January 27, 2018

business energy costsRunning a successful company takes time and resources - one of which is your energy bill. Most business owners don’t put a lot of thought into their energy costs. It’s just a necessary business expense, right? Well, yes and no. 

It does take power to run a company, but you may be using more than you need. Take a second to contemplate how much you’re paying for energy that no one in the office is using. Those little oversights can really add up. 

Depending on the size of your business and facilities, that’s potentially thousands of dollars down the drain. 

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to save on energy costs for your business without sacrificing your performance. 

1. Invest in an Energy Audit

First, you should be figuring out exactly how much energy you are using every month. Hire a local, well-reputed utility company to audit your business and learn more about your current energy usage. 

After the initial inspection, you will receive a report that identifies areas with energy waste along with a roadmap to improving your energy efficiency. Once you know what to look out for, you can follow their suggestions to improve your energy usage and reduce the amount of your monthly utility bill. 

2. Remember to Unplug

This may seem obvious, but a lot of unnecessary energy goes into equipment that’s not being used. You’d be surprised at how much electricity office machines like computers, printers, and copiers suck up when they’re just sitting there, dormant. 

To help increase your energy efficiency, train employees to turn off their computers or set them into “sleep mode” as their last task before leaving for the night. And don’t forget other non-essential office equipment, like coffee makers and other devices in the break room. To keep things simple, use power strips around the office so that it’s easier to turn everything off at once. 

3. Go Natural

When it comes to saving energy, don’t overlook what nature gave us! Our Colorado sunlight is free, so open up your blinds or install some skylights to get as much natural light in your office as possible. Not only is it beautiful, but it also costs you nothing. 

For darker areas that require artificial light, consider investing in some solar panels to harness the power of the sun to keep your office bright, even in rooms without windows. 

During the warmer months, shady trees can help keep your office cool, saving you from having to pay more for central air. Consider adding a few trees to the areas around your building to keep your office nice and shady during the summer. 

4. Replace Your Bulbs

If your office still uses energy-sucking fluorescent lights, consider upgrading to CFL and LED bulbs. Both consume much less power and have longer lifespans than your average bulb. 

It may seem like a small change, but the difference can really add up. For example, replacing a 60-watt bulb with an 18-watt energy-efficient bulb could save your business a dollar or more per month, if you leave the lights on for ten hours per day. Sure, that doesn’t seem like much at first. But consider how many lightbulbs your business uses and how much that could add up to over the span of a year. 

5. Upgrade to Energy Efficient Equipment

With busy companies, equipment replacement is inevitable. Use a broken machine to your advantage by selecting an energy-efficient alternative the next time you are searching for an upgrade. And remember that although energy-efficient equipment may cost more upfront, the amount you save each month will add up significantly.

Look for the Energy Star symbol and ranking to be sure that the new machine is energy efficient. Energy Star has a ton of resources to help small businesses searching for energy efficient equipment, so you can find suggestions and information easily. 

6. Automate Your Energy Saving

To err is human, and sometimes we can use a little help keeping up with our energy saving procedures. Installing automated systems, like motion sensors and automatic dimming controllers, ensures that energy isn’t being wasted in areas it’s not being used -  even if someone forgot to turn off the light. 

Another big energy waster is the thermostat, which is often working overtime as employees battle it out to decide which temperature it should be. Consider installing a programmable thermostat that adjusts the temperature during times when no one is there, such as nights and weekends. 

Automated systems also allow you to select a small range of temps to choose from so that you don’t have to worry about employees going rogue and setting wildly different temperatures throughout the day. 

9. Take Advantage of State Incentives

When you select energy saving solutions, you aren’t just helping your business - you’re helping the environment. Most state and local governments usually reward energy-efficient companies and offer incentive programs and tax breaks to motivate other companies to follow suit. 

Many utility energy efficiency programs are available in Colorado, giving businesses statewide more opportunities and resources to become more energy efficient. 

As you can see, a little goes a long way when it comes to saving electricity. Just a few simple tweaks and some training with your employees could lead to significant savings for your company. 

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