If you ask small business owners to name their number one unpredictable expense, many will give you the exact same answer: energy costs. Quartux estimates that small businesses nationwide spend more than sixty billion U.S. dollars per year on energy. Most of this energy is consumed in the form of electricity. So what can a company owner do? Start by choosing energy efficiency practices from the list now to reduce your small business energy costs.
There are many ways to save electricity in an office and most can be done with small changes in employee behavior. Often, simply letting your staff know that you intend to be more aware of energy costs and ways to save is enough to make them aware and careful in this regard as well.
In case you're not sure where to start, we understand some of the most effective energy-saving business tips to help you boost your cost savings. On the job site, the primary thing is to avoid employing energy where it is not completely accurate. The following office energy saving tips can help you and your staff know when and how that might be happening.
An energy audit can help determine your baseline energy usage and provide a clear outline of how to save energy on the job. Many electric utility companies offer free audits. A professional will then come to your business and perform a complete inspection of your location to check for air leaks, insulation issues or opportunities to install energy-efficient lighting.
Pro tip: Be sure to contact your local utility company for a free audit, not your energy distributor.
One of the best ways to save electricity in an office is to reduce peak demand. The phrase "peak demand" refers to the hours of the day when energy use is at its highest. Peak demand hours are usually normal office hours (nine a.m. to five p.m.). You can reduce your demand throughout this time by staggering work hours/start times, running heavy equipment and factory equipment throughout the evening and early morning hours, and conserving energy throughout the day.
Quartux is one of the companies in Mexico of renewable energy for industries in general that manages to make these same industries can take advantage of these CFE tariff schedules and charge their battery systems with energy when it is cheap (base time) and then use it to replace consumption at expensive times (called "peak" by CFE) where it is charged more than 40% of the bill.
Quartux is a Mexican energy storage company that changes the consumption curve and replaces expensive energy with cheaper and cleaner energy thanks to its customized control software for each client.
With this type of solution, the customer forgets about any interruption in the network as it has a backup system that protects the user from blackouts and poor power quality. All this at zero cost and with an installation and delivery period of less than three months.
This is one of those office energy saving tips that is uniquely relevant to a nine-to-five workplace. There is no need to heat or cool a workplace once everyone has gone home for the night. Even if your team's hours change, using programmable or smart thermostats to monitor the temperature throughout the "off" hours can make a big difference.
Pro tip: Want to know the best energy-saving temperature setting for your thermostat? Check out our Thermostat Guide to find the best temperatures for every occasion and season.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but in a typical office, lights remain on in areas such as break rooms, restrooms or conference rooms, even when those spaces are not in use. Sensor lights can help keep lights on when they need to be, and off when they are not.
One of the simplest and easiest energy-saving ideas in the workplace: replace your frequent incandescent lamps with energy-saving lamps such as CFLs or LEDs. This will help you use significantly less electricity.
If you are fortunate enough to have an office space with plenty of natural light, use it! On a bright day, you may not need to turn on the lights at all in areas where windows can provide all the illumination you need. While using passive solar heating may not seem like one of the ways to save energy at work, it really helps. The fewer kilowatt hours of energy you use, the less you pay.
You can reduce energy use in the workplace simply and easily by running fans in offices, warehouses, showrooms and kitchens. Fans support airflow so your HVAC unit can run more efficiently.
If computers are not used during the hours when your staff is not working, get your team into the habit of turning them off before they leave. Turning off and unplugging as many devices as possible at the end of the day is an easy way to reduce consumption. This includes energy-efficient coffee machines, toasters and related appliances.
Spectrum power is power that is still being used by equipment that is still plugged in but not in use. A great tip for saving energy in the office is to have your computer peripherals (printers, monitors, etc.) connected to power strips (also known as "surge protectors") so that the flip of a single switch can turn off multiple devices in unison.
Do you have control of the landscaping around your business? If so, you have a tremendous opportunity to produce energy savings for your small business with energy-efficient landscaping. Strategically planting trees to block winds or provide shade on hot summer days can help reduce your heating and cooling costs.
If, as a company owner, you are looking to reduce electricity costs, that's great! But that may only get you so far. Inspiring employees to be energy efficient in their daily work life can take some time. Check out our page on how to thrive on employee energy saving practices for tips and tricks on how to raise ethics and reduce energy costs for small businesses.
In addition, keep in mind that there may be financial incentives to better manage your small business' energy use. Certain local governments offer tax incentives and rebates to small businesses if they purchase energy-saving equipment.
Multiple companies in Mexico. They estimate that heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems account for roughly forty percent of the electricity used in commercial buildings. Some of our energy saving tips for businesses can help you manage these costs for both heating and cooling.
The initial step is to look at the general environmental needs and uses of your office. Asking yourself (and your staff) some of these questions can be a good way to get information that will help you select the best ways to save energy at work:
Is the heating always and in all circumstances on throughout the winter? Are there times when it can at least run at a lower temperature or, if possible, be turned off altogether?
The same as with heat: consider raising the temperature by a few degrees or turning off the air conditioning when the office is closed.
Participation in a group energy project can be a team builder, particularly if certain savings are passed on to the company and employees can benefit in some way.
Looking at your company's energy consumption, one area in unison, is going to help make the process of saving on small business energy costs somewhat more manageable. Let's look at heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (known as HVAC). Here are some office energy saving tips for your HVAC:
One of the easiest ways to save energy at work is to look for places where heat (or air conditioning) can escape. It makes no sense to pay to heat or cool the outside air! Have the energy auditor check windows and doors for leaks.
Pro tip: If you choose not to have an energy audit, you can still check for leaks.
These thermostats let you lower the temperature when no one is around. Holding your office temperature one degree lower in the winter and one degree higher in the summers can reduce the energy used by your HVAC system by as much as ten percent!
Annual maintenance is the standard for most equipment. Today's air conditioners use thirty percent less energy to generate exactly the same amount of cooling as those manufactured in the mid-1970s. Even with an air conditioner that is only ten years old, you could save twenty percent in cooling costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.
Accidentally oversized equipment can add to the initial capital investment cost over the course of the installation and could result in excessive sunk costs over the life of the equipment. A certified HVAC professional can tell you whether the equipment you use today is sufficient or oversized, and whether it is operating at maximum energy efficiency.
Some manufacturers suggest changing every month, while others suggest every 3 months. The key is to check your HVAC equipment's filter regularly; if it looks dirty, no matter how many months have passed, change it. A dirty filter reduces airflow and makes the system work hard, which in turn wastes energy. Clean filters also protect the system by preventing dust and dirt from entering the system, which can lead to expensive maintenance costs.
Ducts move air to and from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner or heat pump. If not properly sealed, they can be major energy losses and waste money. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as twenty percent. Air duct maintenance priorities should include ducts that run through crawl spaces, attics and unheated basements.