One of the downsides to a small business is smaller funds, making ways to streamline the company budget essential to success. Beyond supply and employment costs, the biggest drain on a budget tends to be the electric bill. However, any business may reduce their electric bill without affecting productivity by following a few simple energy saving tips.
Equipment Power Consumption
While it might require an initial investment, make sure that all appliances and equipment have ENERGY STAR qualification. Computers, break room refrigerators, and other common electronics drain a lot of power. By making sure that these essential items have an ENERGY STAR label, you are choosing energy efficient devices and appliances which will pay for themselves over time.
One of the simplest energy saving tips is also one of the most overlooked. Computers and other electronics often draw power even when turned off. A great way to reduce costs is to shut down computers and other electronics when they’re not being used. By using power strips instead of wall outlets, you may cut all power without having to unplug anything, making it quick and easy to power everything up in the morning. If your company runs under typical business hours, then small amounts of power are being unnecessarily wasted over approximately 128 hours every week.
An increasing number of homes and businesses feature efficient HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning) systems. Some of these systems use minimal power or are ENERGY STAR qualified. However, in order to keep costs minimal, it is important to schedule what is referred to as a “pre-season tune up”. This simply means that the contractor will maintenance your HVAC system between peak seasons to ensure they are working at their most efficient. By scheduling tune-ups, as well as regularly changing the filters, you keep the overall maintenance costs minimal and air quality at its best.
It is also important to consider a few other energy saving tips that prevent potential conflicts with your HVAC system. For example, during the summer months, windows exposed to direct sunlight should be covered. The sun’s glare heats the interior of a room and forces the HVAC system to work harder, thus burning even more electricity. Exterior plants, awnings, or solar screens are even more effective in reducing the amount of heat gain from the sun, as they reduce the amount of direct sunlight hitting the window pane.
Contrary to popular belief, fans are also an excellent way of reducing costs during the summer months. Efficient fans, especially ceiling fans, move air around, making the heat and cold more tolerable. This means that the thermostat may be kept at a higher setting. Considering every degree saves as much as three percent on cooling costs, being able to raise or lower the thermostat by five degrees greatly reduces the electric bill. Finally, placing box fans in open windows during nice weather means your HVAC may take a break.
Easily Overlooked Energy Saving Tips
There are a number of simple tricks to reduce energy consumption which you might employ at home without realizing they also apply to the workplace. Replace all bulbs with energy efficient compact florescent lamps (CFLs) will create a more gentle light for far longer and at a fraction of the cost. Encouraging employees to shut off lights in any rooms not currently being used saves a small but noticeable amount of money over time. Finally, installing occupancy sensors in places such as restrooms or conference rooms further improve upon lighting costs by automatically turning the lights on and off depending on whether the room is in use.