A guide to energy efficiency and cost savings in your workplace

The H&F Climate Alliance team has put together this guide with tips and advice about how to reduce your energy consumption.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) could reduce their energy bills by 18 to 25% by installing energy efficiency measures and implementing behavioural change.

If the average SME energy bill was £4,000 in 2020, it could rise to £10,000 in 2022. Installing energy efficiency measures could result in savings of £1,800 to £2,500 per year.

Quantifying the absolute cost savings of implementing energy efficiency measures is difficult as there are many factors to consider, such as the size of the business, the size and type of the building, the source of heating and how much heating and cooling is used.

Simply put, it’s difficult to know exactly how much a business can save because they are all so different: a high street hairdressing salon does not consume electricity and use heat in the same way as a canned food manufacturing plant.

We recommend businesses carry out an energy audit for accurate recommendations on carbon efficiency measures and cost savings. Fulham-based Advantage Utilities can help with this.

However, there are initiatives all businesses can take to save money on energy bills whilst tackling climate change.


Heating is usually the most significant energy cost in a workplace, accounting for up to 40% of energy use in a non-domestic building.

Heating and air conditioning

Make sure heating and air conditioning systems are not in use at the same time.

  • Check that employee desks aren’t too close or too far from radiators and air conditioning.
  • Keep external doors and windows closed when using air conditioning to prevent warm air from getting into the building.

Install smart controls

  • Set the heating in offices to 19°C and cooling at 24°C or higher. The temperature in corridors, storerooms and areas of higher physical activity can be set lower than 19°C.
  • Turning off air conditioning and heating when meeting rooms are not in use.
  • Make sure timers are set to the right date to make sure rooms are not heated or cooled during weekends or public holidays.

Prevent heat loss by stopping draughts

Seal unused doors and windows (excluding emergency exits) and fit draught-proofing measures such as excluders where drafts are identified, such as windows and external doors.

Consider smart windows

Low-emissivity (low-e) stops heat coming through windows from radiation.

Low-e coatings on glass control heat transfer within the insulated glazing. Windows manufactured with low-e coatings typically cost about 10 to 15% more than regular windows, but they reduce energy loss by as much as 30 to 50%.


Many rooms in the workplace are often lit unnecessarily leading to high energy costs and carbon emissions.

Use energy saving light bulbs 

Halogen bulbs use around five times more energy than LEDs. Switching to LEDs is an easy win, with the potential to reduce lighting costs by as much as 85 to 90%.

Find out more about LED lighting for your business:

Switch to motion sensor lights

Automatically turn off lights when meeting rooms are not in use. Consider timed switches, movement sensors and daylight sensors to reducing lighting costs.

Work natural light in your favour

Consider vertical window blinds, which let in more light (and heat) than horizontal ones when open or closed, such as brise soleil.

Alternatively, you can also opt for curtains and blinds with white backing to reflect light away and keep buildings cooler.

Office equipment

Turning off and optimising your electrical office equipment can help you waste less energy.

Turn devices off and enable power saving modes

Remember to turn off monitors and devices that might be left on standby at the end of the day.

Shutdown equipment

You can set office equipment, such as printers, to automatically shut down when not in use.

Optimise the brightness of monitors

Not only will this waste less energy but it can also reduce screen-induced headaches (NHS.UK).

Switch to laptops

Laptops use less energy than desktop computers since they have smaller components and can run on their battery without needing to be plugged into a wall. 

Manufacturing and production equipment

The Energy Saving Trust recommends you:

  • switch off motors during breaks and lunch
  • turn off all machines such as fans, pumps and conveyors at the end of the day
  • label switches correctly so staff know which operating machinery they can turn off and how to do it correctly
  • optimise the speed of equipment to save up to half its energy consumption
  • listen for leaks in compressed air pipes
  • change air filters regularly.

Kitchen equipment

The Energy Saving Trust recommends you:

  • keep doors closed
  • switch off lights inside cooled spaces when not needed
  • don’t overfill refrigeration units
  • defrost freezers regularly
  • repair door seals
  • make sure there is space around refrigeration unit vents to allow air to be drawn in and expelled.

Bigger changes equal bigger savings

Some bigger changes that may help to significantly reduce your energy bill.

Insulate your buildings

Insulation will create the largest savings on your energy bills.

Consider the following:

  • are hot water tanks, boilers and pipes insulated?
  • are existing cavity walls insulated?

Install rooftop solar PV

Solar PV is not a quick win and required upfront capital, but it will save your business a lot of money over its equipment lifetime at current energy prices.

Myth busters

Myth: It's cheaper to leave the heating on low all day.

Fact: Having the heating on only when you need it is, in the long run, is the best way to save energy, and therefore money.

Myth: Turning lights off and back on uses more energy than leaving them on all the time.

Fact: It’s always best to turn them off when not required, even if it’s just for a short time.

Myth: Devices on standby and chargers left switched on in wall sockets do not use eletricity.

Fact: Even when not in use, devices on standby and chargers left in the socket still use small amounts of electricity.

Behaviour change and workforce engagement

  • Ensure employees are aware of the cost of wasted heat and air conditioning costs.
  • Ensure employees are aware of their responsibility to turn off lights when they leave a room
  • Inform employees that the thermostat should be turned down before opening windows
  • Encourage staff to turn off monitors and computers at the plug when they leave and avoid standby.
  • Identify a member of staff to take responsibility for heating, air conditioning and lighting controls

Workshops and trainings through the Carbon Trust and CIBSE

Still struggling to save money on your energy bills?

Further advice and reading that may help you save money on your energy bills.

H&F Climate Alliance

Interested in how your business can help tackle climate change?

The H&F Climate Alliance brings together organisations from across the borough to work on climate action together and learn from each other.

Find out more about how we can help you measure and reduce carbon emissions and meet likeminded organisations and enquire about joining the H&F Climate Alliance.

Free energy audit for your workplace

H&F have partnered with Fulham based business Advantage Utilities, to provide free energy efficiency advice to small businesses.

Their audit service can help you switch to a cheaper tariff, get support for large and small energy efficiency improvements and more.

For more information email Sam Ridley at sam.ridley@lbhf.gov.uk

Visit our cost-of-living crisis page

Find out about support and advice available for you and your employees on our cost-of-living crisis page.

Claim capital allowances for energy efficient equipment

You can claim ‘enhanced capital allowances’ (a type of first year allowances) for electric cars and cars with zero CO2 emissions (new and unused).

Claim first year capital allowances (GOV.UK)

The Carbon Trust guides and resources for businesses

The Carbon Trust has published a range of free guides and resources to help SMEs and start-ups tackle net zero, energy efficiency, and carbon reduction.

Net zero

Energy management

Sector based


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