It is a fact that small business owners have a lot to juggle when managing their day-to-day operations. Some of those expenses, such as rent, are fixed costs. Other expenses, such as utilities, can vary from season to season, even from month to month. Containing your energy savings can spell the difference between profit and loss. Read on and we will look at a number of ways you can conserve energy.
1. Review your bills. Pull out your water, sewer, electric and gas bills. Track your expenses for the past year and if possible for the past several years. Note particular trends including energy use, rate increases and price fluctuations. You need to gauge how much you are spending first before employing a comprehensive strategy to reduce your costs.
2. Look for leaks. Your water consumption may be high and you may not be aware of it. Perform a systematic check of your water system, checking pipe-work joints, connections and fittings for leaks. Old equipment, including faucets and toilets may go through more water than newer equipment. Learn about the water conserving technologies available today including faucet aerators, equipment that can pay your back in short order.
3. Consider your electrical consumption. Electricity usage accounts for 40 percent of total energy consumption for all businesses. That percentage can vary with supermarkets using more energy than a restaurant. Among the ways that businesses can save energy is by adjusting thermostat levels up or down depending on the season. Servicing equipment and installing energy efficient lighting including CFL bulbs can also help. Contact your utility company representative for a historical perspective on energy use including an energy use analysis.
4. Buy energy efficient equipment. Clearly, old equipment uses more energy than new equipment. Advances in energy saving technologies has been rolling out at a fevered pitch these past few years with newer equipment reflecting those savings. Today’s computer equipment, refrigeration and even hot water heaters use less energy. When it comes time to shop for new equipment, read your EnergyStar labels carefully — much savings can be realized when it is time to replace or upgrade your existing equipment.
5. Know the benefits. Besides saving energy and saving money, there are other benefits of reducing your energy consumption. Reduced energy consumption means that your business may have a higher market value as you work to streamline your operation. You are also considered a more environmentally conscious company, something that is not lost on your employees or your customers. Encourage your employees to become part of the solution, a morale raising effort that can provide extensive and long lasting benefits to all.
The larger your company, the more likely it occupies a vast footprint. You may not be able to reduce your building’s square footage, but you can make your physical structure more efficient and smart. Your energy companies can provide audits, but you may find that an independent audit can have a more far reaching impact.
Such an audit will review many things including what we have already covered. An energy auditor, however, will go beyond that to look your roof, the materials used, the orientation of the building to the sun, insulation, the number of windows and doors, constructions materials and beyond. That audit will identify possible ways to save on energy with analysis of what construction steps can be taken to make improvements. Your auditor will also provide a budget of anticipated improvements and project how much money you can save by reducing your energy output.
Elliot Shah is an avid penny pincher. He loves sharing his best frugal living tips on blogs for money concious consumers. Click to learn more about EnergyHelpLine.