Many small business owners agree that saving money on your overhead expenses results in more money to reinvest in your business and to collect as profit. Although you may not have total control over some of your monthly expenses, there are others, such as gas and electricity, that you can reduce by implementing some easy energy conserving practices.
You can easily meet your small business energy needs and keep the additional funds for other important matters. Here are a few simple ways that you can conserve the energy in your small business while reducing your carbon footprint on the Earth.
1.Consider Automatic Lighting
While turning off your lights when not in use is standard practice for conserving energy, you can take it a step further. Switch plate occupancy sensors can be installed in areas, such as the restroom or break room, where employees may forget to switch off the light. The sensors will turn the lights off when there is no one present, and then turn the lights back on when movement is detected. This simple fix can save between twenty to seventy percent of the energy normally used in these areas.
2.Switch Your Bulbs
Consider replacing your light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps and light-emitting diodes that are Energy Star approved. These lights last approximately ten times longer than incandescent bulbs, so you won’t have to purchase and replace as many bulbs. They also cost seventy-five percent less to operate.
In addition to changing out your lights to more efficient technologies like LED, consider retrofitting existing fixtures to get the most for your money. By retrofitting your fixtures instead of fully replacing them, you can save a lot of money on the cost per luminaire along with the cost to pay someone to replace and convert your lights over to the new lighting technology
3.Open the Blinds
Use natural lighting as much as possible throughout the day. Not only does it save you from having to use electricity, but natural sunlight will boost the mood and morale of your employees. If you are in the process of selecting a business location, make sure that you choose one with a generous supply of natural sunlight. You may be able to add light to your existing location by installing a skylight.
4.Schedule Regular Maintenance
If you are trying to save money by skipping your annual heating, ventilating and air-conditioning appointment, it may end up costing you more money in the long run. Scheduling annual maintenance for your HVAC will ensure that your system is functioning at its maximum efficiency. It may also help to catch any concerns early on, before the damage becomes more costly to repair. Strategically scheduling regular tune-ups before the hot summer and cold winter seasons may help to elongate the life of the unit.
5.Replace Your Filters
Dirty HVAC filters will compromise the efficiency of your system. More energy is used and wasted as the heating and cooling components work harder to maintain the desired temperature level.
6.Set the Temperature
Having a programmable thermostat in the workplace is a must. You can customize the temperature depending on whether the space is occupied or unoccupied. For instance, during business hours, you may want to set the temperature at seventy degrees during the winter. While the business is closed, you can decrease the heat to sixty-six degrees, saving energy while no one is in the building.
7.Circulate Your Air
Ceiling fans are a great way to circulate and cool the indoor air during hot, summer months and are less expensive to use than air conditioning. You can set the thermostat temperature a few degrees higher, and simply use fans to cool the air. Turning your thermostat temperature up by just one degree will save approximately three percent on cooling costs.
8.Select Energy Efficient Equipment
When purchasing office equipment for your business, make sure to always select Energy Star products. Energy Star approved equipment, including printers, computers, copiers, televisions, thermostats, windows, ceiling fans, refrigerators and other essential office supplies, are the most efficient choices.
9.Turn it Off
Make it a common practice in your office to turn off machines and computers that are not in use. Change your settings so that your computer will automatically switch to hibernation or sleep mode after a certain period of time of not being used. You can set your printers, copiers, fax machines and other equipment to do the same.
Consider purchasing laptops for your employees rather than desktop computers. Laptops will save a considerable amount of energy.
Small business owners who make energy smart choices will benefit with reduced energy bill costs. Keep in mind that using Energy Star approved equipment and appliances may come with tax incentives as well. Energy conservation is not difficult. Just a few simple changes will help to make your small business more energy efficient.