Outline of the scheme
The scheme is designed as a simple and effective way for businesses to monitor and reduce their energy costs. This can result in significant financial savings in the face of continuing energy price rises.
A 20 per cent cut in energy costs represents the same bottom line benefit as a five per cent increase in sales in many businesses…. Taking a few no-cost or low-cost actions could reduce companies’ energy costs by 10 per cent to 20 per cent. Source: the Carbon Trust
By monitoring energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, companies can also demonstrate a commitment to responsible environmental management, which is of growing importance to customers and clients.
Did you know how much you could save by taking simple energy-saving steps?
- Turning your heating down by 10C can reduce your heating bill by up to eight per cent.
- Regular maintenance of boilers and heating systems can save up to 20 per cent on your fuels costs.
- On average, 25 per cent to 30 per cent of an organisation’s electricity costs come from lighting. You can cut these costs by up to a third by installing energy efficient lighting.
- Effective management of office equipment like PCs and vending machines, and wise purchasing decisions, can cut their energy consumption by up to 70 per cent.
Source: the Carbon Trust.
Norwich City Council’s policy is to cut its own carbon emissions and one of the ways we are doing this is by using the one small step scheme to encourage our staff to think about the small steps they can take at work and at home to make a big difference collectively.
We are keen to help other businesses and organisations to do the same by making the scheme available across the Norwich City Council area.
How to progress through the scheme
If your business or organisation chooses to join, there are three steps through which you can progress with relative ease.
Bronze Level Reduce energy use through a staff campaign
Each business starts with a campaign to encourage their staff to reduce energy use at work. They use one small step (OSS) stickers and posters and receive the OSS newsletter. There are two sets of stickers – one saying ‘switch me off’ and the other saying ‘leave me on’ to help remind staff which electrical sockets can be usefully turned off to save energy and which need to be left on for essential services. Our seven simple steps posters highlight important and easy steps for staff to take. We supply the art work and businesses can choose their own seven steps and have their own logo displayed on the posters.
Silver Level Calculate business energy use and carbon footprint
Each business records its current energy use on an online tool devised by the government. The tool automatically calculates the business’s greenhouse gas emissions, otherwise known as its carbon footprint. It provides a starting point for making energy reductions.
Gold Level Pledge to reduce energy use
The business pledges to reduce its use of fossil fuels and therefore its greenhouse gas emissions.
Where possible, a business would devise an action plan to do this and set a greenhouse gas emission reduction target. Sector-specific advice and online tools which are endorsed by the government are available to help with this.
The One Small Step scheme is suitable for both small and large businesses which have a base within the city council boundaries or have an extensive sales presence in the city. It is a one-off cost of £50 to join the scheme.