Decrease Your Business Energy Costs
Understanding how to save energy isn’t just a smart move for businesses—it’s an absolute must in today’s world. If you run a business, you probably know that saving energy can lead to serious savings on your bills. Plus, it’s a big step towards reducing your carbon footprint and helping our planet. This guide is packed full of tips and tricks to help you save on your business energy costs and become more energy-smart.
Step 1: Understand How Much Energy You Use
Start by noting the times when you use the most energy, and look for patterns. Are there periods of the day or specific times in the year when your energy usage spikes? Maybe it’s during the cold winter months when your heating is on full blast, or perhaps it’s during busy times of the year when your business operations are in full swing.
The next step is to conduct an energy audit. During an energy audit, an energy professional comes to your business and analyzes where your energy is going. They’ll also identify any problems that are leading to energy wastage, such as poor insulation or faulty wiring, and recommend upgrades and fixes. Regular energy audits can ensure that your business gets the most out of the energy it uses.
Step 2: Use Smarter Lighting Solutions
The type of lighting you use in your business can have a big impact on your energy costs. Energy-efficient lighting options use much less power than traditional lights, and they can help you save a lot of money.
One of the smartest lighting options is LED bulbs. They use far less energy than old-school incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, and they last much longer. That means you won’t have to replace them as often, saving you money in the long run.
In addition, consider using motion sensors and timers for your lights. These automated switches ensure lights are only on when they need to be. That means no more lights left on overnight or in empty rooms.
Don’t forget about the power of sunlight. Using more natural light in your business can help reduce the need for artificial lights and save on your energy costs. You might be surprised at how much of a difference this simple step can make.
Step 3: Upgrade Your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems
HVAC systems can be one of the biggest energy users in your business. But with a little investment, you can make your HVAC system more efficient and save a lot of energy. Here’s how:
- Regular maintenance can keep your HVAC systems running smoothly, increasing their performance and reducing their energy consumption. This includes simple tasks like fixing any issues and changing filters, as well as larger ones like getting equipment serviced regularly.
- Energy-efficient HVAC systems are a valuable investment when it’s time to replace old equipment. Yes, they might cost more at first, but they save a lot of energy and money over time.
- Programmable thermostats and zone controls can help you control the temperature in different areas of your business and avoid heating or cooling empty spaces, saving a lot of energy.
- Improved insulation helps your business stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, so your HVAC systems don’t have to work as hard.
Step 4: Make Office Equipment More Energy-Smart
Most businesses have lots of office equipment like computers, printers, and even coffee machines. These can all use a lot of energy, especially when they’re left on all the time. By managing energy costs in office buildings, you can save a lot of money.
One of the easiest ways to save energy is by putting office equipment in sleep mode or turning it off when not in use. Some electronics use power even while off, so you can save even more power by unplugging them or using smart power strips.
When it’s time to buy new equipment, go for models that are ENERGY STAR certified. These are designed to be energy-efficient and can help lower your energy use. Most are also better made, so they’ll work better and last longer.
Step 5: Invest in Renewable Energy Sources
Using renewable energy like solar and wind power is a brilliant way to cut down on energy use and costs. They might cost more at first, but over time, they can save your business a lot of money. Plus, using renewable energy can protect you from changes in energy prices, making your costs more predictable.
There are also many government programs out there that offer tax credits or other incentives to businesses that switch to renewable energy. These can make it much more affordable to switch to renewable energy sources.
Step 6: Get Your Employees Involved
Saving energy is a team effort, and getting your employees involved is key to success. To do so, teach your employees about why saving energy is important and how they can help. This could be as simple as reminding them to turn off their computers at the end of the day. However, you could also set up energy-saving goals and reward employees who help you reach them. This creates a sense of friendly competition that encourages everyone to do their part to save energy.
Step 7: Keep Track of Your Energy Usage
It’s not enough to understand your energy usage at one point in time – you’ll need to continually keep an eye on how much you use in order to spot problems and continue reducing costs. Comparing your energy use to other similar businesses can help you understand how well you’re doing. Your competitors’ usage can be a helpful benchmark to set energy performance indicators (EPIs) that help you measure your success. These are like your energy-saving scoreboard, showing you where you’re doing well and where you could improve.
There’s also a wide variety of software available, such as energy management systems (EMS), that can help you manage and track your energy use. This can help you spot trends, see where you can save, and set realistic energy-saving goals. They also offer a convenient way to monitor and adjust your energy usage from a unified platform.
Step 8: Find Money to Help Pay for Energy-Smart Projects
Making your business more energy-smart can sometimes require a big upfront cost. But there are lots of ways to help cover these costs. Some companies and government agencies offer money or other incentives to businesses that take on energy-smart projects.
There are also special loans available for energy projects that let you spread the cost over time. When choosing projects, start with those that will save the most energy, so you get the biggest bang for your buck.
Step 9: Reduce Your Energy Rates with a Broker
If your business is located in a state with deregulated energy, you can shop around and choose the best energy plan for your business. However, energy markets are complex and shift constantly, making them difficult to navigate. That’s why it’s best to work with an energy broker like Integrity Energy who can negotiate with energy providers to get the best service and rates for your business. As one of the largest commercial energy brokers in the country, Integrity has worked with tens of thousands of businesses, non-profits and government organizations to help them get favorable energy contracts that reduce their electricity bills. By answering just a few short questions, you can start the process to see if Integrity Energy can help you save on your energy costs. Get your energy quote here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes energy costs high for businesses?
Old lights, machines, and HVAC systems all use more power than necessary. Not being careful about energy use can also make costs go up. It’s like leaving the lights on when no one’s in the room.
How much money can I save by using less energy?
By being energy-efficient, businesses can save anywhere from 10% to 30% on their energy bills. That’s a major discount on your monthly expenses.
Can the government help my business save energy?
Yes, the government has programs to support energy-saving efforts like tax credits and grants. These help businesses afford the steep installation cost of efficiency upgrades.
How long will it take to see the savings from energy projects?
Energy-efficiency upgrades are an investment. Some projects will save you money right away, while others might take a few years to see the full benefits.
For more answers to your energy-efficiency questions, please review our General FAQ.