Energy audits: what are the benefits for SMEs?
With so many responsibilities to balance, it can be difficult for businesses to keep track of where and when they are using the most energy. But in order to reach a sustainable future, it is essential that businesses get to grips with their levels of consumption and begin to manage their consumption effectively. And with such a volatile energy market, controlling consumption has become even more vital.
Energy audits make this process simple. By collecting your energy data and looking at factors such as lighting, heating and air conditioning, audits can help you to identify areas where you could reduce your energy usage. By uncovering these insights, businesses could receive social, environmental and financial benefits.
As energy prices reach record highs, we know that SMEs are becoming increasingly concerned with the obstacles in front of them. And this is only set to increase over the winter period. Getting ahead of the auditing game will bring benefits and help to ease the burden that these companies currently face.
Here are some of the ways energy audits could benefit your business in the long run.
Not only do energy audits save on costs by identifying where energy is being wasted, they also help businesses to make the move towards a greener future. Without the information obtained through an audit, businesses could be consuming more energy than they need to, wasting money and pushing up their emissions.
Businesses are also facing pressure from stakeholders and government to become greener, as environmentalism takes centre stage in policy making and finance. Energy efficiency is one of the most practical ways to reduce your environmental footprint, and benefits your business – in both the long-term and short-term.
Reduce energy costs
Once you start reducing wasteful energy consumption, you will begin to reap financial rewards. Energy expenses often go unnoticed due to old appliances, inefficient technology or poor insulation. But becoming energy efficient could be as easy as switching to energy-saving light bulbs, or upgrading your air conditioning.
With smart metering you can look at your consumption, create budgets and set targets. Consider installing a building management system, which will enable you to see and control your energy use in real-time. Being proactive with your energy management can save you time and money further down the line.
Longer equipment lifespan
Upgrading to energy efficient equipment will mean that your sites perform better, and equipment will last longer. This is because your appliances won’t need to work as hard to provide the same level of performance.
Keeping equipment up-to-date will streamline your operations, leading to more efficient ways of working. This will enhance the overall productivity of your facilities, which will lead to profitability.
Complying with regulations
Once you have analysed the results of your energy audit, you can set realistic energy efficiency targets and establish a baseline to track your progress. It is essential that you put a strong foundation in place, on the basis of clear audit data, so you can effectively engage with compliance schemes.
Understanding your energy consumption, and associated carbon footprint, isn’t just about boosting your green reputation. Energy and carbon reporting schemes such as Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) and the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) are now mandatory for large companies. To stay compliant with these schemes, and prepare for future legislation, businesses should carry out regular energy audits.
At EIC, we understand the importance of keeping up-to-date with compliance. Aside from our auditing services, we offer a full review of your organisation to assess your legal obligations and compliance status. We can provide you with a Compliance Report:
- summarising our findings
- explaining the legislation, and
- outlining your next steps.
Mitigating risk is a part of every business strategy, no matter the size or scope. It is crucial for future growth, and provides a level of certainty.
An energy audit provides transparency and assurance, helping businesses to take control of their consumption and costs. And because it can boost compliance and brand reputation, it can also help to secure funding for your business.
Investors are now taking climate-related risks more seriously, and this includes the levels of emissions that your business releases into the atmosphere. The greener and more efficient your business, the more likely you will be to receive financial support from these investors.
How can we help?
We know that a better understanding of your carbon footprint leads to a better reputation, in an increasingly competitive market. Energy and carbon reporting schemes such as SECR and ESOS are mandatory for large companies. But most businesses have to comply with some level of reporting – and it pays to get ahead of the curve.
Carrying out regular audits will help you to comply with these schemes, and prepare for future legislation. Staying transparent and being pro-active is now essential for any business. You will avoid fines for non-compliance, and attract eco-conscious clients to your business.
Whether it be improving monitoring and targeting, introducing compliance regimes or working on smart procurement, EIC can provide the technical expertise needed for enterprises to maximise the benefit of an energy audit.
Get in touch today to find out how EIC can help you incorporate energy audits into your business strategy.
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