Quick business energy wins Making your business as energy efficient as possible and reducing the amount of energy you use is one of the most effective ways of reducing your fuel bills and helping to mitigate climate change. fit draught-proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors to stop heat escaping always turn off the lights and electronic appliances that don’t need to be on avoid leaving equipment such as computer screens on standby and remember not to leave appliances, such as mobile phones, on charge unnecessarily activate sleep modes on equipment where possible use natural light as much as possible review your thermostat settings, turning the thermostat down by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10% consider increasing the set point for your air conditioning and keep doors and windows closed when it is running take regular meter readings and monitor your usage, this can be easier with smart meters ask employees to move away from single occupancy car use and try sustainable travel alternatives: car sharing, walking, cycling, and public transport Support from energy companies If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, contact your supplier as soon as possible. They can work with you to agree a payment plan you can afford under Ofgem rules. You can ask for: a review of your payments and debt repayments payment breaks or reductions more time to pay access to hardship funds Many energy companies offer schemes or grants to help you improve your business energy efficiency, which can reduce costs. For example, subsidies on the upfront costs for more energy-efficient equipment. They may also offer business hardship funds. Meters Smart meters are next-generation gas and electricity meters, and as well as being available at no upfront cost, they offer a number of benefits over traditional meters. They offer automated meter reading, and end to estimated bills and live in-home display of your energy use and costs. For more information, visit: Smart meters Don’t have a smart meter? We have a quick guide on how to read your meter Support schemes Low Carbon Workspaces offers small and medium-sized businesses grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to cover up to a third of the cost of making energy improvements Environmental taxes, reliefs, and schemes for businesses from GOV.UK encourage different types and sizes of business to operate in a more environmentally friendly way Bedfordshire Green Business Network helps businesses reduce their impact on the environment Local case studies Kempston Hammers Sports and Social Club Go Electric! In Summer 2022, the Council alongside the Energy Saving Trust organised a short online briefing on electric vehicles (EVs) so that Bedfordshire businesses can understand the options, benefits and support that is available. You can watch the webinar here. Renewable Energy Generation By generating renewable energy instead of using conventional energy sources (fossil fuels), you can reduce the amount of CO2 your business produces. It may be possible to generate a significant proportion of your heat or electricity requirements from renewable technologies. Other advice Ofgem Ofgem has lots of advice for businesses on switching energy supplier, paying energy bills and business energy efficiency grants. Energy Saving Trust Guide to energy efficiency for employees. Guide to energy efficiency in the workplace. Advice on helping businesses reduce transport costs and lower emissions. Smart Export Guarantee By generating renewable energy instead of using conventional energy sources (fossil fuels), you can reduce the amount of CO2 your business produces. It may be possible to generate a significant proportion of your businesses heat or electricity requirements from renewable technologies. The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a support mechanism designed to ensure small-scale generators are paid for the renewable electricity they export to the grid. You may be eligible to apply if you have one of the following renewable energy generating technologies: solar PV Panels a wind turbine hydro anaerobic digestion (AD) micro combined heat and power (micro-CHP) Solar Together Bedfordshire Bedford Borough residents and local businesses are being encouraged to find out more about a scheme that could help them lower their energy bills and reduce their carbon emissions. Solar Together Bedfordshire is a group-buying scheme that helps households get a reduced price on the installation of solar panels and battery storage. It’s free to register, and there is no obligation to accept the personal recommendation. The more people that register, the better bargaining power Solar Together has to get you a more competitive price.