According to the EPA's ENERGY STAR program, U.S. small businesses collectively spend a staggering $60 billion on energy each year. Energy costs are a top-three business expense for more than one-third of the nation's small businesses, but many small business owners don’t realize that they can cut their energy costs by as much as 10-30%. Find out how below!
In many states with a deregulated market, switching from the public utility to a retail energy supplier can provide price protection and cost savings. You can lock in costs for a six, 12, or 24-month period, and even take your company green by switching to solar, wind, or water generated power. Increasing your company’s energy efficiency or installing new equipment may also make you eligible for tax incentives.
Set Energy Goals
After you determine you are getting the best possible price for power, conduct an energy audit and identify areas in which you can reduce power consumption. Set a goal to reduce your energy usage by ten % during the first year. Use online tools and analytics combined with an analysis of your power bills to come up with a plan. Get employees involved as well.
Tune Up or Replace Aging Systems
Your AC and heating units should be serviced annually in advance of their heavy usage season. HVAC units should have a professional tune-up, filters laid in, and a schedule made for changing them out monthly. Furnaces more than 15 years old should be replaced. Thermostats should be set to a comfortable level during office hours and decreased by as much as 8 degrees at night when the office is unoccupied. And lastly, employees should be allowed to dress for comfort to avoid complaints about temperature.
Change your Lighting
Natural lighting can reduce energy costs, as can switching to LED bulbs which use up to 80% less energy and can last up to 20/25 times as long. If you are using T12 fluorescent lights, consider switching to T8 lamps and electronic ballasts to reduce energy consumption by up to 35 percent. Turn off lights that are not in use and encourage employees to conserve lighting. You can also install sensors that turn off lights if there is no one in the room for a certain time period, and turn them on when someone walks in. You can also install energy efficient EXIT signs and remain compliant with rules and regulations.
All of these tips can help you keep small business costs down. Implementing them can make a big difference in your annual energy costs and help you keep your doors open.
General tips are taken from the below sources and are not independently verified by North American Power. Dollar and usage savings are estimates and are based on, but not limited to the following: home profile information, performance assumptions, third-party resources, and the average regional cost for electricity. Savings are not guaranteed, are subject to change, and may vary.
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