With the cost of heating oil currently going through the roof and the wholesale price of gas set to follow in the same upwards direction is it not time to take stock of just how much the profitability of your business is being impacted by ever increasing energy bills?
One way to start the process is to compare your energy costs per square metre of floor space with a benchmark table of figures produced for a comparable building.
The procedure is called benchmarking and is the first step that can be carried out by any organisation before calling in the experts to delve deeper. All that’s needed to benchmark your premises is the previous 12 months energy bills (electricity, gas or oil) and to know the total floor area of the building.
By comparing your results with benchmarks for a similar type of building e.g. commercial offices, hotel or factory will provide you with a good indicator of whether your business is under or over performing in terms of its energy consumption. You may fine tune the process further by deriving a benchmark result for electricity consumption and another for fossil fuel (oil or gas). I recently carried out an energy audit for a commercial property where the result for fossil fuel was about half as much as the benchmark figure (good) but the result for electricity was about five times higher than what might reasonably be expected. In this instance a variety of measures were recommended to the client that might mitigate the high electricity bills which ranged from no-cost solutions like switching off computers at night time to others that would require capital investment such as upgrading the office lighting.
The Isle of Man Government run a Business Support Scheme within the Department of Economic Development which is dedicated to improving the energy efficiency of businesses established on the Island. The good part is that a validated project may be entitled to grant assistance for 50% of the total cost to carry out an energy audit and to implement the energy efficiency improvements (up to a maximum of £4,500 per qualifying project). With Government help like this to hand is it not time to take a closer look at those energy bills.