Energy efficiency is important in any setting, whether it be domestic or commercial, and care homes are no different. Managers and owners should conduct an energy audit to understand how much gas and electricity their care home is consuming on a monthly basis. Annual figures will also need to be calculated as usage can increase greatly in the winter months.
The importance of keeping business electricity bills low
Most care home residents will be much older and are more prone to feeling cold and becoming ill, this is why the temperature on the thermostat will need to be raised higher in comparison to another commercial setting. Furthermore, care homes are different to most businesses in that they operate 24-7 facilities, meaning gas and electricity usage will constantly be high. For this reason, it’s even more important to get a cheap business energy quote. Utility Saving Expert allows you to compare leading commercial energy suppliers to find the most competitive rates. It’s quick and easy to get a free no obligation quote within minutes.
Did you know that there are more people in the UK aged 60+ than there are people under the age of 18? This has meant that care homes have seen an ever-increasing demand, and this isn’t likely to change any time soon. Managers face additional pressure to ensure the elderly population’s needs are taken care of, with health, safety and wellbeing at the forefront of high-quality care. This becomes more difficult to provide as business costs rise and new smart solutions need to be found to address the challenges of tomorrow.
It is estimated that the UK healthcare sector spends more than £500 million each year on energy alone, this is only set to increase as people in the UK live longer and need to be taken care of. Regrettably, a large proportion of consumed power is wasted each month due to inefficiency.
Increase energy efficiency in Care Homes
For this reason, care homes, like other businesses, need to consider implementing changes to increase their overall efficiency. Not only will this cut down on the running costs, but it will also have a positive impact on the environment as we push towards reducing carbon emissions.
Logically, it makes sense that a heating system is accountable for around 70% of a care home’s energy consumption. Large boilers will need to be assessed regularly to see if they’re operating to their maximum theoretical efficiency. Although costly, old boilers should be replaced with modern models, and the savings made can offset the investment cost. Low-H2O radiators are another option, these require less water to generate the same level of heat. Even reducing the room temperature by one degree can significantly lower your energy bills.
Another area to consider is insulation. Insulation can be improved in roofs, walls and other cavities to increase heat retention, ensuring that energy isn’t being wasted. Although health care workers may sometimes feel warm when working, opening windows is fine, but forgetting to shut them isn’t advisable, especially during the night time.
Hygiene will be of paramount importance to deliver a high quality of care. Maintaining the actual care home and all the facilities inside will need to be done regularly. This includes simple things like water taps. Water heating accounts for just over 10% of a care home’s energy usage. If taps are dripping because they haven’t been tightened up by a plumber or on-site maintenance staff, thousands of litres of water could be wasted each year. This will be on top of any residents accidentally leaving taps open.
Motion sensors that automatically dim or turn off the lights when they are not in use can cut down on electricity usage. For example, these smart sensors will know when there is no one in a room and automatically turn the lights off. For communal areas and hallways, lights can be set to automatically dim after a certain period of time. Not only is softer lighting easier on the eyes, but it will also help you save money.
Switching to LED light bulbs can dramatically reduce your care home’s electricity bill, as these use significantly less power and last much longer, meaning they won’t need to be replaced as often. When you consider that there may be hundreds of inefficient bulbs that can be replaced with LED alternatives, you will save a large amount each year.
As the unit price of gas and electricity rises year on year, improving a care home’s overall energy efficiency becomes more important. Renewable energy solutions will hopefully improve things in a much-needed way in the years to come, but waiting by idly for these innovative developments to take shape should be avoided.
In conclusion, care homes use a lot of power and these smart tips can help owners and managers reduce their commercial gas and electricity costs.