Whether its record-breaking high temperatures or torrential rain and lightning, we’ve seen it all this summer. This topsy-turvy weather may put some people off the idea of generating solar power from their workplace but contrary to popular belief, solar panels don’t need direct sunlight to work. It’s actually daylight rather than sunlight that powers the photovoltaic (PV) panels so even on dull days, electricity can be generated.


There are many reasons why installing solar PV is a good idea and businesses of all sizes can benefit from fixing their energy costs against the volatility of the current energy market, paying less for their electricity and improving their business’s carbon footprint.


Rooftop installations up to 1MW do not require planning permission in most cases and solar PV installed at your business can also supply the energy to EV chargers for electric vehicles that your employees and visitors may have.


Not quite in the position to invest in solar power at work? Here are some further tips for saving energy and doing your bit for environmental sustainability:


  1. Keep warm, stay cool

Replacing old, inefficient heating and air conditioning with new, advanced systems can greatly improve energy efficiency and heating/cooling effectiveness. You can also save money on the installation as well as your energy bills. There are several schemes and grants available for improving the energy efficiency of your residential or commercial building. The amount will vary based on your location and the type and size of installation.


  1. Capital allowance

It’s still possible to claim capital allowances for energy and water-efficient machinery but this is due to end by April 2020 so you need to take advantage of it now. More details can be found here.


  1. Power down

Do you leave your computers running at night? Running the screensaver uses about the same amount of energy as other routine tasks so that many computers waste twice as much energy when they’re idling as when they’re working! Turning them off could give you a 50% saving in the energy used.


  1. Light the way

By rearranging your office workspace, you can make better use of free, natural light. When this is maximised, consider energy-efficient task lighting as it tends to use less energy than ceiling lights. Can you employ motion-sensor lights in some areas, like toilets? Or change the type of bulbs you use? At the end of every day, be sure to turn off lights when leaving.


  1. Money down the drain

Did you know that one drip per second wastes 10,000 litres of water per year? That’s a substantial addition to your water bill. Always turn taps off tightly after use, using signage to remind employees and visitors. And get that annoying dripping tap or leaky loo fixed sooner rather than later.


And finally… don’t forget that online meetings are far more time and energy-efficient than travelling miles to meet customers and suppliers, it’s good to invest in online meeting technology and lead by example by using it. Have another look at how you can reduce the amount you print on paper in the office. Using online newsletters and marketing materials cuts down on paper printing and delivery costs too.


If you need advice on how taking the greener path can benefit your business, speak to the environmental accountancy experts at CRM on 01865 379272 or visit www.crmoxford.co.uk

Sage Accountant Partner Logoiris kashflowFreeagent