It seems like the worst form of black magic. Every month, without delay or hesitation, your utility bills appear in your mailbox. You don’t want them but alas, there they are, and no amount of wishing them into the cornfield is going to get rid of them. What can you do? You man up, you pay your bills and the whole rotten business continues the next month. Unless you are interested in doing business in a way reminiscent of the pioneers, those utility bills are a necessary evil. There are, however, some steps that you and your company can take to help bring those totals down a bit. I’m not talking about BIG, HUGE things like replacing your entire roof with handmade, cruelty free solar panels, but if you are interested in small, reasonable steps that you can take to save hundreds of dollars each year, then grab a free range banana muffin and read on.
GET A FREE ENERGY AUDIT
Many utility companies offer free energy audits. Free. As in it costs no money. An energy audit assesses how much energy your business is currently using and provides you with an in-depth analysis of what measures you take to save yourself money while creating a more energy efficient workspace. This free assessment is designed to show you issues that may, when corrected, save you money in the long run.
REPLACE BURNED OUT BULBS WITH ENERGY EFFICIENT ONES
Energy efficient LED light bulbs are up to 80% more efficient than traditional light bulbs. Only 5% of the energy created by an LED light ends up being wasted as heat, the other 95% is actually used to make light. Those numbers stand in stark contrast to fluorescent lighting where 95% of the energy is lost as heat and only 5% of it actually goes towards lighting.
INVEST IN A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
A programmable thermostat is capable of adjusting the temperature during the hours when no one is working. Just a single night or two of not having the air conditioner kick on when nobody is even around can bring you savings.
Scheduling all of your office and store computers to go into hibernate mode when not in use will save power because they won’t be left on unnecessarily. Hibernating PCs at the end of the day saves approximately $44.65 per day, per user. Having the computers hibernate instead of shutting down prevents any work from being accidentally erased.
USE POWER STRIPS
Your electronic devices can drain energy even when they aren’t being used. Plugging a few items like the television and coffee maker in the break room into a single power strip makes it easy to do a hard shut down at the end of the day and save yourself from wasting electricity.
Consider joining the growing population of companies that are going paperless. No paper checks, no hard copies of office memos, and no printer or fax machine on site. This can be a bit of an adjustment but once you and your employees get used to doing things without using unnecessary paper (and you start saving money) you will wonder why you didn’t try this sooner.
INSTALL MOTION SENSORS
You’ve asked your employees a million times to turn off the light when they leave the bathroom but they don’t, do they? Installing motion activated lights in infrequently used areas such as bathrooms and store rooms can go a long way towards cutting down the amount of electricity you use in a given day. Sensor faucets are also a great way to improve water conservation.
Most small business are already walking a careful tightrope when it comes to their finances. Spending unnecessary dollars on your utility bills is no different than spending money on an ad campaign that falls flat. Making these simple switches can end up saving you hundreds of dollars each year. That is money that is now counted as part of your profit putting both your business and the environment one step ahead.