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How to take the heat out of the bill for running your office air conditioning

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Most modern workplaces have air conditioning these days.

It allows businesses to regulate the temperature for employees, ensuring health and safety standards are met. It also allows office equipment to be cooled when necessary and provides a welcoming atmosphere for visiting customers.

Running air conditioning can cost businesses hundreds of pounds a year, though.

On an average electricity tariff of 15.41p per unit, the cost of running an air conditioning unit for eight hours a day for 90 days per year can vary from £75 to £326, depending on the size and power you need.

In an office, you may want to run your air conditioning for more than 200 days a year, which would more than double that cost.

As the warm weather of summer beckons, here are a few basic things you could be doing to help reduce that bill:

  • Keep your office windows and doors closed – it costs more to run a unit and it is less effective if windows are opened, for example.
  • Set your air conditioning to as high as is comfortable then use a programmable thermostat to increase temperature when no one is in the office. That could save you up to 10% on your bills.
  • Try to maintain a consistent temperature. Don’t be tempted to turn the temperature right down when you walk into a room – you may well forget about it and spend more than you need. It also isn’t as effective as maintaining a constant temperature when people are in the office.
  • Maintain your systems. Ensure filters aren’t blocked – cleaning them once a month could reduce energy consumption by between 5% and 15%. Make sure the evaporator and condenser coils are also clean. Keep trees and shrubs away from outside units.
  • Turn computers off at night. If your office has large numbers of them, that could be adding to the heat in your workplace.
  • Close blinds and shades to prevent heat building up from sunlight. This also protects workers using computer screens from glare.

Do you need advice on electrical installations, maintenance, or repairs in your office?Call our experts on 0845 003 6856. Find out more about our commercial services here: /commercial-services/.



3 key ways a maintenance contract with an electrician could save your shop money

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If you have a busy retail outlet, the last thing you need is a problem with your electrics.

It could mean you having to close your doors to customers because your till and card readers don’t work or your lighting has been affected.

Finding a good electrician at short notice is often difficult. Most of us are booked up weeks or months in advance and you could face a substantial bill for a short-notice call-out from anyone you do find is free.

So, the best answer for you may well be a regular maintenance contract. That way, you’ll know you have a reliable, qualified electrician on call to deal with any problems you face.

A contract could also save you money in the long term. How? Here are three important ways:

It reduces the time your business is closed/affected by loss of power

The longer you have to spend finding or waiting for an electrician, the more money your store is losing.

How much would a day’s closure affect your takings? On a busy day, that could be thousands of pounds in trade lost. There’s also no guarantee that prospective customers won’t go to one of your rivals – and continue going there for some time afterwards.

A contract electrician picks up problems before they become larger and more expensive

If you have a regular maintenance contract, your electrician can diagnose and solve problems before they become more complicated. That, of course, means that they can be dealt with before they become expensive issues rather than everyday headaches.

It saves your staff time on surveys

Every business needs to survey its electrics regularly to ensure wires aren’t frayed, sockets aren’t damaged or overloaded, appliances have been properly PAT tested, and that there are no fire risks.

A maintenance contract means a qualified and experienced electrician would be carrying out inspections, picking up issues your staff may have missed. Your staff are also freed up to deal with your customers. It’s a win-win situation!

Thinking about an electrical maintenance contract for your shop? Call our experts on 0845 003 6856. Find out more about our commercial services here: /commercial-services/.

3 ways you could cut your office electricity bill

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For every savvy business owner, ensuring costs are as low as possible is one of the best ways to maximise profits.

One of the key areas you could look at is reducing the amount of money you spend on your electricity bill.

Here are three wonderfully simple ways your business could save money:

1.      Switch to LEDs

One of the best ways to get long-term savings is to swap your incandescent lightbulbs for LEDs.

How much you’d save depends on your tariff and how often you use your lighting. But as an example, if you have an office with 25 lightbulbs, on for eight hours a day for five days a week, and you pay 10p per KWH, swapping them for LEDs would save you more than £490 in a year and more than £2,400 over five years.

That’s a substantial saving which factors in the extra cost of buying in LEDs which are more expensive to buy than incandescent bulbs.

Not only would you be saving money, you’d also be reducing your business’ carbon footprint. In this example, you’d reduce your CO2 output by almost 13,400kg over five years.

As they emit little heat, they also help you reduce your air conditioning bills. It’s win-win!

2.      Switch off computers at night

This is great for energy saving and office health and safety.

How much you save depends on how old your computers are. Generally, the older they are the thirstier they are for electricity.

Unless your computers are performing tasks overnight like a virus scan or backup, there’s no great reason to leave them on.

If you have dozens of computers in an office, the cost of leaving them on can soon add up – even those with power-saving features.

When it comes to charging laptops, check whether your laptop has apps which perform functions while charging. If so, charging overnight will be more expensive than charging for an hour or so in the day.

3.      Get up-to-date thermostats for your air conditioning and heating systems

The latest programmable thermostats can save you money – if you use them correctly.

Programme the thermostat to turn down sharply at times when your staff are not in the office, such as at weekends or overnight.

That could save you between 10% and 30% on your electricity bills.

You’re far less likely to save money if people are constantly tuning the thermostat up or down. Programming a consistent temperature for times when your staff are in the office will help avoid that.

Are you a business in South Wales or further afield looking to save money on your bills?

Call our friendly team for advice on 0845 003 6856. Find out more about our commercial services here: /commercial-services/.



Why getting the right lighting is so important for bars and restaurants

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For service businesses like restaurants, bistros, and bars, the customer experience is king.

While most of us think about the food, drink, and service from waiting staff as key things which make up a good customer experience, few of us would think about the lighting.

Yet, that is an unsung hero of creating a wonderful ambiance for diners and drinkers.

Get the lighting right, and you will enhance your customers’ dining and drinking experience.

Get it wrong, and you could put your customers off and drive them away.

Who is your clientele?

It’s important to know who they are to ensure you get the right lighting design.

Are your customers mainly hipsters in their twenties, couples in their forties, or families with small children?

Each of these will have different needs from the lighting in your restaurant or bar.

Families will need a lighting design which allows children and perhaps elderly people to see menus clearly.

Couples will be looking for lighting which creates a romantic mood.

Use lighting to create zones

You can use soft, romantic lighting to create intimate areas perfect for meals for two.

If you’re creating sociable areas where people will be mingling and talking in larger groups, provide lighting suitable to that environment. You could choose to use white lightbulbs with a subtle colour to differentiate that area.

Lighting can also signpost drinkers toward the bar by making it subtly lighter than surrounding areas – encouraging sales.

Certain areas will be thoroughfares. Ensure they are well lit and create a safe path through your premises.

How can lighting increase sales?

In restaurants, you may well want diners who are happy to linger over their meals, ordering more wine or desserts.

Lighting which allows diners to see the full appeal of their food while being warm and welcoming helps restaurants achieve that goal.

You can use lamps or spotlights to accentuate richly-coloured drinks at the bar, or to highlight the meals when they arrive on diners’ tables.

If you’re a fast food restaurant looking for a quick turnaround in diners, you could choose to make the lighting bright and use colours like red and orange. Subconsciously, that encourages people to eat more quickly.

Are you a bar or restaurant owner in South Wales or the South West of England looking for expert help in lighting design and installation?

Call our friendly team today on 0845 003 6856. Find out more about our commercial services here: /commercial-services/.



Getting the right data cabling is vital for tech businesses

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Installing new data cabling for your tech business is a long-term investment.

So, you should ensure you get the best return on that investment. You need to get the best data cabling installers for your project.

Here are some important questions to ask when you’re looking for electrical engineers:

Will the engineers work with your IT department to design and install the system?

You need engineers who understand your business needs. Tech businesses live or die by the speed of their internet connections and the reliability of the cabling in their offices. You can’t afford to have breakdowns which cost you lucrative contracts.

Your engineers must work closely with your IT support department, whether that’s in-house or outsourced, to ensure you get what you need from the design of your system.

They must also work together to ensure installation goes smoothly.

Have the electrical engineers installed systems for businesses like yours before?

It’s always a good thing if engineers have worked in your sector. That means they understand it. It helps them anticipate problems before they occur.

What sort of testimonials do they have?

If their testimonials praise their speed, efficiency, and flexibility, rather than just praising the price, you’ll know quality is important to your electrical engineers.

As your engineers if you can speak to some of their previous customers. Good companies will be happy to arrange that.

Will they be installing the best quality cabling?

Reliability is king for a tech business. So, you need the best quality cabling you can afford. Many installers are accredited with manufacturers and have years of experience in working with their products.

What do you need?

Category 5 or 6 data cabling – This provides a single infrastructure which connects your computers and telephone systems in one network. It’s usually based on copper cabling which conforms to the category 5 or 6 standard for structured cabling.

Fibre optic cabling – As a tech business, it’s also worth considering whether you need this cabling. This is very useful for connections between servers.

Ethernet – This cabling carries broadband signals between internet-capable devices. Ethernet can cope with all the speeds needed for internet use.

Data points – Working out how many you need could be tricky for a growing tech company. It’s best to build a little growth into the equation from the start, installing a few more data points than you need rather than getting your engineers back in six months at extra cost.


Are you looking to install data cabling in Cardiff, Bristol, or further afield? Talk to our expert engineers about what they could do for your business. Call 0845 003 6856.

Find out more about our service here: /data-cabling/.