Cost of living crisis: how travel businesses could save on energy costs

Rising energy bills are impacting businesses in the travel industry as they seek to continue their recovery from the pandemic.

We’ve partnered with Octopus Energy to provide some insights and short- and long-term action plans that could help businesses in the travel sector reduce energy costs as the cost of living and doing business keeps rising. 

“With the uncertainty regarding rising energy costs, these are practical solutions that customers and their staff alike can adopt in their business and personal lives, which focus on energy while contributing to a more sustainable world,” says David Scott, National Head of Retail and Leisure at the bank.

The short-term tips require little or no investment and could have an immediate impact on costs, while the long-term investment plan is designed to future-proof your business.

Five short-term tips for your business to save on energy costs

1. Get a smart meter

Installing a smart meter will help you monitor your energy usage and pinpoint periods of both high and low consumption.

2. Choose the right tariff

Once you have an idea of how and when you use your energy, you can try to tailor your tariff to the needs of your properties. For instance, a time-of-use tariff may help you to use electricity when it’s available cheaply. If you have energy-intensive appliances that you can programme to come on at night (for instance, dishwashers and heating and cooling systems), you might be able to opt for an Economy 7 tariff and make use of a cheaper night-time unit rate.

3. Switch off

Many appliances continue to draw on a small amount of power when on standby, so it’s important to switch them off properly when not in use. Encourage staff to enable sleep mode if their computer is not in use for more than 20 minutes, and switch it if it’s not in use for more than two hours. Remember also that screen savers are not energy savers – they could use more energy than not having one at all. When not using equipment for extended periods, unplug it – that includes computers, monitors, printers and laptop chargers.

4. Engage your teams

Encourage your staff to be mindful about energy use. Discuss why cutting costs is important, who is responsible for what and how staff can report back on any progress they have made. They may help you discover new ways of economising that you’d never considered before.

5. Limit unnecessary data movement

Whether it’s sending and receiving emails or storing files, the energy required for the moving of data can rise rapidly. Across your total workforce the creation and saving of multiple files and folders can have a significant impact on energy use. Set some guidelines about unnecessary emails and data movement to try to bring costs down.

With the cost of electricity rising quickly, investing in assets that could produce your own power could lead to significant long-term savings

Four steps towards long-term savings

1. Use a smart thermostat

Once you’ve got your smart meter sorted, think about installing a smart thermostat or automatic timer to control heating and cooling. You can programme it to make sure the heating is off when your premises is empty. Schedule it to come on just before staff arrive, and set a maximum temperature, after which it will automatically switch off.

2. Install LEDs

According to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), lighting uses about 20% of the electricity generated in the UK. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, and BEIS suggests upgrading to LED technology throughout your business could deliver “significant cost savings of up to 80%”.

3. Generate your own

You could save money through onsite generation by installing solar panels on your roof, or elsewhere on your premises. With the cost of electricity rising quickly, investing in assets that can produce your own power could lead to significant long-term savings. If you don’t use all the energy you generate, you should be able to sell it back to the grid for an additional revenue stream.

4. Electrify your fleet

As the price of both petrol and diesel rise, your employees and your business will be facing higher charges – reason enough to start investing in electric vehicles. Become a conscious employer and install charging points in your workplace to help you and your staff save on running costs for the business.

This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of NatWest Group, as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Copyright © NatWest Group. All rights reserved.

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