Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Energy efficiency tips for different types of business

Energy efficiency - top tips

You can take specific additional measures to improve energy efficiency, depending on your business type.

Manufacturing businesses might look at:

  • fitting more energy efficient motors and ensuring those not in use are switched off
  • using variable-speed drives (inverters) on motors - you may be able to claim an enhanced capital allowance
  • ensuring compressed air systems are well-maintained and run at minimum pressure
  • disabling unused air pipes and setting systems to switch off automatically
  • changing work schedules to maximise on the full capacity of equipment like heating tanks and ovens, instead of running half loads.

Carbon Trust: Energy Energy efficiency guides

Warehousing businesses could investigate:

  • improving insulation
  • lighting systems and controls
  • replacing hot air heating systems with radiant heaters, which heat people and objects directly
  • installing rubber seals around 'docking bays' to reduce the need to open large access doors for delivery and loading.

Office-based businesses should ensure that:

  • monitors are switched off during breaks and energy-saving modes are enabled
  • screensavers are disabled - they're a waste of energy
  • lights are only switched on when needed - consider automatic lighting controls
  • heating and air conditioning systems are well controlled and never allowed to 'compete'.

Transport and distribution businesses should make sure that they:

  • are using fuel-efficient vehicles and 'greener' types of fuel, such as biodiesel
  • plan routes, looking for return loads
  • encourage drivers to use more efficient driving techniques
  • are using their warehousing effectively
  • have considered rail freight for larger consignments.

Energy saving Trust: Transport

Energy Saving Trust Scotland: Transport

Retail businesses can:

  • install automatic doors to prevent heat escaping
  • improve and update display lighting
  • check heating and cooling set points.

Hotels and other hospitality businesses can:

  • check that energy-using facilities, eg kitchens, laundry or leisure facilities, are managed in a way that minimises energy use
  • consider using movement-triggered light switches and taps in guest and staff facilities
  • ensure heating and cooling systems are adequately controlled and operating at the right temperatures
  • maintain freezer efficiency by defrosting them regularly, keeping doors closed as much as possible and filling unused spaces with bubble wrap
  • sign up to the Hospitable Climates programme and obtain free guidance on how to improve energy efficiency.

For certain industries that use energy intensively, the government has negotiated climate change agreements with trade bodies. This can mean up to an 80 per cent discount from the climate change levy in return for meeting legally binding energy-efficiency targets.

In Scotland, the Energy Saving Trust has developed the Green Network for Businesses. This tool allows you to search by postcode for green businesses in your area. All these businesses have installed energy saving or energy generating technologies .

Once you identify the business that has installed the green technology you are interested in, contact them to organise a visit.

EST: Green Network for Business

Further information

Energy Saving Trust: Business services

Resorce Effcicient Scotland: 101 Easy ways to cut your energy bill

Resource Efficient Scotland: Save energy

Energy Saving Trust Scotland: Business services

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Permits

NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms