Running a small business is expensive, and one of the best ways owners can make the most of their budget is by maximizing energy savings for businesses.
According to the National Federation of Independent Business, over one-third of small businesses list energy costs among their top three expenses. With the cost of electricity and natural gas rising year after year, it’s more important than ever to reduce expenditures by taking advantage of energy saving tricks and technologies.
Once you start closely examining your energy usage, you’ll likely find a number of inefficiencies. The average small business has many hidden or unnoticed energy drains that are contributing to higher than necessary costs. These can be anything from energy waste (such as leaving the refrigerator door open too long) to just old, inefficient equipment like HVACs and refrigerators.
Let’s examine some of the easiest ways to unlock energy savings ideas for your business.
What Contributes to the Most Significant Energy Savings for Businesses?
Although every small business will have different energy requirements, these are common tips that apply to most businesses regardless of industry. Let’s go over the best ways to unlock energy savings for a business.
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Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances
Hands down, making the switch to energy-efficient appliances is one of the most impactful ways to reduce your expenditures long term. These appliances must be thoroughly tested and must meet strict standards in order to be labeled as Energy Star options. Using these appliances can save you hundreds of dollars per month.
Energy-efficient appliances have a higher up-front cost than traditional appliances, but luckily there are companies that can handle these replacements at no cost to you, which we’ll discuss later in this piece. Plus, outdated appliances can be huge energy suckers. Switching out these old appliances is one of the most significant ways to create energy savings for businesses.
Optimize Your Heating and Cooling Systems
A vast amount of energy can be wasted due to ineffective or overused heating and cooling systems. Simply programming your thermostat to maintain a lower temperature during off-hours can mean huge energy savings for a business.
Smart thermostats are an easy way to control energy management. If your thermostats can be controlled from your mobile device, you can monitor office energy use even when you’re not on-site. Smart thermostats can also be programmed to automatically adjust the temperature based on open hours, peak times and local weather.
Another factor to consider is the age and condition of your heaters and air conditioners. Old or improperly maintained HVAC systems are a common cause of high energy bills.
Ensure that your system is regularly inspected and running optimally. Don’t overlook proper insulation either – a poorly insulated building can lose heat too fast for the heating system to keep up, forcing it to work overtime.
Take Advantage of Renewable Energy
Many businesses view renewable energy systems as too expensive. Renewable energy sources, however, are not only good for the environment: They also help reduce your overall energy costs. Installing solar panels can slash your energy bills and make you less reliant on the outdated and over-stressed electricity grid.
As a bonus, utilizing renewable energy sources is also a great way to show customers that your business is progressive and environmentally conscious. There are many grants and tax breaks for small businesses looking to invest in solar.
Learn how energy efficiency boosts your bottom line (and reduces stress) with these blogs:
Upgrade Your Lighting
Switching to LED lighting is an effective way to lower your small business energy costs. LEDs use up to 90% less energy than traditional bulbs, and also last up to 25 times longer. You will not have to replace lights nearly as often, and you will see significant savings throughout the year.
Reduce Energy Usage During Peak Hours
To reduce stress on the grid, energy providers often offer energy savings for businesses during off-peak hours.
If your small business is in the hospitality industry, you may already be taking advantage of these savings by using more energy later in the evening or night. If your normal hours are 9-5, see if employees are willing to stagger shifts or come in earlier or later to reduce energy draw during these hours.
Turn Off Non-Essentials When Not in Use
This one might seem obvious, but it’s also easy to forget. When employees aren’t at work, make sure appliances, lights, and heaters are turned down or turned off entirely. Many businesses use motion-sensor lighting to assist with energy efficiency. You can also create a checklist for employees to complete before leaving work each day, to make sure things are turned off.
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Establishing an Energy Standard for Your Business
With all the ways to reduce your business’s energy usage, another way to reduce and stabilize energy costs is to establish an energy standard for your business.
For example, if you monitor the energy baseline for your business before and after you’ve replaced HVAC and refrigeration, you’ll find you’ve cut energy usage by up to 30%. Establishing a more energy-efficient baseline for your business also helps clue you in to when equipment isn’t performing as it should.
How Do I Gain the Maximum Energy Savings for Small Businesses?
You’re a small business owner on a tight budget. Some of these energy savings ideas for businesses are easy to implement, while others require time and financial investment. Or do they?
Budderfly provides premium energy-efficient upgrades for small businesses with zero upfront cost to you. LED lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, and smart thermostats are just a few of the upgrades we cover. We then share the cost savings from our customers’ utility bills. Our income is tied directly to your energy savings.
We handle setup, costs and maintenance. Upgrade recommendations are tailored to the needs of your business. We also provide one simple monthly bill, so it’s easy to review your energy expenses.
To learn more about your energy-saving options, contact our team. Creating energy efficiency in your small business is less overwhelming with the help and knowledge of an industry expert.