How Small Businesses Can Reduce Energy Bills This Winter

As a small business owner, you are used to pinching pennies to protect your bottom line. Energy costs are a significant financial factor, and this is especially true in the winter. As temperatures drop, it can get pricey to heat your commercial space while controlling the cost of utilities. However, there are some ways to optimize your business’s energy use all season long.

Whether you own a car dealership or a bakery, the following tips can help you reduce your energy footprint and decrease your spending while keeping your customers and employees comfortable.


  • Upgrade Your Thermostat


Programmable thermostats can give you more control over your company’s energy use. By updating to a higher tech model, you can easily lower the heating temperature when the building is empty. The temperature will automatically lower after business hours, and the heat will kick into higher gear before employees and customers arrive. Then you can enjoy the same benefits in the summer. When selecting the right model for your business needs, consider purchasing a home thermostat that you can control remotely from a mobile device. This gives you ultimate control over the energy output at all times.


  • Call An HVAC Professional


If your HVAC units are not working properly, you are likely wasting money on utility bills. Call a commercial HVAC contractor for an audit of your heating system. They will ensure that the unit is running efficiently and the filters are clean. The professional will also check for leaky ducts. In some cases, they will recommend a simple repair. However, they may also recommend that you upgrade your unit. If this is the case, look for an energy efficient model.

It’s also important to talk to the HVAC professional about how to keep up with regular maintenance. By changing the filters, scheduling duct cleaning, and monitoring your thermostat, you can ensure that the unit is heating the building as efficiently as possible.


  • Shut Off Electronics


To offset the cost of heating, it’s essential to keep your electric consumption down as well. Especially in office settings, computers, printers, and copiers can put a dent in your energy bills. Encourage your employees to fully power down their computers when they leave the office. You might also consider using power strips for these devices and turning them off at the end of the day to ensure energy savings.


  • Optimize Lighting


One of the best ways to save on lighting costs is to avoid turning on the lights whenever possible. Take advantage of natural light around your office. Consider installing skylights to let in even more sunlight. If you work in a store, restaurant, or other commercial space that requires artificial lighting, be sure to switch to energy efficient light bulbs. LED lights use about 75% less energy than traditional bulbs, so they will certainly lead to long term cost savings.


  • Seal Your Windows


Once you tune up our HVAC unit and upgrade your thermostat, you want to ensure that the warm air remains inside of the building. Since many commercial spaces have large windows and doors, it’s important to stay on top of leaks. Hire a contractor to spot leaks and seal your windows during the winter months. This will also help you keep cool air inside during the summer. In some cases, a professional may recommend that you replace your business’s windows. While this will be an initial investment, it can pay off in energy savings down the line. Window technology like double panes can be especially effective in sealing air in and out.

By taking steps to understand your business’s energy consumption and reducing your footprint, you can see your energy bills drop. This increases your bottom line and leaves you money to make improvements to your business. In the long term, you can create a more sustainable and lucrative future for yourself and your employees.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.