Mumpreneurs – the somewhat unflattering term used to describe entrepreneurs who also happen to be mothers – are often forced to compare business electricity prices as they strive to save money on energy bills while earning a living. Provided below are five must-know tips about business energy that can help mumpreneurs control their overheads.
1. Apply for tax relief
Mumpreneurs in the UK who work from home should be aware that tax relief may be available on gas and electricity used for business purposes. If it is possible to calculate how much energy is used by the home office, mumpreneurs can apply to have this figure offset against tax. If this figure proves too difficult to calculate, tax relief of £3.00 per week will be awarded as a flat rate reduction. Unfortunately, tax relief is not available to those who volunteer to work at home under the ‘homeworking arrangement’ unless employers contribute the £3.00 weekly deduction.
2. Install solar panels
Solar photovoltaic panels offer a number of incentives to home owners, particularly those who work from home and have applied for tax relief on gas and electricity.
Solar panels are typically fixed to the roof of a property, where they capture and convert sunlight into electricity. This most green of energy sources can be used to provide power throughout the home. Any surplus energy can be exported to the National Grid for a fixed price under the feed-in tariff system (FITs). FITs guarantees a fixed level of payment for green energy for up to 25 years, which is more or less the lifespan of a typical solar PV installation.
In addition to using less electricity from a conventional energy supplier, a mumpreneur whose property is fitted with solar panels should also benefit from tax relief on energy costs while earning additional income through FITs.
3. Insulate cavity walls and lofts
This tip should be followed by all home owners in addition to mumpreneurs looking to save money on business-related expenses.
Poorly insulated cavity walls and lofts waste substantial heat, causing central heating systems to work overtime to maintain an acceptable temperature throughout the home. While mumpreneurs put in the hours to build a business, they cannot afford to waste money through unnecessary heat loss.
Insulating cavity walls and lofts can resolve this problem to a significant degree, trapping heat inside the home to ensure that boilers use less energy in maintaining temperatures.
4. Compare the energy market
The energy market is both competitive and confusing. However, it is by no means impossible to find a good deal. Mumpreneurs can utilise services such as uswitchforbusiness, which searches the market for the most affordable and suitable tariffs based upon the energy bills submitted by its users. Switching to a new energy supplier can save hundreds of pounds over the year.
5. Upgrade technology
Old technology is invariably slow, insecure, unreliable and energy inefficient. Mumpreneurs can save significant amounts of energy by investing in new technology. Old desktop computers, for example, are notorious energy wasters, comprising power-hungry motherboards, hard drives and processors. In contrast, the latest technology is usually more environmentally friendly. Furthermore, it can assist in creating a more efficient working environment and should prove to be more secure and reliable. Desktop computers should be set to sleep or hibernate after any extended period of inactivity (15 minutes or longer) in order to save energy over the long-term.