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Home » Entrepreneur » How businesses in Ireland can potentially reduce their energy use and other costs

Ali Donnellan

Business & Industry Programme Executive, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

An average small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) could potentially reduce its energy bills by up to 30% by implementing energy efficiency measures; and 10% savings can be achieved with little or no capital cost.

Working with businesses, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) understands the impact of rising energy costs and the need to reduce energy use and save money. 

The year 2022 brought extreme energy price impacts which are continuing to present huge challenges to businesses into 2023. Nevertheless, there are steps you can take right now to potentially reduce your heating, lighting and electricity costs.

Reducing heating costs

  • Reduce temperature setpoints so the heating turns off when the temperature reaches 19 degrees. Set your AC to come on at 24 degrees or higher.
  • Make sure timers are set to the correct date and time. Variations in working hours on weekends and bank holidays should be considered when setting controls.

Reducing lighting costs

  • Ensure lights are switched off when not needed and consider installing motion sensors in infrequently used areas such as storerooms, toilets, and corridors to prevent lights from being left on unnecessarily.
  • Maximise the use of daylight, and consider installing daylight sensors in areas that use both natural and artificial light. These can automate lights to turn off or dim to account for changing levels of daylight in the room.

Before you commit to purchasing and installing
upgrades or investments, check if
there is an SEAI grant available.

Reducing electricity costs

  • Ensure you are on the best electricity tariff available. Look at how much electricity you use on average and compare the tariffs available from suppliers.
  • Switch off equipment when not in use (printers, laptops, monitors, or larger equipment).

Training your business to save

There are a few more ways to help your business reduce costs, and it’s important to have the right resources.

Encourage your staff to join the SEAI Energy Academy where they will learn about the basics of energy efficiency,helping you embed a sustainable energy use culture within your organisation. Register for the next Introduction to Energy Management training to learn how to create an energy action plan. 

If you spend more than €10k per annum on energy, apply for the support scheme for Energy Audits. Business can receive a €2,000 voucher towards a high-quality energy audit. This will help you identify your significant energy users and steps you can take to reduce your energy use.

Always get advice from a registered professional. Before you commit to purchasing and installing upgrades or investments, check if there is an SEAI grant available.

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