6 Essential Energy Saving Business Tips
Heating and cooling account for a huge portion of your energy bill. But there are easy things you can do to be an energy saving business. Learn more here.
How much are you paying for electricity for your small business? Is more than $3,412.96 per year? If so, then you are paying more than the average electricity bill for a small business.
Like most small business owners, saving money is a top priority for you. In order to take your small business to a money-saving business, we first have to turn it into an energy saving business.
In this article, we gathered everything you need to know about saving energy to start saving green. This means you can spend more money on your office Christmas party.
Ask Yourself This
Now, before we can talk about cutting costs, there are some questions we should be asking ourselves.
- Do you leave your AC unit on during off-hours?
- Is your heater running on the weekends?
- Is heat the only way you keep your building warm during winter?
- Do you use old or incandescent light bulbs?
- Do you have outdated window treatments?
- Are you security lights permanently on during off-hours?
- Do you keep electronics on or on standby during the night/weekends?
If you said yes to any of these questions, then there’s a good chance that we can cut down your electricity bill. Keep reading to find out what’s sucking up all your electricity and what you can do about it.
Why Save on Energy?
Saving energy isn’t just good for your wallet, but great for the environment. Reducing our energy costs means a reduced amount of fossil fuels and reducing fossil fuels means less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Saving energy is more than just turning off the lights when you leave the room. It can mean adequately insulating your building, so it takes less energy to heat/cool your business.
Let’s get dive in on what it means to be an energy saving business.
How to Be an Energy Saving Business
In a world where two-thirds of small businesses are overpaying for energy, it can be alarming. We’ve rounded up our top tips on how you can reduce your energy bill and save some green.
Tip #1: Get an Energy Audit
If you’re interested in business energy savings, it helps to know where you’re spending the most of it. Ignorance is not always bliss when it comes to paying bills. The word audit alone can make you freeze up, but not to worry, this kind of audit will only get you out of trouble, we promise.
When the question on every business owner’s mind is “how to lower energy bills” we have to stop and first analyze where our energy is being spent.
So what exactly is an energy audit? It’s an analysis of your business showing your energy patterns, where your money is going, and overuse.
The name energy audit can sound complex and expensive, but often energy companies will do them for free in hopes to land you as a client.
Tip #2: Avoid Phantom Energy
It’s hard to believe that a computer or appliance in sleep mode could slowly be sucking the life out of your electric bill. Time to grab a surge protector and hit the switch before closing out the day.
This is true for desktop computers, computer monitors, copier machines, cable boxes, fax machines, computer speakers, and your beloved coffee maker. By plugging these items into a power strip, you can easily unplug the strip at the end of the day and be your own energy saving hero.
Tip#3: The Insulation Situation
Insulation covers far more than the fuzzy material within your walls. To analyze the insulation situation, we must first step back and look at where in our building are we losing the air that we are paying to keep heated/cooled.
Here are the three most common ways energy escapes us, along with some smart solutions:
Poorly insulated doors, windows, attics, and basements result in heat (or cooling) loss. It’s important to have your building sealed properly by a professional with weather stripping and caulking while still allowing fresh air to infiltrate the workspace.
The heat transfer between floors, walls, and windows could be costing you loads every month. Your biggest solution here is going to be installing quality insulation that not only keeps your cool air/heat in but keeps weather conditions out.
During winter, you expect a window to keep cold, drafty air out and your toasty heated air in.
Without proper window insulation, you might be watching your money go right out the window, literally.
Your best bet is selecting a multi-pane window treatment with inert gases trapped between the panes. This is going to insulate your business from the elements and keep the weather out, regardless of the season.
Different from conduction is a type of heat transfer called radiation. An example of this is the hot summer sun penetrating your window and heating up the room.
The most efficient way to combat radiation is to apply reflective window treatments to your windows which not only reflect the sun back out but also block harmful UV rays.
Tip #4: Restrategize Your Hot Water
Most businesses use water in some form, whether its to heat the office or run heavy machinery. If you have a water heater, you know that makes up for a significant portion of your energy costs.
Here are some quality tips on how to reduce your hot water costs:
- Decrease your water by 10 degrees and save 3-5% of your water heating bill.
- Minimize the amount of water flowing through your pipes by installing faucet aerators, shutoff valves, and other low flow fixtures.
- Insulate your pipes to minimize heat loss to increase the efficiency of your heater. To understand more about insulated pipe boxing, read more here.
By following these simple tips, you can reduce the cost of your water heating bill and lower your business’ energy costs.
Tip #5: Go Solar
When you do the math, you might think, why isn’t everyone going solar? Aside from the upfront costs, solar panels have you saving so much money on your energy bill that you make back the costs in the first few years, but the savings never end.
This clean, renewable (did we mention free?) source of power should have you rethinking on exactly where you’re getting your energy from and what its costing you.
Tip #6: Rethink Your Lighting
Unless you’re Amish, your business uses lighting. If you’re going to be using said lighting, you might as well be utilizing the most cost-efficient and energy efficient options.
Luckily they’re two in the same. Let’s go through our options.
We’ve all heard that LED or CFL bulbs are “energy efficient” and will save you money, but what does that mean for your bottom line? Let’s talk numbers.
After crunching some numbers using national averages, by replacing 50 regular 60 Watt light bulbs with energy saving LED ones, you could save well over $500 a year on your electricity bill. Now we don’t know about you, but we could think of a lot of other things to spend that on besides replacing old light bulbs.
Not only do LED and CFL bulbs save on energy by 75% but they also increase your fixtures lifespan by 2-3 years. If you ask us, that’s a pretty good deal for switching out a few bulbs.
We believe a smart business owner like you should have a lighting system that’s just as smart. Nowadays the market gives us plenty of options when it comes to not customizing our lighting for looks, but for efficiency as well.
Today’s lighting designs are programmable. They can turn on and off based on all kinds of variables like time of day, room conditions, or even movement. Not only will this save on energy but it will you a trip back to the office to see if you left the conference room light on.
Regardless of how old your lighting system is, here’s a few tips and tricks to increase your lighting’s energy efficiency:
- Use Energy Star-approved fixtures
- Relamp/Reballst existing lamps
- Install dimmer switches
- Pick bulbs based on lumens, not watts, for equal light output and less power
- Install multiple switches so you can light only portions of the room you’re using
When it comes to saving on energy costs, it’s a two-step process: identify what’s using up most of your energy and strategize on how to limit your usage. By now, we hope you’ve gained some ideas on how to cut down your electricity bill while simultaneously saving the world.
Never Miss A Thing
It seems every day the rules of being an energy saving business change, and we understand it can be a struggle to keep up with. Luckily, you can stay in the know with all the best small business news and information, by subscribing to the Small Business Brief newsletter.