A new study has identified the fixtures and equipment that waste the most energy in small business premises.
The report by Printerland, released to coincide with Earth Day, has revealed that the UK's 5.7 million businesses are spending £29.1 billion, collectively, on energy every year. The findings show that small changes to workplace routines could slash electricity bills and make a positive impact on the environment.
According to the report, a typical small business uses 30,000kWh or approximately £5,250 of energy on average each year - enough for 1.8 million kettle boils. The UK's 5.5 million micro-businesses (with up to nine employees) use 10,000kWh or spend £1,750 on average per annum.
The average cost of one kilowatt per hour (kWh) is 17.5 pence. And the findings show that it's desktop monitors, computers and lighting that guzzle the most energy.
A firm with 16 employees could cut energy costs for running desktop computers by 63% if monitors are switched off when employees are away from their desks.
A photocopier left on standby all day costs £459.90 to run over a year. Turning the device off completely out of office hours would see a saving of £323.40.
The report also shows that making the switch from fluorescent lamps (728kWh) to CFL lighting (69kWh) would see a 75% decrease in energy used for lighting over a year.
Heating can also be more efficient. A flat panel wall heater uses around 1,560kWh a year, compared to portable electric heaters that use up 2,080kWh when only used for half of the year.
Chris Ralph, IT manager at Printerland, said: "Our research has been a bit of an eye-opener for us and we've already started to make changes in order to bring our own energy consumption down. Some of the things we can do to save energy require so little effort - such as putting appliances on standby - yet make such a big positive impact on the environment."