Saving On Your Business Energy Bill

Business energy bills run from substantial to huge and there are a number of smart things you can do to cut the costs. Here are some great ideas to do so.

Get An Energy Audit

There is little that panics a business more than the word audit.  While an energy audit might not sound like something good, it will actually help you reduce the costs of your business energy bill and reduce energy usage.  It should be should part of your business and done every few years.

Most utility companies will offer their commercial customers a free energy audit.  This audit will help you determine where your money is going each month, where you can increase your energy efficiency and where you can make other adjustments that will lower your energy bill. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning it’s pivotal you review your energy supplier each year it’s important you should always review your energy policies.

Turn It Off When Not In Use

One of the best ways to reduce your business energy costs is by turning off the lights and office equipment at night.  This might seem fairly obvious, but there are a lot of businesses that do not do this. Computers, printers, monitor and other equipment will consume energy when they are left running and not in use.  

You need to ensure that the equipment is turned off completely as even sleep mode uses electricity overnight.  The best way to ensure this is to have one of your employees take a quick tour of the office at night and turn off any idle equipment.  This should include the break room applications such as microwaves, TVs, and coffeemakers. To make this easier, you can plug all of the applications into a single power strip which can be turned off on the way out of the door.

Take Advantage Of Natural Light

Letting the sunlight into your office will help you save energy.  When you open the blinds, you will not only get additional light, you will also get the benefits of natural light.  You should also consider the use of skylights and other natural light sources to reduce your use of artificial light during the day.  You should also check if there are areas of your office which are overly lit and remove from of the lighting to reduce your energy consumption.  

Install LED Or CFL Bulbs

A lot of people know that the more energy efficient a bulb, the better it is.  This is a place you do not want to neglect when you are looking to save money on your business energy bill.  The problem is that some people feel that the additional cost of energy efficient bulbs makes them less worthwhile, but this is not the case.  

If you replace a single 60-watt bulb with an 18-watt energy efficient bulb and the light is on for 10 hours each day, you will save around $1 per day.  If you multiply this by the number of days your office is in use and the number of bulbs you have, you will see that the savings really add up. Energy efficient LED or compact fluorescent bulbs will not only offer you some short-term savings, you will also get serious long-term savings as well.  Energy Star LED light bulbs will use around 75% less energy, but they last 50 times longer than the average incandescent which saves you money replacing them.

Use Automatic Dimmers And Motion Detectors To Adjust Your Needs

Automatic dimmers are an overhead solution that will lower the amount of energy your business uses.  Lighting costs make up 20% of the total electricity used in the United States in commercial buildings.  This means that when you are smarter with your lighting, you will be able to save a lot. You should also consider installing motion detectors in meeting spaces, hallways and other places where lights are generally always on even when they are not needed.  This will ensure that the lights are only on when you need them to be.

Install Programmable Thermostats

A programmable thermostat will give you the power to adjust the temperature in the office when no-one is there.  You can set your thermostat to start heating up the office around 30 minutes before people are set to arrive.  You can also have it turn off 30 to 60 minutes after everyone leaves to avoid it always being on.

In the warmer months, you should look at lowering the thermostat to 78 degrees and not any lower.  This will reduce the energy that you use while still cooling everyone down. In the cooler weather, you should not set your thermostat higher than 68 degrees.  When you keep your office temperature 1 degree lower in the winter and 1 degree higher in the summer, you will reduce your energy consumption by 10%.

Keep The Heat In Or Out With Screens, Weather-Stripping And Film

While having the window open to let a gentle breeze in might not seem like a big deal, you could be letting energy and money fly out of the building.  This is something that can easily be fixed and should not be ignored. All you need to do is add weather-stripping, foam or caulk around the windows and doors as this will save energy.  

A draft is not the only way that windows can cost you as they also let heat in which increases your cooling costs.  Fortunately, there are a number of window treatments that you can use to overcome this. Solar screen window shades, awnings, and reflective window films are some of the easiest to get.

Buy Energy-Efficient Office Equipment

When you have to buy new office equipment, you should look at getting ones with an Energy Star logo.  Energy Star labeled equipment will run more efficiently and will automatically power down when they are not in use.  This can save up to 50% or more on your energy bill. If you have an old heater or air conditioner in your office, it could be drawing unnecessary power.  Replace these items with units that have the Energy Star logo.

Consider Renewable And Alternative Energy Sources

Making use of wind and solar power will also help to reduce the energy bill that your business faces.  You will also be able to generate energy which is free of CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases. This might be the best time to invest in solar panels to help you pay less and still use the energy that you need to.

Adam Hansen

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