According to Energy Star, small businesses in the US spend about $60 billion on energy costs every year. Unfortunately, energy costs are largely hard to predict. Of course, you can estimate based on your bills in the previous months, but that’s not enough.
So small business owners who often have to have a budget for everything, sometimes find themselves struggling to pay these bills, which often takes up a sizable part of their monthly running costs.
If you’re a small business owner who has been struggling with high business energy bills and are looking for ways to lower them, here are a few tips that can help you.
Use Energy Efficient Lighting and Appliances
If you’re still using old-style bulbs like incandescent bulbs, or appliances, you need to get rid of them right away.
They aren’t energy-efficient and tend to consume a lot of power. Instead, switch to LED lighting, and energy-efficient appliances with high SEER ratings. Cost-wise, these are better for your business establishment. They are also great for the environment.
Take Advantage of the Sunlight
If your office is in an area with a lot of natural lighting, you should consider taking advantage of that. Done correctly, sunlight can be used as the default lighting for your office. Also, you can use solar energy for your power needs. And you don’t even need to buy a solar panel or install anything.
Just look for business community solar initiatives in your city or state. Community solar initiatives involve solar farms which generate lots of power from solar energy. These farms then send all that power to the utility grid, while the utility company distributes the power for customers who have requested electricity from this source.
Because of the current shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, certain states are offering incentives such as a 10 percent discount or more on electricity costs per month. This can translate into huge savings for your business if you take advantage of it.
Turn Off All Appliances at the Close of Business
Many business owners and their employees often make the mistake of just putting their computing appliances to sleep when they close for the day. What they don’t know is that these devices still consume electricity in their dormant state.
So, instruct your employees to actually shut down all computing equipment at the end of the day, and turn off the power outlet or switches. Also, remember to connect your devices to anti-surge power strips.
These will help prevent phantom energy leakages caused by appliances that are on standby. With the flip of a switch, you can easily shut off all power to those devices, thus saving the costs of latent electricity use. Turn off all heating and cooling equipment at the end of the day too as these consume a lot of energy, and account for over 40 percent of energy costs monthly.
Encourage Employees to Practice Energy Efficiency
Unless you work alone, you’ll need to get your employees to do everything possible to reduce power consumption. So start and encourage a culture of energy conservation and environmental awareness by leading and showing them how. If your staff are naturally more aware of climate change, they’ll do everything they can to lower energy consumption and usage.
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