One of the top priorities for any business is to save money. If you live in an area of the country where the summer months are extremely hot or the winters are bitter cold, any additional method of saving can be significant. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 30 percent of the energy a commercial building consumes goes to waste. That can add up over the course of a year. Consider 12 ways a business can save both energy and money. While some of the ideas may seem relatively simple, the amount they could save your business will make it well worth the time and effort.
1. If equipment is not being used, turn it off.
This goes much further than simply turning out the light when you leave a room. Energy used by scanners, printers, air conditioning and other appliances all adds up and leads to wasted money. Start turning these items off over the weekend and see what happens to your energy bill.
2. Talk to other employees about being wasteful with energy.
Lights and air conditioning units can be shut off in reception areas, stairwells, and other common rooms that are not being used. Remind employees that the more money the company is saving directly impacts the funds that can be used during promotion and bonus times.
3. Equipment that is outdated can end up costing more than being replaced over time.
If an air conditioning or heating unit is not working to its maximum efficiency, you may be spending more on the energy being used over a period of time – more than the price to replace it. When you do replace the units, make sure they are being replaced with Energy Star units.
4. Replace the existing bulbs in your lighting fixtures with compact fluorescent bulbs.
Florescent bulbs use around 75 percent less energy than any standard light bulbs. They also last a lot longer, saving you money on the amount you end up spending altogether.
5. Make sure that you are taking the time to control the heating and cooling of your office.
By simply raising the temperature one degree throughout the summer and lowering a degree in the winter, you will be able to cut back the amount of energy you are using by 10 percent. A little difference can go a long way over an extended period of time.
6. Schedule meetings online whenever possible.
Rather than consuming energy with lighting, heating or cooling, and other tools or sources that may use energy, start having your meetings online through computers that are more than likely turned on during this time anyway. Using this type of technology to your advantage will also help eliminate travel expenses for long distance meetings, saving the company money on gasoline, flights, and costly hotels.
7. Recruit employees to come up with energy-saving ideas.
During your next business brainstorming session, bring the energy situation to the attention of your employees and get them involved with coming up with ideas and solutions. This will make them aware of what you want to accomplish and hold them accountable for their part in the plan of action.
8. Consider how landscaping can provide additional insulation.
Add additional insulation to your building by planting trees and shrubs that will keep the building in the shade. Your landscaping will not only block the heat from a hot sun, it will also block a chilled wind during colder winter months. This will decrease the amount of energy that is being consumed by your heating and cooling system.
9. Make good use of your building’s windows and skylights.
By getting more out of daylight hours with sunlight instead of artificial lighting, you will drastically save on your energy cost. Move desk and workstations as close to windows or directly under skylights as possible and keep any blinds and curtains open throughout the day.
10. Solar panels make more sense than you might originally think.
There are expenses involved when buying equipment and setting everything up, but think about it as along-term investment. Within the first few years of free energy you will receive, you will recover your investment and be saving the money you would have been spending monthly on energy bills.
11. Get a programmable thermostat for your building’s heating and cooling system.
A programmable thermostat will give you the ability to adjust the temperature while no one is working. By simply turning the air conditioning down during evenings and weekends when no one is in the office, you will start noticing a difference in your monthly energy bill.
12. Start applying energy efficient practices to your business.
By setting an example and going out of your way to get the ball rolling, your employees will be more likely to follow along with you. Schedule a commercial energy audit to find out additional ways to save money and energy for years to come.
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