Whether you’re looking at it from an environmental or an economical perspective, becoming more energy-efficient is a smart decision. Your Colorado facility can save money, time and the environment by taking some simple steps that will encourage your employees to be more mindful of their energy use and, ultimately, improve your bottom line. How can this be done? Well, energy bills are one of the top expenses facing small business owners and managers. Heat, electricity, air and other utilities are necessary components of running a successful operation, but this overhead can also be some of the biggest drains on your budget. Moving this to the top of today’s to-do list can make an impact for years to come.
Corporate and Community Initiatives
Check out what some other Colorado communities are doing. Denver, for example, has adopted new building codes that can help not only with each new building’s energy efficiency. Beyond that, the new codes also help with preservation and customization while allowing for adaptation to new technology, providing for long-term health needs and saving money.
In truth, improving your company’s energy efficiency requires an all-hands effort. Everyone needs to work together to accomplish a greener workplace, starting at the top. Getting the CEO of the company on board can make life easier for facilities managers who want to make sure they are doing their best to cut costs and save energy.
Some companies have done a variety of different activities, like creating a Green Team to analyze the energy situation in your Colorado facility. They can do a complete assessment that takes into account every different process and system in the facility. From start to finish, there are many different components that can and should be examined before and during your efficiency improvement plan.
Feedback from Everyone
While there is only a select team involved in the Green Team idea, it’s still important to solicit valuable feedback from all employees. Consider having a reward for employees who contribute or propose valid ideas that the team implements. Incentives for the idea could include initiative with a gift card or even a few hours of PTO time.
From your break room to your personal office, every space in your facility has at least one appliance or piece of equipment that runs on electricity. These items might be the culprit for your high utility bills.
Many companies keep their computers running continuously. If this is a requirement in your office, set them on a sleep mode, as that is the next best money- and energy-saving option. The best thing to do is to turn each piece of equipment off completely and then unplug the connection since computers, monitors, battery chargers and printers still pull power even if they are simply turned off.
The Heat is On
Check the temperature setting on certain appliances. Can they be adjusted to meet both your physical and economic needs? A refrigerator set to even one degree colder than necessary wastes tons of electricity. From the refrigerator in your break room to a hot water tank in your utility room, the new upgrades mean that you’ll get a better piece of equipment that will save you money and energy costs.
Flip the Switch
Before you go out and purchase new appliances, though, start with a few of these easy steps and you start to see a difference immediately.
Turn It Off and Sensor Lights
Get in the habit of turning off the lights in empty rooms. Encourage employees to do the same.
If the new habits aren’t working and employees are still leaving the lights on, consider installing motion- or occupancy sensor lights in low-traffic areas such as conference rooms or bathrooms. These will turn on when automatically when anyone enters the room and will shut off when the room is empty.
Let the Sunshine In
In addition to turning off the lights in empty rooms, turn them off in rooms that are occupied. If it’s a bright, sunny day, turn off the lights and open the blinds or curtains. Take advantage of the free version of lighting while you can.
Check It Out
Check the lighting in different rooms. There may be some that are lit too much. In addition to adding to your bill, too many lights can cause employee discomfort. Other rooms may be using standard incandescent light bulbs. Swap out these traditional bulbs for new compact fluorescent bulbs that use less energy and last much longer than incandescent bulbs.
What About Signage?
Replacing old, continuously-lit exit signs with energy-efficient LED versions will save money even in instances when the light must be kept on.
The best way to tell if your facility is efficient is to call a local professional for a commercial energy audit that will benchmark your building and help you track the biggest expenses.
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