Small business is big business nowadays. According to the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), the 28 million small businesses in America account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales. That’s right, small business owners—you’re making a huge impact on business as we know it.
What’s more, the SBA also revealed that the number of small businesses in the U.S. has increased by 49 percent since 1982. In addition, since 1990, big business eliminated four million jobs, while small businesses created eight million new opportunities.
If small business owners hope to continue along this path, they’ll need to strive for economic efficiency.
Small businesses remain competitive only by making the best use of available resources. While there are lots of ways to do this, one in particular is not only good for your bottom line, but also good for the environment: energy efficiency. Making wise decisions about energy consumption and monitoring your company’s electricity helps cut costs and can set your business apart.
In case you’re wondering what you can do to make your business more energy efficient, here are three examples:
- Make energy efficiency a company-wide best practice. When you close up shop for the day make sure that all equipment (like the microwave in the break room or the copier machine) are shut down. If your employees use computers, make sure they are powered down; if they use laptops, take them home at the end of the day rather than leaving them plugged in at the office. Most electronics that are shut off, but still plugged in, continue to use electricity. Turn the energy conservation practice into a competition so that employees are more dedicated to saving energy. Award the most energy-conscious worker with something special. Incentives will likely garner increased participation.
- Conduct a building energy audit. Have your facility evaluated for energy drains. There are companies that will perform a sweep around your building to check out your HVAC system, window sealants, etc. A professional evaluation can help you uncover ways to improve your energy efficiency. For instance, perhaps your windows aren’t sealed effectively and either your air conditioning or heat is escaping through a crack. What’s more, you may not be using the most efficient HVAC system on the market. Depending on the service, you can have an audit of your current system performed and suggestions for improvement.
- Evaluate your lighting systems. Lighting technology is always changing. For instance, traditional incandescent light bulbs produce more heat than light, making them major consumers of energy. As such, newer LED bulbs may now be more efficient for office lighting than fluorescents. What’s more, you may also consider evaluating control systems, ballast or other components. Lighting is changing so rapidly that you may be able to benefit from a new assessment of your lighting even if you made changes just a few years ago.
Small business in America is doing great right now. Make sure yours is keeping up with the pace. Read more about small business energy efficiency on the ConEdison Energy blog. Click here!