Small Business Brief

Safety & Loss Prevention

10 Tips on How to Save Money on Utilities in the Office

If you own a small business, you know how important it is to cut expenses everywhere you can. Office buildings use a ton of energy, which is a big cost for companies. Here are 10 tips on how to save money on utilities in your office.

The average office building uses a whopping 29% of it’s operating funds paying for utility bills.

That’s a big chunk of change that you could be using in other areas.

While you can’t wave a wand and make utility bills go away there are some easy ways you can seriously cut down on the amount of electricity, gas, and water being used through your building.

We’ve compiled ten actionable ways for you to learn how to save money on utilities.

1.)Invest in LED Lighting

LED lighting is a huge money saver in the long run. Don’t let the upfront costs make you balk.

LEDs last for years and years, which will also reduce the amount of time spent changing out bulbs.

The important thing is their energy efficiency. An LED bulb uses only a fraction of the energy as an incandescent or CFL while supplying the same brightness.

2.)Programmable Thermostats

There are two ways to go about this in the average office environment: programmable thermostats can be set to not run your central heating and cooling while no one is in the office.

Finding the ideal temperature within your office can be a drag, but the important thing is to prevent the inevitable disagreements of your workers over what the ideal temperature should be.

Some offices also use dummy thermostats. As a general rule most HVAC contractors have installed these at some point. They’re quite effective at keeping cool heads even if they don’t change the temperature.

3.)Check for Air Leaks

Air leaks are one of the biggest problems that can occur with central air systems. Even something as simple as an under-the-door draft can affect your electricity or natural gas usage.

Checking can be done by HVAC technicians who will do an air pressure test but if you’re not ready to pay for the testing just yet there are ways you can do it yourself.

The easiest way is to check windows, door frames, and any other place where two materials meet. If you can feel a draft then look into what can be done about it.

4.)Water Efficient Toilets and Sinks

Water can be costly depending on what part of the country your office is located.

Check to see if low-flow toilets and sinks are viable on your office’s budget. They can lower water usage by around 20% or more depending on what models you go with.

5.)Turning Things Off

Make sure that you turn off lights, appliances, and other machines when no one is using a room. It sounds like a drop in the bucket, but it can prevent a lot of wasted energy over the course of a year.

Basically: if it’s not in use, then it doesn’t need to be on.

6.)Ditch the Desktops

Even if you don’t need the portability for your workers, switching the office computers over to laptops can save a lot of money in the long run.

Desktops use quite a bit of energy, ranging from 60W to 240W per hour. 60W per hour is about the upper limit of most non-gaming laptops.

The comparison is pretty easy: you can use 50% less electricity by opting for laptops within the office.

If you are stuck with desktops due to budgetary constraints, consider setting sleep mode to occur after only a few minutes. Sleep mode will cause a computer to use less electricity while running and only takes a few seconds to disable when the worker returns.

7.)Limit CRT Monitors

Many modern offices are still using old CRT monitors.

They’ll save on the initial cost, but they also use a lot more electricity than modern day LCD models, particularly those which fall under the LED sub-category. CRTs use almost double the electricity of LCD screens.

The initial cost is quite steep, but the ready availability of cheaper LCD monitors is making this a more viable option for offices as time goes on.

8.)Check the Copy Machine

Copy machines are available in almost every office around the world.

That big machine also uses quite a bit of electricity. While printing they reach high levels, but even when they’re not you may be looking at something which you should be able to cut down on.

The best way to do this is to make sure that your appliances are Energy Star rated.

They’ll use less energy and have an automatic sleep mode which will help to keep the electric bill down.

9.)Consider Timer Switches

Timer switches are a great idea for areas like bathrooms where people will often leave lights on.

The energy savings might be minute but a competent electrician can install them for a small fee and they’re cheaper than other options like motion sensors.

In smaller offices they may not be quite as useful, but for larger buildings, they can make a pretty big difference.

You can also use programmable power strips on other large office appliances to make sure they shut down when no one is in the office.

10.)Consult with an Electrician on How to Save Money on Utilities

The biggest expense when it comes to an office’s utilities is always going to be electricity.

It makes sense to go to the experts, and a good electrician will be able to help you save money through their recommendations. On top of that, you can have them take a look at any existing problems while they’re in the office.

Make sure you go with a reputable company. Check their website and make sure they have a stable online presence and offer some tips. Rockwall Electric, for instance, has some great guides to LED lighting and plenty of electrical safety tips available right on their homepage.

Companies who are willing to help customers online tend to be easier to work with and are less likely to recommend changes you don’t need.

Take Action Now and Start Saving

When it comes down to it, all of these tips aren’t going to do anything unless you’re ready to start taking action.

Whether it’s a long-term plan or just calling a meeting to help teach employees how to save money on utilities, doing something today is the first step in real savings.

No amount of thinking is going to do as much as the smallest action, so what are you waiting for?