Find out how small businesses can cope with the rising energy costs crippling the UK and the world, with helpful, practical tips that can be applied quickly and easily.
Household energy bills rose over 50% in April 2022 and will increase again in the future. These rising energy bills are also impacting business owners, who are seeing huge changes in their budgeting, with many SME’s facing a potential closure of the business based on things getting worse.
The soaring price of energy is occurring because of the perfect storm of different events combining to leave us where we are today. A very cold winter in Europe causing lots of people to use electricity and gas for heat, combined with a hot summer in Asia and more fans, air conditioning and other devices stretched the energy supply more than normal in 2021. Russia cannot export gas as it could before because of the Russia/ Ukraine war and many energy suppliers have not fully resumed services after the pandemic. Post covid global construction and growth has also surged. It is an unfortunate combination of more demand and less availability, leading costs of energy to soar in a way that has been quite unimaginable for domestic and business energy users alike.
Although things are precarious and challenging, there are still ways businesses can weather the storm, including the following:
Switch The Office For Local Self Storage
A long-term office contract is expensive, and the energy costs needed to keep it going are high. Sometimes you do need an office, but lots of businesses could actually ditch it for a local self storage unit instead. Self storage is flexible, it is secure, it comes in a range of sizes, and it can suit a range of business purposes. It can store your stock, store furniture so you can employ more staff, you can even use it for postal fulfillment. You could even use it just to downsize your office rather than get rid of it altogether, lowering your office rental costs without sacrificing storage space.
Switch The Warehouse For Local Self Storage
Just like offices, warehouses can be expensive to run. You can switch your warehouse storage for self storage and benefit from flexible, affordable rates that are much better than what you pay for your warehouse. Even better, your stock can likely benefit from climate control, something most self storage facilities offer. Additionally, many self storage facilities offer pick up and drop off services, as well as reception services that will take deliveries for you, echoing some of the benefits you might get from a warehouse contract but for a fraction of the price.
Do make sure you are accessing support that is available for you. It is changing all the time as the situation is changing all the time, but there are business discounts on offer to help specifically with energy bill payment, so it is worth checking to see what help is available for you.
Stay In Touch With Your Energy Providers
Don’t go AWOL if you are feeling snowed under by high energy bills. Your providers are much more likely to be amicable and help you if you stay in touch and explain your situation honestly. It’s also much better for your chances of staying in control if you can stay honest about your situation – as difficult as that can be sometimes.
Do The Little Things That Add Up
There are so many things that add up to making a difference to your energy bills. They may seem like they couldn’t possibly make an impact, but collectively they do. They include measures such as:
- Turning off computers overnight, including central systems if possible
- Keep the heating down overnight
- Switch all bulbs to efficient bulbs
- Add water saving devices to toilets and showers
- Make rounds of drinks, rather than having the kettle going off separately every five minutes
Invest In Insulation
If there are areas where you can insulate properties, business buildings etc, you should. Insulating is incredibly effective at helping to ensure that heating is efficient, and in some instances even if you rent, you can have certain types of insulation done for a lower cost or free, as long as permission from the landlord is sought.
With all the busy going on of running a business it is so easy to forget to actively question the energy providers that you use. In fact, if you did, would you find out there are better deals to be had elsewhere? Why not shop around and see if there is money to be saved by choosing another provider? There are special services you can use to not only check for you now, but put you on alerts if better deals come around, too.
Reduce Your Carbon Emissions
There are lots of incentives by the Government for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and boost their green kudos. This can relate to insulating, to their recycling schemes and to using green technology. It’s changeable, but it is worth looking into as it could mean you get some extra financial support at a time you really need it.
You Can Get Through This Challenge – There Are Better Times Ahead
Times are very challenging at the moment for businesses all across the world. Many have struggled to some through the covid-19 pandemic fairing well, and are now faced with the cost of living crisis and rising energy costs making things even harder.
Right now, it is important to stay on top of things, face them honestly and to look at every possible option for improving your situation. Utilise local self storage, speak to energy providers, be energy efficient, get every bit of financial support you possibly can. With hard work and a lot of effort you can get through this challenging time, and your business can continue to serve as an important part of the economy moving forward.