There are many costs associated with running a small business, including taxes, marketing expenses, inventory overhead and payroll. Many small business owners do not consider the cost of their utility bills. Ironically, you have the potential to cut the costs of your energy bills by following the twenty tips listed below.


Getting Started


Before you even begin on the tips on this list, you must establish a starting point and base all of your changes off of this point. This leads us to the first two tips – getting two separate energy audits.


  1. Energy Audits – A professional auditor will come to your business and determine your current energy usages and offer suggestions on how you can lower your utility costs. The audit will help determine your energy efficiency and the auditor will explain which actions you can do to lower your overall utility costs. They will also advise you whether they think you should switch your energy plan.


  1. Nighttime Audits – A nighttime audit is a self-run audit that helps you determine ways you can reduce your energy usage during the night. To do this type of audit, choose a night and do not let any of your employees know you will be doing an energy audit at night. Wait a couple of hours after your employees leave to give all self-managed devices time to power down. Then, go inside the building and look for any machines or lights that are still on. You will need to determine which machines and lights need to be left on and which ones can be shut down. If you have lights and machines that can be turned off, use the energy-saving tips below to ensure that they are turned off each night when your employees leave.


Quick Tips to Lower Energy Consumption


Once you have performed your audits, it is time to take action to decrease your energy consumption. There are some super easy tips that can make a difference in your energy consumption.


  1. Power Save Mode on Your Office Equipment – When possible, use the power save mode on all of your electronic devices, including your computers and monitors. This allows the devices to either be shut down or enter sleep mode when the items are not used for a certain amount of time. Additionally, make sure that all employees power down their electronics before a holiday or before going on vacation.


  1. Natural Light – Take advantage of natural daylight whenever possible to lower the amount of lighting used during the day.


  1. Use the Stairs – Opting to take the stairs rather than the elevator not only saves energy but also improves your overall health.


  1. Vents – When furniture blocks your air uptake vents, your heating and cooling system requires more energy to move air-conditioned or heated air through your workspace. Keep your vents clear and routinely inspect all areas to ensure the air uptake vents are clear.


  1. Air Leaks – Another way to reduce energy consumption in your business is to fix any air leaks around your business’s doors or windows. There are several different ways to detect an air leak, choose the best method for your business and inspect every window and door. If you find any leaks, use weatherstripping or caulk to close up the leak.


  1. Shut the Exterior Doors – Many business owners do not realize that energy is flowing out of the front and back doors of their business. If a window or exterior door is left open, your heating and cooling system will work to heat or cool the outdoors as well as your office spaces.


  1. Power Strips are Your Friends – The technology used in power strips has advanced over the years. There are power strips that have always-on outlets to ensure the devices that should stay on are up and running. There are also power strips that offer a power save mode that manages your electronics if they are not shut down or placed in sleep mode when the device is not needed.


  1. Programmable Thermostats – A programmable thermostat allows you to set different temperatures based on your needs. For example, you can set a different temperature for the evening and night hours or on weekends, which will help to reduce your energy consumption.


  1. Light Bulbs – If you are using incandescent light bulbs, you are wasting money. Although newer energy efficient light bulbs cost more, they can have a big impact on your wallet. First, they will lower your energy consumption. Secondly, these bulbs last longer, which means you will save additional money by not needing to replace the bulbs as often.

Article by Jennifer Niejadlik


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