Running a business or charitable organisation can be a difficult venture. It can become even more difficult especially when you take into account all the differing cost, especially when you’re starting up. However, something many people overlook is the cost of utilities and telecoms and efficiency when you’re operating.
In order to reduce costs in your business when it comes to energy, there are a variety of different factors you need to consider. By assessing the needs of your business and your customers when it comes to providing quality and standard utilities and telecoms, you’ll be able to make a plan that helps you cut costs where you need it the most.
Some essential tips come from the way you are already choosing to operate. Ask yourself this list of questions and consider the answers you come up with; many people are surprised that what they do on a day-to-day basis for their business can actually have a great influence over their energy costs.
- How long are the lights on for? 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.?
- Is the heat always on during the winter?
- Are you doing anything already to eliminate the need for a heater or AC unit?
- Are there any alternatives you can provide them when you’re moving forward?
- Are the lights turned off at the end of the night?
- Do you have backup security lights in case?
These questions and many more are the essentials that business owners should be asking themselves when they are looking to change the way they spend on utilities.
Below are 16 tips focusing on how your business can save money.
- Establish energy efficient practices: Depending on the utility company you are paying; they usually have off to high peak times during the day. Try your best to only use excess energy during the low or off-peak times, also encourage your employees to follow this same model.
- Get an energy audit done: Hire an energy audit company to come in and do an energy audit of your office. Many utility companies offer a free energy audit program to ensure that you are using energy efficiently. Give them a call and see if they can help you identify areas to trim down your energy needs.
- Replace existing bulbs with CFL’s: CFL and LED lights consume less power and offer much longer lifespans. Commercial lights qualified by the DesignLights Consortium (DLC) or Energy Star can ever reduce energy consumption by up to 75% and increase your fixtures lifespan by 2-3 times.
- Use hibernation feature of computers and laptops: Hibernate feature in laptops and desktops allows you to save your existing work as it is and you can continue from the same point next day. Schedule your workstation to switch to hibernate mode outside of working hours.
- Switch off equipment when not in use: Make sure that you switch off all printers, scanners, microwave, lights, air conditioners, coffee vending machines during weekends or holidays. They continue to draw power even if they are plugged in.
- Buy energy efficient devices: This may look costlier to start off with but the higher upfront cost will be neutralised over years of use, they’re going to save you money. This holds true for any equipment that runs on electricity – spending a little more can result in significant savings over years.
- Lookout for small drafts that may leak the air: Small drafts can result in businesses losing substantial portions of their heating and cooling costs. Proper air sealing of the work environment can eliminate those drafts.
- Keep control of your heating and cooling: Keeping your office temperature one degree down during winters and one degree up during summers can reduce the power it uses by up to 10%.
- Make use of natural light: Try to use maximum daylight and use artificial lights in areas which are dark. Less energy means less money spent on electricity bills.
- Use energy saving features: Educate your employees regarding energy saving features of air conditioners, printers, microwaves and let them use those features to cut energy costs.
- Upgrade all outdated equipment with energy star appliances: If your old heater is not working at its maximum efficiency, it could draw unnecessary power which may cost you money. Replace your old heaters with energy star ones.
- Consider installing solar panels: Solar energy is a free, clean and renewable source of energy. Solar panels might cost expensive initially but that cost can be recovered within few years if solar energy is used up to full strength. Solar panels last longer and have few maintenance problems. This will help you to bring down your monthly electricity bill.
- Use technology to hold virtual meetings: New technologies like Skype and Webex allows you to hold virtual meetings, give presentations and make long distance phone calls without even going to client’s office. You can surely save money on the amount of fuel or train tickets that you would use to buy them.
- Encourage employees to take part in brainstorming sessions: Saving energy is everyone’s responsibility not just that of the business owners. Employers often underestimate the ideas of their employees, so having an open dialogue about the things that could be changed about energy usage in your business is very important. This will allow you to create energy efficient work culture in your company.
- Take advantage of tax breaks for energy efficiency: Your local government may provide tax incentives when you buy energy-saving appliances for your business use that helps to reduce your energy usage.
By considering these crucial steps above, you’ll be able to see immediate changes in your energy bill the next month. People often underestimate the little things, so promoting awareness and consciousness about energy issues are very important.