Have you ever cleaned your couch and found money hiding under the cushions? What about the last time you put on a pair of jeans and discovered a few dollars in the back pocket? Unexpected moments like these bring smiles to most people’s faces, albeit temporarily.
Small business owners often experience the same emotions when they slash operational inefficiencies or implement new processes that reduce costs. For many small businesses, energy use is a large driver of costs. That means energy is an area rife with opportunity for savings, and the flashes of euphoria that ensue!
Read below to learn some best practices that may brighten your company’s day by helping your bottom line as well as the environment.
1. Capture the low-hanging fruit
Adjust the temperature: You may not notice a difference of one degree Fahrenheit, but you’ll notice the impact of that adjustment on your utility bill. For every one degree you set your thermostat back, you could save 1-3 percent on annual heating and cooling costs.
Control the sunlight: Direct sunlight through the windows can be your friend or your enemy. In the winter, use the sun’s rays to warm your business location by opening the shades. In the summer, use the blinds to keep things cool.
Avoid phantom usage: Unplug appliances, electronics and power strips when they’re not in use. Anything that has a little box attached to the power cord or an always-on light is still drawing energy even when turned off.
Replace air filters regularly: Give your HVAC system a break and improve the air quality circulating throughout your building. A clogged filter will make your system work harder to warm or cool your air, and it could cause your system to need more frequent maintenance.
Smart computer choices: Are your employees using laptops? If not, you may want to consider converting. Desktops consume up to 4 times more electricity than the average laptop when idle.
2. Commit to ENERGY STAR® certified products
Energy efficiency is the process of getting the same energy output for less input, and products such as office equipment, appliances and light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR label can help you maximize your savings in this area. For instance, an ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb uses 75 percent less than a standard incandescent bulb and can last 10 to 25 times longer. And ENERGY STAR appliances use 10-50 percent less energy than standard models. Small businesses can even join the ENERGY STAR Small Business Network to access resources and encourage others to join you in conserving energy.
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