Saving energy in your business is not only good for reducing the costs of your business, but it is also a great way to help create a more energy-efficient world and lower the carbon footprint that your company contributes to the planet.
But how can you lower the amount of energy that your company uses while maintaining the same work environment or work production?
It can feel like a daunting task to cut back on energy and keep the same standards of your company, but do not fear! Thanks to several technological advances in the energy reduction industry and a public that actively chooses to support green and efficient companies, you have plenty of resources and options to help reduce spending and energy use!
So what are these tips to help cut back costs and energy? Read on to find out!
#1: Assessing Your Energy Use
The first thing that you should do is to take a look at the biggest habits and practices that your company does that can use lots of energy daily.
Take inventory of the forms of energy usage your company does regularly uses so that you can use these tips to help cut back on costs and energy use. Take a look at these questions as a starting point to see where energy is being used the most in your company!
Questions to look at:
- Do you keep the lights on at all times even when no one is in the building?
- Or how many hours a day are the lights on?
- Is the heat always on in the winter even if no one is in the building?
- Is the air conditioning always on in the summer even if no one is in the building?
- What temperatures and lighting styles do your employees thrive in?
Taking inventory of your answers to these questions can help you understand how to move forward to reduce energy costs.
#2: Switching to Energy Efficient Lighting
Traditional lighting designs are out-dated and can suck tons of energy while cranking up your utility bill. Many of the older lighting designs are also far less efficient and need to be replaced more often than the newer, more eco-friendly and cost-efficient options.
Try switching to more efficient light bulbs, like LED and CFL lights that emit equal or more light than other designs all while using significantly less energy. They also have much longer lifespans than older models of lighting.
To reduce costs further, you can do something called retrofitting, which is when the luminaire is replaced with a more efficient model instead of replacing the whole fixture. This practice saves money on both the installation and purchasing of the new fixtures.
Another way to create energy-efficient lighting is to get motion-activated lights in locations where your employees are not constantly working in, such as the breakroom or bathrooms. These motion-activated lights have sensors that turn on the lights when someone enters a room and turn off when there are no longer any people in the room.
These sensors can help greatly reduce energy costs because often, we forget to turn off the lights when we leave a room, which can cause energy usage to unnecessarily grow.
#3: Turn Off Equipment or Utilize Sleep Mode
Common office and business equipment such as printers and computers can drain lots of energy from your building, as well as increase costs. These machines still use energy even if you are not using them if they are not powered off.
A great way to manage this use of energy is to always power machines completely off when they are not in use for an extended period of time. At night, turning off printers, scanners, coffee makers, and lights can help reduce energy costs long term.
Over holidays, turn off and unplug microwaves, air conditioners, and space heaters as well, to limit excess energy drain.
If the computers that your company uses have a sleep mode or a hibernation mode, turn those features on so that during the day at times when the computers are not in use, they can save energy. Remind your employees to turn off their computers completely before heading home for the evening as well.
#4: Update to Energy-Efficient Machinery
Although energy-efficient office appliances may cost more than their cheap and draining counterparts, they will save you more money long term. They are investment products.
Air conditioners with eco-mode or programable thermostats that can decrease the heat or cooling at night are great options to limit the costs of temperature control long term.
Use certified energy-efficient products marked with the EnergyStar logo, which means that the product is certified energy-efficient by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
Another way to find out how to create an energy-efficient environment is to get an energy audit done. An energy audit includes analyzing your usage trends, highest load times, and even your pricing. There are now online tools and guidance that can help you lower your business electric bills.
#5: Talk to Your Employees
Your employees might be able to pinpoint more things around the office or building that are using up energy for no good reason.
Discuss with them what they think could be done to help create a more energy-efficient work environment. They might have some insight that you could overlook!
In addition to brainstorming ways to save energy with your employees, discuss other alternative steps that your employees can take to cut energy costs. Introduce the subject of creating a work from home schedule so that a few days a week, employees can work from home, connect to a protected VPN to the company’s network, and get work done remotely. This reduces the amount of lighting, heating, or cooling that is needed overall while keeping your employees happy.
Introduce web meetings with clients and corporate officials instead of driving or flying, to cut back on travel costs and the pollution that heavy travel can create.
Educate your employees on how to utilize natural lighting and reducing their energy usage. Encourage them to listen to each other’s ideas on how they can cut back on energy use.
Employers tend to look past their employee’s ideas and thoughts, so make sure that you are including them in the conversation of energy reduction. After all, they are a core piece of your company.