pay energy bills, you should contact your supplier as soon as possible. Suppliers may be able to create a payment plan that is more affordable and save you the hassle of switching. You can also ask for a breakdown of payments, more time to pay or even access to hardship funds.

The UK Government also provides grants and energy reviews to help businesses manage energy costs through its finance and business support finder. Local councils might offer small sustainable business growth grants in your area, while some charities offer grant search services or access to business funds.

Engaging employees

There are many ways businesses can engage and educate their staff on how to save energy while working from home and in the office. This can take the form of sustainability workshops or internal communications, giving both examples and benefits of saving energy to reduce fuel bills, as well as personal and business carbon footprints. Content could include tips to reduce draughts and how to maximise home heating at different times of the day.

Reminding staff to turn off lights or turning everything off standby (which could save them up to £55 a year at home) when they’re not working may seem insignificant, but the savings add up over time.

You could also involve all staff with an internal energy efficiency campaign. Asking employees for suggestions will gather a better response and encourage a sense of shared ownership for those involved. Posters, stickers, staff briefings or even a section at the end or your internal newsletter can be powerful tools in promoting energy efficiency. Keep your teams updated and acknowledge good practice.

What’s next?

Draw up an action plan for your organisation. This should be a simple schedule of the improvements that need to be made, when they will be made, and the person responsible.

Create an FAQ document and business case to ensure staff buy-in. Try to avoid starting an energy efficiency campaign during busy periods where most staff are pre-occupied with work. With these small steps, you’ll have the boost you need to start and maintain your organisation’s energy efficiency journey.

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Last updated: 10 May 2024