Construction sites, non-essential shops, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, barbers, dental practices and offices will open at different rates all over UK depending on the risk of coronavirus spread. For the latest updates please visits the Government’s coronavirus business support pages here.
The pandemic has put a strain on all aspects of life, including financial. Luckily there are some simple steps below we can take to avoid overpaying on energy bills. These are steps for all small businesses; whether your businesses has been open for weeks, or it opened very recently or it is still not open:
1) Take a meter reading!
Most homes & businesses are billed on estimated usage and if you have not been occupying your business premises then it is likely your actual usage will be much lower than the estimated reading.
2) Unplug unnecessary electrical devices
For example if you have an office fridge for lunches and milk you could unplug this if you do not expect to use it in the near future.
3) Adjust to your new capacity
Bars, Restaurants & Cafes: if you are not running at normal capacity and you would normally run several fridges and have a reduced stock you could consider reducing the number of running fridges.
4) Lighting & timers
Check there are no unnecessary lights left on; this is bad for your energy bills and the planet. If are leaving lights on for security purposes make sure you have put them on timers. Many businesses also leave signs saying ‘No cash/merchandise not left on premises’ which may be a good idea if appropriate for your business.
5) Heating controls
Adjust heating controls: when lockdown hit in March, many of us may not have adjusted thermostat lighting timers by then. Now that we are well into the summer months make sure your heating controls reflect the summer climate. If your business opening hours are changing to reflect the pandemic, make sure your timers are adjusted too.
6) Keeping cool in the heat
If you struggle to keep items in your business/shop cool in the summer months and have to use air con and fans to achieve this consider:
- Blinds or alternative good shading
- Moving the stock or items to a cooler location if possible
- You can read our blog on ‘How to Protect Your Home From Overheating’ for advice.
7) Consider a canopy
Keeping your door shut typically keeps your shop/business cool from the warmer air outside in summer. Many business will be unable to do this now in order to minimise public contact and spread of the virus. You could consider a canopy to shade the front of your shop and keep it cool this summer.
8) Do a price comparison and consider switching
You could be overpaying and missing out on a cheaper tariff. Click here for advice on switching suppliers as a small business.
9) Energy bill struggles?
If your small business is struggling or may struggle to pay its energy bills click here for advice.
10) Final tip: be scam aware.
If you receive an energy bill that looks suspicious check it is legitimate with your supplier. There are useful tips to avoid energy scams here.
By Louise Hyde