Charities warned work will be impacted as energy prices rise by up to 500%

Charities have been warned that their work may be impacted because of the rise in energy prices.

Ray Harrington-Vail, the general manager of the Island’s Footprint Trust has warned that many could have to curtail their work because of the impact of energy prices, with some facing increases of up to 500%.

The Trust, which helps households in fuel poverty, says that many of the tips it gives to householders also can be applied to charities and businesses.

Harrington-Vail said: “I now imagine that charity managers are rushing around turning off lights believing that doing so will dramatically cut energy bills. Whilst turning off anything that is not really needed is a good plan, we do have to look at the really big fuel guzzlers.”

Suggestions on ways charities can cut costs include encouraging staff to wear warmer clothes in the office, only turning on hot water when needed, and upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient fridge.

Harrington-Vail says that heating is set to become the biggest cost in most businesses, overtaking wages. There is no law for minimum or maximum working temperatures, however, guidance suggests a minimum of 16ºC or 13ºC if employees are doing physical work. Staff should be encouraged to wear warm clothing into the office, he says.

He also warns that when energy is used, it is important that it is not wasted.

He suggests using the cheapest energy available, and buildings should also be insulated and use energy-efficient technologies and equipment, such as LED lighting. Insulation can reduce heating bills by up to 20%.

A fridge can cost at least £1 a day to run, more if it’s old and not full, he warns, suggesting that replacing a 10-year-old fridge freezer could save charities around £200 per year in running costs.

Charities should also look out for so-called ‘vampire gadgets’ that secretly burn energy, and make sure equipment is turned off at the plug.

After heating, hot water can be the next biggest cost. Having an immersion heater boiling away 24 hours a day will cost more, and they should only have hot water on when needed.

For charities looking for tips and advice, some suggested links are below:

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