Many businesses in the US are trying to reduce their overall spending. There are lots of ways to do this — some businesses slash their advertising budget, while other companies sell office space and fire staff. However lots of businesses don’t realize that one of the easiest ways to reduce spending is by lowering energy costs.
This is especially useful for new businesses with a tight budget (especially when you discover that half of US businesses survive less than five years due to money issues!). But how exactly can your business reduce energy costs? Do you need to move to a more energy-efficient building to see a significant difference?
Thankfully, it is much easier than having to switch buildings. You just need to do a few little things to make a big difference. Here are seven energy-saving tips for your business.
Change the Light Bulbs
One of the easiest ways to save energy is by replacing your light bulbs with more energy-efficient options. Research has found that swapping halogens for energy-efficient bulbs will significantly reduce your usage, which means that your monthly bills will be much cheaper. Energy-efficient bulbs also tend to last longer, so you won’t need to replace them as quickly. A win-win situation!
Two of the most popular options are light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps. Don’t worry about the bulbs being slightly more expensive initially, as you will get the money back (and more!) once they are installed.
Switch Energy Suppliers
It could also be worth switching energy suppliers, especially if you only use your supplier because they already operate in the building. There are lots of different suppliers out there, so if you shop around it is likely you will find one who is willing to offer you a better deal. And this doesn’t have to be hard work for you. Simply use a comparison site such as Utility Bidder to compare your options.
If you do find a supplier with a great tariff, consider speaking to them about getting a discount for a long-term contract (such as a year, instead of six months). Many companies are more than happy to negotiate with clients, even if it does feel a bit awkward!
Turn Down the Heating
If you really want to save energy you could also think about turning down the heating. Just turning the temperature down by one degree could result in savings of around 8%, which is pretty impressive — but this isn’t an option for every work space. It can easily be done in a room that is rarely used by people, but if your shop or office is filled with people you may want to consult them before changing the temperature. After all, some people run cold — and if people don’t feel great at work, they are less likely to be productive! So try to communicate with your employees before making any changes.
Stop Using Standby
Lots of businesses use standby as a way to save energy, but if you really want to save energy you should switch everything off when you leave for the night. Simply switching off standby lights can cut bills by around 15%, which is very significant!
If you want to put this in action, you will need to speak to the member of staff who is the last to leave at the end of every day. Let them know that it is their responsibility to switch off lights going forward, and perhaps offer them a bonus or a reward as an incentive to try and make sure they stick with it.
Monitor Your Electric and Gas Consumption
You can also buy a smart meter that allows you to monitor your electric and gas consumption. This means you will be more likely to switch off unnecessary appliances and lights when you realize how much energy they use up.
Stop Printing Paper
Not every business prints paper, but if yours does, you could consider cutting down how much you print (or even stopping entirely). After all, printing isn’t always necessary — notices could be emailed to employees, and letters for customers could be sent out using a newsletter. This will reduce energy costs, and it will also help to prolong the life of your printer.
Establish Some Energy Efficient Practices
Finally, you may want to consider establishing energy efficient practices for your staff. For instance, you could encourage employees to only use excess energy during off-peak times of the day (such as during the evenings). This will have a big impact on the overall energy use of your business.
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