There are lots of little ways businesses can save money on their energy bills.  Turning off lights in empty rooms and only filling the kettle to the amount needed are two that are used in both businesses and homes.  But according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), almost a third of companies say that energy bills are one of the hurdles to growth for their company.

Perhaps one of the best ways to tackle this is to better understand where the energy goes.  Looking at the appliances and gadgets around the office that use the most energy can help you make changes and cut back those utility bills.

Surprising expenses

While there are doubtless items within the business that need to be kept running at all times, there are also lots of things that can use energy when they are on standby to surprising amounts.  One study found that a small business with 50 members of staff that leave computers on standby overnight waste around £200 a year.

And computers on standby may be one of the most well-known ones but there are other surprising energy expenses from devices not in action.  According to Gazprom Energy, some of the top offenders on an annual basis include:

  • Wireless router – £21.92
  • Laser printer – £18.26
  • iPad charger – £12.18
  • Modem – £6.09
  • Plasma TV – £4.87
  • Air freshener plugin – £4.87
  • Desktop computer – £3.65
  • Microwave – £3.04
  • Phone charger – £2.44
  • PC monitor – £2.44

All of this adds up to around £80 a year in wasted electricity and when you consider that you may have a multitude of these items around the business, the costs can be surprising.  While some of them may be necessary to keep in action such as the wireless router or modem, others such as a microwave or iPad charger definitely don’t need to be plugged in all of the time.

How to make the business energy efficient

That gentle buzz outside working hours would be the audible cost of money being wasted but there are ways to stop or at least dramatically reduce these costs.  The key is to create energy efficiency measures and get all staff on board with them.


Having a closing down routine at the end of the day is one suggestion.  A quick list of what needs to be turned off could be added just before the final locking up of the office for the day.  While it might take a few minutes, it could make a substantial saving in energy costs.

Looking at Internet of Things connected devices may work as well if done in the right way.  By having voice activated plugs and other devices, it would be easy to shut things off from the night from a central point.  It would require investment to set up but would definitely make savings over the medium and long term with the electricity no longer wasted – and it would take staff much less time to run through the process.