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How to be an energy saving god (or goddess)

Saving energy isn’t just a myth it’s a reality for businesses we work with across Scotland. If you want to show your energy saving might, then check out these powerful cost-saving actions, one for every day of the working week

Five days, five energy-saving solutions. You don't have to be a norse god to make these happen, just a little bit of time and enthusiasm. So roll up your sleeves, get yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy this unique start to the working week.


Monday (day of the Moon): Shine a light on your energy use

It’s the beginning of the week, the day of the moon. What better time to shine a light on your energy use and resolve to reduce it? That might mean making some changes but not of the werewolf variety. Saving energy is much more straightforward but can still produce dramatic results.

So take your first sip of coffee and get ready to start at the beginning. Measuring your energy use is a crucial first step and helps you to identify where you’re wasting it and what actions you can take to stop wasting it. Measuring gives you the baseline information you need to compare your use in the future. This will show you how successful your energy reduction efforts are, and how you measure up against industry standards.

To begin measuring, you’ll need to gather your energy bills from the last few years as well as any smart meter data you have. Then you need to download our guide, ‘Measuring to Manage your Resources’, and our energy tracking spreadsheet and lighting cost calculators. Once you’ve completed the energy use spreadsheet, you’ll have that baseline information at your fingertips ready to help you make decisions.

Tools needed: Energy bills. Smart meter. Spreadsheet. Grit.


Tuesday (day of Mars): Take control

Tuesday comes from Tyr's day, the Norse god of war associated with the planet Mars. So it’s a good day to do battle against the unnecessary use of energy in your organisation. Now you don’t want your staff shivering like they’re really on Mars but there’s probably room for a temperature reduction of a degree or two. This could reduce your heat bills by 10 per cent or more. Just make sure you’re keeping people comfortable in the 19-21°C zone.

Use timers to ensure that heat is going only where it’s needed, when it’s needed. Many buildings don’t turn the heat off until people are leaving the building. But you can usually get away with turning off the heat before then and let it dissipate during the final working hours.

An optimum-start controller takes you one step further. This gadget measures internal and external temperatures, detecting how quickly the building reaches the set temperature. It then learns when exactly to turn the heat on and off to achieve your optimum temperature.

Tools needed: Completed energy use spreadsheet. Thermostat.

Bonus tool: Optimum-start controller.


Wednesday (day of Odin): Magic away those draughts

Odin is another Norse god, his name a variation of the Germanic god Woden. The Romans gave it yet another variation, Mercury. Odin is associated with all sorts of things including wisdom, healing, death, gallows, knowledge and sorcery. For our purposes, let’s go with sorcery, because today is the day to pinpoint your draughts and magic them away.

Draughts are a problem for many offices in Scotland, and it’s not pleasant if you’re sitting in the path of one of them. The most sustainable and effective way to reduce the cost of space heating in buildings is to reduce heat loss. And the cheapest way to do this is to plug the gaps where you’re losing hot air.

So before even you even think about installing a costly new heating system, start with a draught audit. Once you know where you are, you can start to block them. You’ll need more than a magic wand – probably handy draught blockers, such as brush strips for the bottom of doors, and foam tape for windows.

Flexible sealants can be used for floors and other materials likely to have movement. And if people aren’t shutting doors properly, or leaving them open for too long, you can make them self-closing. This is especially handy for external doors. 

Tools needed: Draught measuring device. Brush strips. Adhesive foam tape. Flexible sealants.


Thursday (day of Thor): Let the sun shine in

The Norse god of thunder, Thor, lends his name for the second last day of a typical working week. When Thor is busy, the sky is dark and you probably have the lights switched on. But make sure they’re only switched on in the workspaces that are being used.

When the storms clear, don't shut out the daylight because you can’t see your computer monitor in the sunshine. Instead, install daylight blinds. These allow light in but direct the glare away from screens. Natural light is good for us. Studies show that it improves mood, performance, and our mental health. Perhaps that’s what thundery Thor was lacking.

Tools needed: Daylight blinds.


Friday (day of Venus): Show the love

The goddess of love, Venus, gives her name to Friday via an old English translation of the original Latin ‘dies Veneris’, day of (the planet) Venus. If you want to embrace energy saving on a larger scale, then it’s time to show the love.

Upgrading your boiler, installing a heat pump or switching to LED lighting require more investment but have the potential to reduce your bills by significant amounts, up to 50 per cent in some cases. And by switching to a renewable resource you’re showing your caring side by reducing your reliance on fossil fuels and reducing your carbon footprint. This is definitely a day to make you go all warm and tingly.

Tools needed: Internet. Free, expert advisor from our Advice and Support Service. Just call 0808 808 2268.

Our free support to reduce your business costs are funded by the Scottish Government and by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73 million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme.

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