Imagine for a moment that someone waltzed into your office and demanded 30% of your bottom line every year — no explanation, no real reason. They just wanted it, and you were being forced to fork it over. What if I told you that there is a strong possibility that that’s happening to you right now? According to Energy Star, the average commercial building wastes 30% of the energy used — energy that you pay for month after month.
What if I told that didn’t have to be the case? You don’t have to be the “average” utility user. Instead, you can take action and take back part of your bottom line.
There are multiple ways to increase the efficiency with which your company uses energy. Some of these practices you can start as early as the next business day, while others may require a more significant amount of time and effort, though they’ll pay off in the long run.
You can begin by considering these five energy tips:
Start With The Little Things
The notion of energy savings, at least when your business is concerned, typically conjures up images of massive equipment or costly structural updates. While those changes certainly are included in the overall plan, it’s often the little things, like light bulbs, personal fans, personal heaters and appliances left on that eat into your energy budget.
A great place to start is by replacing lighting fixtures and bulbs with more energy-efficient and planet-friendly alternatives. Though the impact may seem small on a month to month basis, it can easily accumulate to hundreds of dollars saved over the course of the year.
Similarly, when lights, printers, monitors and computers are left on after working hours, you’re footing the bill for energy wasted. Implement an energy-saving policy that urges employees to take ownership of these energy liabilities and you may see a marked decrease over time.
Finally, as you begin to increase the efficiency of your HVAC system, which we’ll talk about next, you’ll be able to phase out those personal fans and space heaters.
Check For Old Or Outdated Equipment
Technology is a wonderful thing, constantly empowering the human race to make more efficient products that save green (both fiscally and environmentally). One of the biggest abusers of energy that I’ve seen, though most energy experts would agree, are outdated HVAC systems that are in desperate need of repair or an upgrade.
These updates may come with an upfront cost, but the investment will pay for itself. New, Energy Star HVAC systems can save up to 20% in usage costs. When it comes to cooling and heating a building, today’s HVAC systems are much more proficient. This is particularly true if current equipment is nearing or is over the ten-year mark.
Practice Regular Maintenance
When equipment isn’t performing properly, you’re wasting energy. That equipment can be as large as the HVAC systems mentioned above, which do need to be regularly maintained to operate efficiently (i.e., prevent you from wasting money). Or it can be something as simple as replacing malfunctioning timers or cleaning solar panels.
Regular maintenance should also include building maintenance. Leaky pipes, ducts and windows can quickly form financial black holes; performing a regular inspection and addressing any issues early on can save you money on utilities and prevent more significant and costly damage in the long run.
Invest In Smart Technology
The impact that technology has had and will continue to have on energy savings is nothing short of amazing. For business owners that really want to get a handle on those utility bills, the answer is in smart technology and Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
Smart technology empowers users to make educated decisions about their energy usage — decisions based on everything from historical data to real-time usage metrics.
Smart technology makes it possible to monitor electricity usage from anywhere you have internet access, review room-to-room usage to identify trends or issues and control temperature based on room occupancy and other environmental factors. The same is true for smart water technology, which enables users to analyze usage or identify leaks or pressure issues, both of which can indicate problems that will lead to unnecessarily high bills.
Consider Speaking To An Energy Consultant
Companies that really want to make significant changes to the way they use and pay for energy really can benefit from seeking professional assistance. Energy consultants are equipped to guide companies through this money-saving effort. They’re also able to leverage their industry expertise to increase efficiencies and savings through more advanced procurement efforts. Consultants like Taylor, Schneider Electric and Tradition Energy have access to industry knowledge and the tools that lead to significant insights and long-term energy-saving strategies.
Utilities represent one of the top five expenses that businesses of all sizes incur. While a fair portion of that expense is unavoidable, by unlocking hidden efficiencies or identifying inefficiencies, companies can take control of their energy spend and reap the benefits of a more efficient, more environmentally friendly and more cost-effective energy strategy.