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3 solutions to reduce your company's energy consumption

Updated: Feb 29

The tertiary sector is the one where energy consumption has increased the most in recent years. Making energy savings in your company will therefore have a dual impact: it will enable you to optimise your energy costs while protecting the environment! Energy is one of the biggest sources of financial expenditure for businesses. At the same time, all businesses need to embark quickly on an energy transition programme to reduce their carbon footprint and combat global warming. The emergence of terms like GTC (Gestion Technique Centralisée) or GTB (Gestion Technique des Bâtiments) bear witness to this. Finally, reducing your energy consumption will also have an impact on your company's CSR strategy and employer brand. Companies that don't take action on this issue could find it hard to recruit!

Heating, air conditioning, lighting, electronic equipment, etc. are all sources of energy consumed daily in the workplace that can easily be optimised. Here are 3 effective solutions for drastically reducing your company's energy bill, while making significant energy savings for the good of our planet!

Know your energy consumption and track it over time

The first step in reducing your energy costs is an energy performance audit or diagnostic. This will give you an exact breakdown of your energy consumption in heating, air conditioning, lighting and electricity for electronic equipment. This will enable you to identify the energy sources that consume the most energy in your business, so that you can put in place an action plan aimed at better forecasting and managing your consumption in order to reduce the elements that have the greatest impact.

In particular, the energy audit can encourage you to carry out renovation work if your premises are not well insulated, or to carry out preventive maintenance on your equipment on a more regular basis, in order to effectively reduce energy wastage in the long term! Investing in new, more energy-efficient equipment is another way of optimising your energy consumption: more efficient heating systems, laptops instead of fixed computers, low-energy light bulbs such as LEDs, presence detectors for lighting in corridors, bathrooms or stairwells, etc. Switching to renewable energy sources may also be the best solution. Bear in mind that all these investments will be significant in the short term, but that they will more than pay for themselves in the long term!

However, a one-off energy audit will not be enough to reduce your energy costs. According to a study by the CNRS(1), monitoring your energy consumption over time can reduce it by 23%! In fact, if you can consult it in real time, it will encourage you to reduce the use of certain appliances that are not used or are used too much.

So don't wait until you receive your monthly energy bill to find out how much energy you're using. Instead, get a tool that allows you to track and view your consumption at any time, in real time! There are a host of tools available, including Green Systèmes, Izypeo Énergie, Advizeo and Aree Building de Inneasoft.

Adopt good habits on a daily basis to reduce your energy costs

It's possible to optimise your energy consumption while maintaining your performance through simple everyday actions that you can involve your employees in to prevent energy wastage.

Save on heating in your buildings

Did you know that heating is the most common source of energy used by businesses? On average, it accounts for 50% of a business building's energy costs (2). In winter, heating is essential for the comfort of your employees. However, by taking a few steps on a daily basis, you can quickly and effectively reduce your heating bills while preserving the well-being of your employees!

The French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) recommends heating your business premises to a temperature of between 19 and 21°C. Bear in mind that lowering the temperature by 1°C can reduce energy consumption by 7%! In addition, identify areas that don't need to be heated, such as storage areas, halls and staircases.

Also remember to :

  • make sure there are no objects in front of the radiators, so as not to impede the proper distribution of heat,

  • only ventilate when the heating is off, otherwise you will be using too much energy,

  • do not heat the premises outside opening hours, at night, at weekends, on public holidays or during the holidays.

Reduce air conditioning

Air conditioning can account for up to 20% of a company's energy costs. As with heating in winter, air conditioning can be essential in summer when the heat is intense. However, it is important to use air conditioning responsibly, without neglecting the comfort of your employees.

Fans should be used if the outside temperature is below 26°C: they consume 50 times less energy than air conditioners(3). Avoid setting the air conditioning to more than 4°C above the outside temperature to optimise your energy consumption and avoid falling ill! Also, air your premises at the coolest times of the day, i.e. in the morning and evening. Finally, lower the blinds during the hottest hours of the day, especially during lunch breaks.

Optimising the use of electronic equipment

Computers, screens, printers, photocopiers, etc. are also important sources of energy for your business. Contrary to popular belief, standby mode is not the way to go, as it still consumes far too much energy. For example, a photocopier consumes 80% of its energy in standby mode! So it's best to switch off your equipment completely at the end of the working day. However, standby mode is beneficial in terms of energy consumption during brief periods of inactivity. We recommend that you set it automatically on your employees' computers.

Get power strips with switches so you can switch off several devices at once. In addition, make your employees aware of the need to reduce the brightness of their screens and not to leave their chargers plugged in unnecessarily.

Save money on your company's lighting

Lighting is the second biggest source of energy consumption in the workplace. However, there are a few simple things you can do on a daily basis to make easy savings:

  • Favour natural light wherever possible,

  • turn off lights in unoccupied rooms,

  • turn off lights whenever you leave a room.

Raising your employees' awareness of the need to reduce energy consumption

Raising your teams' awareness of energy efficiency is often a key factor in success... You absolutely must encourage your employees to adopt the good habits mentioned above! To do this, it's vital to communicate with your employees on the subject: put up posters in strategic places in your company or organise events to raise awareness of the need to adopt these eco-gestures.

You won't be able to reduce your company's energy consumption without the involvement of your employees: it's everyone's business!

Making energy savings with BMS

Have you ever heard of the terms BMS (Building Technical Management)? These are computer systems capable of supervising and controlling all the equipment installed in a commercial building. This includes heating, air conditioning, lighting and electrical equipment! Their aim is to optimise a building's comfort, well-being, safety and energy and environmental performance by harnessing a wide range of data via a centralised platform.

This initiative can involve installing sensors to measure the number of people in your offices, which will give you the occupancy rates of your different areas at given periods. Some counting solutions, such as Affluences, can be integrated into the BMS system, which can then programme the temperature according to how busy your offices are!

For example, if 50 people are counted in the open space at 2pm in winter (when there were only 30 in the morning), the temperature inside the building will automatically rise. The BMS system will therefore reduce the heating in order to balance the temperature and save energy!

These are easy-to-install systems that will reduce your energy consumption and help protect the environment!

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