British Gas will today launch a new service designed to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) save the energy used after staff have left for the day. According to new research, businesses are spending up to £1 in every £2 of their electricity bills on powering an empty workplace.
By installing 6,000 smart meters in trial locations, British Gas was able to track SMEs’ energy use 24 hours a day. The results showed that 46 percent of business electricity use happens between 8am and 6pm, or outside of normal business hours.
Keeping shop window display lights on in closed shopping centres, lighting car parks at the weekend when no one is at work and leaving vending machines switched on in offices overnight and at weekends were all common examples of this inefficient electricity use.
British Gas hopes that by utilising its free ‘Business Energy Insight’ initiative, SMEs can keep track of when and where they are using electricity in order to save money on their energy bills. Businesses will also be advised on which energy efficiency measures could work best for them.
Dawn Ryan, from The Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), who was one of 100 customers who trialled the Business Energy Insight service, said: “Managing our costs has been our number one priority since the economic downturn. But before signing up to the trial, I had no idea of the amount of money I was wasting by not paying closer attention to my electricity bills. Business Energy Insight has opened my eyes to this.”