June 5, 2014 11.23 am This story is over 88 months old

Six tips to reduce summer energy costs

Greener summer: Andrew Jackson from Sustain Lincolnshire explains how to save energy over summer.

With warmer weather just around the corner, businesses should be looking to make energy savings and reduce their environmental impact this summer. By simply tweaking everyday habits, reducing energy waste and embracing green technologies, they can save hundreds of pounds over the year.

Summer’s weather not only means workers can finally shut off the heating and breathe in some fresh air by opening windows, but it also provides business owners an opportunity to save on electricity bills by installing solar panels.

Many people don’t know this, but with the number of daylight hours increasing during the summer months, solar panels can generate nearly 10 times the amount electricity during May, June and July than they can in the winter – making them the perfect energy saving option during warmer weather.

Embracing sustainability and reducing waste doesn’t need to be difficult. Just a few small changes can really help make a difference – so to help cuts costs and reduce energy use this summer, so here’s some top energy-saving tips to consider this year:

Open a window

Take advantage of natural ventilation whenever possible by opening windows and doors to increase air flow and cooling – but don’t forget to turn off any heating or cooling systems first!

Switch to solar power

Make the most of the sun by generating your own energy with Solar Photovoltaic panels. Not only will they help lower bills and your carbon footprint, but businesses can also receive payments for electricity generated via the government’s financial incentive – the Feed-in Tariff. Many companies now offer PV installation for free!

Walk or cycle to work

Get some fresh air and exercise before and after work by walking or cycling there, especially if the weather is nice. Try encouraging staff to use sustainable transport where possible for meetings and to take part in awareness weeks, like June’s Bike Week.

In addition, Lincolnshire County Council project `Access Lincs’ provides travel planning and grant funding opportunities for those walking or cycling to their job.

Insulate & treat your windows

Not only does insulation keep heat in, but it also keeps heat out during the summer months. You can prevent warm air from coming into the building and make the most of air conditioning by installing draft excluders around doorframes, as well as sealing windows.

You can also install window treatments, like solar control window films, to prevent heat gain through glass.

Watch your water use

Keep an eye on consumption while water is scarce and promote efficient use of H2O within your business. You might also consider installing a rainwater harvesting system if you use a lot of water for things like landscaping or vehicle wash down.

Be air conditioning conscientious

If air conditioning needs to be used, ensure that any heaters in the room are switched off and that controls are appropriately set using a ‘dead band’, where no heating or cooling is in use between 19 and 24°C.

Also, make sure to replace or clean air conditioning filters, as dirty ones restrict airflow, causing the system to run for longer periods of time. Clean filters can lower energy consumption by 5-15%.

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Andrew Jackson is an Environmental Consultant with Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT), the firm appointed as the Resource Efficiency Business Support provider for SUSTAIN Lincolnshire – an ERDF funded, county council led programme designed to help businesses become more resource efficient, while enhancing the county's circular economy.