Small to medium-sized businesses are feeling the squeeze of sky-high energy prices just as much, if not more, than residential customers. EnergyStar.gov estimates that small businesses spend over $60 billion annually on energy costs. But, if you are a small to medium-sized business owner looking to reduce costs, there are simple steps you can take to ensure your operations are as efficient and economical as possible. So read on for Integrity Energy’s tips to help your business power through these unprecedented economic times!
Ways to Reduce Costs
With over 5 billion kilowatt-hours managed annually, the energy experts at Integrity Energy have helped thousands of customers save money on their energy bills. Here are some of our top tips for your business:
- Shift operations to off-peak hours. Did you know that using energy when the demand is highest can drive up costs? Consider shifting your hours of operation outside the traditional 9 AM to 5 PM window; even an hour or two can make a difference!
- Learn More: Curious about residential peak and nonpeak hours? This article from CNET breaks it down nicely!
- Consider work-from-home options. While it’s not feasible for every business to let employees work remotely, the global COVID-19 pandemic has prompted creative solutions to keep teams productive and engaged from home. Some companies have even been able to eliminate the use of office space. It is worth exploring a work-from-home model because the cost-savings to business owners can be significant.
- Evaluate your HVAC system. Heating and cooling usually account for most of a business’s energy expenses. Having your HVAC system regularly serviced, inspecting your ductwork, keeping filters clean, and ensuring vents are clear of furniture and clutter allows your space to be both comfortable and economical by reducing your HVAC system’s workload.
- Maintain and replace large appliances as needed. Inefficient appliances can drain energy and raise bills. Servicing large appliances such as refrigerators and copy machines can keep them running in the most energy-efficient way possible. When an appliance is no longer serviceable, replacing it with an energy-efficient counterpart is another excellent way to save money over time.
The government’s Energy Star rating system is a great resource to consult when selecting an appliance. ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. Thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations—including nearly 40% of the Fortune 500®—partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions that protect the climate while improving air quality and protecting public health.
- Turn off lights and equipment when not in use. We all do it - we finish working for the day and lock our computers before we leave. But unless you turn the machine off, it will still drain power. This is known as “phantom power” and can significantly affect your next energy bill. According to HowStuffWorks.com, “...the biggest phantom power consumers include any device with a remote control (such as a TV, DVD player or garage door opener); an external power supply (that clunky black box known as a "wall wart" on the plug for your router, printer or cable modem); a charger (for a mobile phone, tablet PC, laptop, GPS or handheld gaming device); or a continuous display (an alarm clock, oven, microwave, VCR or coffeemaker with a digital clock). Laptop computers and cable boxes (particularly cable boxes with integrated DVRs) are among the worst phantom power offenders, drawing an average of 9 watts and 44 watts in "off" mode.” It shows that even small appliances, like fans and coffee pots, can add up if left plugged in or in standby mode when your business is closed. Powering things down and unplugging small appliances can make a big difference!
- Consider renewable energy sources. Consumer demand has driven the price of clean energy lower and lower. Consider using an alternative power source, such as solar panels, to reduce your energy bills and your company’s carbon footprint. The World Resources Institute predicts considerable consumer savings as the switch is increasingly made to renewable energy sources.
- Look into energy efficiency incentives. Many utility companies offer energy-saving programs and rebates to help businesses reduce energy use and carbon emissions. Check with your local energy provider for more information to see if your business is eligible. With these simple tips, you can take advantage of energy-saving opportunities and enjoy a more affordable energy bill.
Additional Ways to Save
If you operate your business in a deregulated energy area (see map below), one of the best ways to save money on energy bills is to shop the deregulated energy market. Because deregulated markets put the power of energy choice into the consumers’ hands, suppliers must win over their customers. This rivalry among suppliers can lead them to offer more competitive pricing and improved energy technologies (including renewable technologies) to earn the business of energy shoppers.
Additional benefits of deregulation include:
- Lower Rates: A large number of suppliers means increased competition in the deregulated market, which drives down business energy rates.
- Custom Billing Solutions: Flexibility in pricing and billing structure is another benefit of the deregulated market. Many suppliers offer unique or customizable pricing plans to stand out in a competitive market.
- Enhanced Customer Service: Pricing isn’t the only point of competition for energy suppliers. Customer service increasingly sets suppliers apart from the competition, and consumers in deregulated markets enjoy premium service and sophisticated consumer platforms.
- Greener Energy Options: Suppliers recognize that consumers want environmentally friendly energy options. Many business owners are looking to go green with alternative energy sources. The deregulated market allows consumers to select an alternative energy option like wind or solar power, helping them implement or create environmental goals for their business or industry.
In deregulated areas, Integrity Energy offers small and medium-sized businesses energy options and the buying power they need to decrease their energy costs. Our energy experts are here to share our network of trustworthy suppliers with you to keep your energy costs as low as possible.
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