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10 Energy-Saving Tips for Small Businesses
As costs rise, small businesses everywhere are looking for smart ways to save money. From automating business processes to relying on remote workforces, companies are finding creative solutions to keep their profits strong.
One of the most effective ways to save money is to practice energy-saving techniques. Doing so benefits not only small businesses but also the environment. By looking for energy-saving options, small businesses can cut down on utility costs and reduce energy consumption.
These energy-saving tips are easy to implement in your business, and most of them cost little to nothing. Many of them are especially good for lowering costs as the seasons change. Here are 10 ways to save on energy today.
Use smart thermostats
Smart thermostats make it easy to manage your energy usage during and after work hours and as temperatures change with the seasons. You can program specific temperature settings for various times of the day and year and control the heating and cooling of your office remotely. With smart thermostats, you don’t have to wonder if the last person out of the office left the A/C on too cool — you can check and adjust from anywhere.
Install energy-efficient office equipment
Today’s offices depend heavily on computers and other electronics. When the time comes to upgrade your office equipment, make sure you’re replacing old computers, printers, and electronics with the latest ENERGY STAR-rated versions. Electronics that meet these standards have better built-in power management systems that keep equipment in low-power mode whenever it’s not in use.
Upgrade your HVAC systems
Heating, cooling and ventilation are major sources of energy consumption in any office building or commercial space, especially in summer and winter. Today, the most efficient air conditioners can cool a building using 30% to 50% less energy than similar systems in the 1970s. Furnaces and boilers can be 60% more efficient at heating. Making your small business more energy-efficient in this area can save hundreds or thousands of dollars each year.
To truly make the most of this investment, you need to be sure your system is performing at its best year-round. Make sure to change the filters regularly and get the system professionally cleaned and serviced at least twice a year.
Windows and doors can be major energy wasters. Small gaps around the edges or poor insulation often go undetected, but these little spots make it easy for all that well-conditioned office air to make its way outside. That’s not to mention the outdoor air that can get into your workspace. Either way, it’s reducing your energy efficiency and driving up your electricity costs.
To prevent this problem, move your hand around the edges of all windows and doors to feel for any differences in air temperature. You might notice cold air around the edges in the wintertime, for instance. Where there are gaps, fill them with new insulation or caulking to ensure a tight seal.
Reduce energy demand during peak hours
Many workplaces operate on a typical nine-to-five schedule, which means they use more energy during those hours of the day. This drives up demand during “peak” hours, which in turn increases energy costs.
As an incentive, some electricity providers offer discounted energy rates during off-peak hours to encourage homes and businesses to adjust their energy usage patterns. See if your provider offers this option. If so, look for ways to adjust business hours or stagger employee schedules to shift some of your energy usage outside the traditional workday.
Install LED lighting
If you’re wondering how to save electricity, one of the first things to consider is your lights. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, lighting was the single largest source of energy consumption in U.S. businesses a decade ago, accounting for 17% of all electricity used. With the rapid improvements in lighting efficiency since then, that’s dropped to 8% in 2022 — largely thanks to LED lighting.
Switching your business to LED lighting is easy and inexpensive. You won’t have to change the bulbs again for years, and you’ll save energy immediately.
Be strategic with natural light
What’s even better than cheap electricity and energy-efficient lighting? Not using any electricity at all. If you’re strategic with your office layout, you can maximize natural light around workspaces so you and your co-workers don’t even need to rely on artificial light much of the time.
That said, there are times you won’t want all that natural light spilling into the office. Especially in summer, sunlight through the windows can heat up the room quickly. You may want that effect in winter, but be sure to install shades so you can be strategic about when you let the light in.
Shut off computers when not in use
Computers have certainly improved in terms of power consumption. However, the best way to keep your office computers from wasting electricity is to turn them off when you’re not using them. If your office has a lot of computers, this could save you quite a bit in terms of your average kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month.
To make this easier, plug all devices at employee desks into one power strip. When the workday is done, they can simply switch off the power strip on their way out.
Form an energy-saving team
No one knows your office’s energy-consumption habits better than the people who work there. If you want to expand this list of energy-saving tips, why not involve them in the process? Create a team of eco-minded colleagues who can come up with more creative ideas for how to save on energy.
Shop the best rates with Choose Energy
Last but not least, a great way to reduce your business’s energy costs is to find cheap electricity. If your business operates in a state with a deregulated energy market, you have the power to choose your own electricity provider (and gas provider in some cases). Use Choose Energy’s marketplace to explore electricity providers and compare rates in your area so your business can start saving today. Enter your ZIP code to get started.
Saving Energy for Small Businesses
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