Cutting Business Energy Costs
As a business owner, you may consider ways to save on the costs of commercial electricity. However, many money saving strategies are also environmentally savvy. Likewise, going “green” within your company may translate to significant savings on electricity rates. As an added bonus, the image that you convey to your customers and clients will also be enhanced by going “green.” In addition, many money-saving and environmentally-conscious strategies are simple and cost little or no money.
Choose a Green Energy Provider
What is the fuel source for your commercial electricity provider? If your utility is run on coal, consider a switch to a provider that draws some or all of its power from wind, solar or geothermal energy. Barring that, a change to natural gas may be marginally more environmentally friendly. Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel than coal. However, if the utility engages in hydraulic fracturing, commonly called “fracking” to extract natural gas reserves from shale deposits, it is questionable as to whether making a change would accomplish your goal obtaining electricity from a “green” utility.
Conduct Periodic Energy Audits
Do you know what drives your electricity bills up? If you have not conducted an energy audit recently, the answer is probably no. An energy audit discloses sources of electricity waste, such as equipment left on and unattended, or old, inefficient appliances. Many utility companies provide energy audits for commercial electricity customers at no charge. If yours does not, invest in having a professional energy audit done at your own expense. The inefficiencies and waste that an energy audit can uncover will likely more than pay for the investment involved in paying someone to conduct the audit.
Implement Energy-Efficient Practices
Turn off lights in rooms that are unoccupied or install motion-detection lighting that automatically turns off lights when rooms are vacated. Arrange workstations to take advantage of natural light. Institute a recycling program for employees and for manufacturing or production processes. Make double-sided copies and use spoiled copies as scratch paper. Encourage your employees to carpool or take public transit and provide financial incentives for them to do so. By implementing energy-efficient practices throughout your company, you may also be pleasantly surprised by realizing significant savings in your electricity bills.
Invest in Energy-Efficient Equipment
You may think you are saving money by hanging on to antiquated computers, printers, assembly line equipment, company cars and other equipment. However, in all likelihood, you are being penny wise and pound foolish, not to mention very environmentally irresponsible. Old school cathode-ray tube monitors and petrol-guzzling cars give your company an outdated image to your customers and clients, and may have an adverse effect on employee morale. By contrast, making an investment in energy-efficient equipment projects a message that your company is aware and concerned about the effects of climate change and other environmental concerns, which can enhance your company’s image among customers as well as the general public.
Reduce Heating and Cooling Usage
Except for heavy industry, the largest portion of commercial electricity expenditures is devoted to heating and cooling costs. Reducing heating and cooling does not require you to force your workers to swelter during the summer and shiver all winter. Instead, installing energy-efficient heating and cooling systems will reduce both energy costs and carbon emissions generated by your company. In addition to updating your heating and cooling systems, installing ceiling fans and improving cross ventilation will allow your systems to work more efficiently, which in turn allows you to use less energy while keeping your workers comfortable.
Reconsider Housekeeping and Cleaning Schedules
If it is feasible, why not schedule housekeeping chores to be done during working hours, or shortly after the bulk of your workers leave for the day? Many janitorial and housekeeping workers would appreciate the switch to daytime hours, and you would use less electricity by scheduling cleaning chores when your lighting was already being engaged. If it is not possible to switch all your cleaning to daylight hours, even a partial switch could translate into lower electricity usage.
Send Workers Home
Many employees appreciate the opportunity to work from home. Why not adopt a flexible schedule that allows workers to perform some or all of their tasks at home? They will save money, time and petrol on commuting costs and you will save because you will be able to maintain lighting and indoor air temperatures on fewer office spaces.
Cut Recharging Costs
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