The Energy Advice Line has urged firms to urgently implement workplace energy policies following a new survey that shows employee overtime is needlessly pushing up business electricity bills.
According to the research, many businesses remain fully lit, heated and air-conditioned after hours, even if there is only one employee left in the workplace.
The survey by energy supplier E.ON found the average SME employee works extra hours three days each week, and 22% say that most or the all of the lights are kept on even when they are the last person in the workplace.
The survey employees were confused about whose responsibility it was to switch off the lights. Most (62%) believe switching off the lighting and heating is the responsibility of the last person to leave the workplace. However, 23% believe it is the job of office managers, cleaners and security staff.
Only a small number of SMEs have timers on lights (5%), air conditioning (9%) or heating (25%).
Julian Morgan, managing director of the Energy Advice Line, the UK’s leading business electricity price comparison and switching service, said the survey proved how important it was for firms to have an energy policy.
“The results of this study show there’s confusion in most workplaces about whose job it is to ensure business electricity is not wasted, and that confusion is costing firms money,” Mr Morgan said.
“Business electricity is far too expensive to throw away. Firms need to ensure that there is a clear strategy to conserve this expensive resource, particularly after hours, and that every member of staff is clear about their responsibilities.
“Computers, lighting, heating, electrical equipment all eat up business electricity and most of it can be switched off after hours. Work out what can be turned off when, and make it clear to staff whose job it is to do this.
“This is the kind of thing that can easily be overlooked when business owners are busy running their organizations, but the savings that can be made are significant.”
Mr Morgan said as well as implementing a workplace energy strategy it was important for firms to regularly check that they were paying the cheapest possible price for their business energy.
Firms that failed to give timely notice to their suppliers that they were switching suppliers when their fixed price contracts ended could end up paying electricity tariffs 50% higher, or even more, than they would if they switched.
“Shopping the market and ensuring your workplace have an energy policy are both important ways to keep in control of your firm’s energy spend,” Mr Morgan said.
“This doesn’t have to be a difficult or time-consuming process if you use an independent and reputable switching service like the Energy Advice Line.
“We save our customers almost £1,000 a year by switching them to the best available deal from our panel of suppliers. And the service is free, so there’s nothing to lose.”
The Energy Advice Line is the UK’s leading business energy price comparison and switching service, and enables firms to compare the market for the best possible business energy deals at the touch of a button.
The service has a team of business experts who can give advice about business energy contracts and how to avoid expensive contract rollovers. For further information visit www.energyadviceline.org.uk