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Unplug, switch off, shutdown – 16 seasonal energy-saving actions

Save money on your bills during the festive break with the help of our handy checklist

Main image xmas shutdown blog

Christmas is a time for enjoying some sparkle, fun and fizz, and hopefully a bit of rest and relaxation. It’s not a time to fritter your bottom line on needless energy bills. So when your employees have left the building, and have no intention of returning until the New Year has arrived, ensure you’ve taken all the measures you can to reduce your costs during the quiet time.

You know the sort of thing – don't heat buildings when no one’s there; switch off anything with a plug that doesn't need to be on; don’t keep the lights on if no one needs to see. It’s all common sense stuff but in the rush to be on holiday, even the simplest actions can be forgotten. So we’ve bundled them here as a handy reminder, and to make life even easier you can download the checklist for printing out and ticking off.


Shutdown checklist for the festive period

1. Set radiators to freeze protection – there’s no point pumping out heat when everyone is at home watching It’s a Wonderful Life. Switch off the radiators, applying the freeze protection to ensure your pipes don't suffer in the cold snaps.

2. Set boiler to freeze protection – heating a 1,000-square metre office with an electric heating system can cost upwards of £400 over the holidays. Set your boiler to freeze protection or set your timers to reflect reduced occupancy levels.

3. Close all windows and external doors – it’s so obvious but so easily overlooked. Make sure your business is tightly sealed over the holidays to prevent theft as well as energy loss.

4. Turn off interior lights – all those bulbs add up to pennies on your bills if you don't switch them off.

5. Turn off and unplug Christmas lights – that special sparkle currently spreading holiday cheer through the business shouldn’t be left on when you’ve left the building.

6. Turn off and unplug vending machines – if they’re not storing perishable goods then switch ‘em off until the people who use them come back.

7. Turn off and unplug watercoolers – an easy one to forget but these simple hydrating stands are using up electricity on a daily basis.

8. Turn off and unplug computers and monitors – your network servers should stay on during the holidays but everything else can likely be closed down.

9. Turn off air-conditioning units – if there’s any winter heat, let it build up over the festive period if you’re able.

10. Turn off and unplug fans and heaters – these sorts of energy eaters shouldn’t be on at all when there’s noone there to benefit from them.

11. Turn off and unplug printers and photocopiers – you probably already do this at the end of the day, but it’s a must before the festive break.

12. Checks all taps are fully off – small drips add up to big losses and significant additions to your water bills. Check taps are turned off in the kitchens and canteens as well as in the bathrooms and toilets.

13. Consolidate stock in fridges and freezers – and turn off unneeded machines.

14. Turn off and unplug microwave ovens, kettles and dishwashers – every little bit of electricity saved adds up.

15. Shut down all machinery – keep on what you need and switch off what you don’t. Simple.

16. Turn off extractor fans – these become less important when work has stopped and there’s no one in the building.

And there you have – sixteen simple actions to help keep your bills down. Now you can enjoy a few winter warmers without worrying about your business for a few weeks. And if you keep doing these energy saving actions throughout the year, your bottom line will thank you for it. 


Are you going to be one of the last out of your workplace this Christmas? Our team has put together a handy shutdown checklist noting all the key things check covering; your kitchen, office space, bathrooms and plant and production areas if you have them.

And remember – saving energy isn’t just for Christmas. If you would like to find out what you can do to save in your business all year round, our friendly advisors are here to help. You can reach them on 0808 808 2268. Happy holidays.

Our support is funded by the Scottish Government and by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73 million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme.


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