The rising price of utilities - about to worsen for businesses?
It’s now a worse time than ever to power your home by conventional means. This year’s Castle Cover Historic Home Utilities interactive infographic has concluded that while things seemed to be all hunky-dory in 2002, when coal, gas and electricity cost reasonable amounts - valued between 100 and 120 on the Castle Cover scale - they now sit at well over double these figures.
Electricity now costs twice as much in 2012 (200.7), while coal and gas are priced at nearly treble the 2002 value (272.4 and 277.8 respectively). Given the financial downturn that took place during this massive upswing in utility costs, a lot of consumers and businesses alike are struggling to balance their books and move forward with confidence. Indeed,even Germany is feeling the pressure, as confidence drops in the eurozone and its AAA rating is under threat of revision by Moody’s.
However, it’s interesting to consider just which way a business’ expenditure will go, given developments in the technology world. Interestingly, there are a lot of creations and gadgets that prove the evolution of electronics, as well as their miniaturisation. Many technologies - like those created by German business leader SAP - are hosted in the cloud. With this in mind, here are a few things that businesses may already be doing, or can do, to lower their bills and come out fighting fit.
Moving to the cloud
A lot of companies are benefiting from lower energy bills by outright ditching heavy-duty, hard-to-manage data centres. After a spate of professional hacking jobs in the late 2000s, it became clear that without adequate security updates, businesses were subject to huge fines and a loss of trust from customers after their details were leaked. Even Iran’s nuclear facilities are suffering from AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’, proving how sophisticated attacks are becoming. Instead, businesses are working with dedicated, highly-managed centres that store data with guarantees, and are increasingly becoming nigh-on impregnable.
Smartphones and tablets are now becoming the best way for businesses to operate at optimal energy usage and, with just one charge, a lot of laptops and interfaces are lasting eight or nine hours instead of two or three. It is becoming increasingly important to focus on ditching old electronics such as CRT monitors, old plasma TVs, huge photocopiers and fluorescent tube lighting, instead adopting the likes of LED TVs and lighting.
Businesses now find it quite easy to offset or completely neutralise their emissions by investing in renewable energies for the office, particularly after changing to more green alternatives to older electronic solutions. Solar panels and wind energy can sometimes supply entire businesses if used and installed properly. Associated feed-in tariffs can even earn a company money!