We know you’re already making an effort to conserve energy. As a small business owner, you know how important that is for saving money and protecting the environment.
We’re here to tell you, you haven’t tried everything. You could be saving even more.
Below we’ve listed 10 often overlooked energy saving tips. Find out which ones you’re missing and use them at your business.
1. Get an Energy Audit
This is so easy and so effective! Have the professionals at you local utilities company swing by your business and check out precisely how your energy is being spent.
They will check for air leaks, inefficient lighting and appliances and all other common energy wasters. Then, they’ll tell you exactly where your energy is being wasted and what you can do to fix it.
You can trust what they say because they are energy professionals who specifically want you to conserve energy anyway. You’re actually helping them when you conserve energy. Because of this, most utility companies offer energy audits for free.
Based on what they say, try to conserve energy where you need to most, especially during peak demand. “Peak demand” means the times of day your business typically uses the most energy.
Find ways to conserve peak demand energy. And reorganize your work schedule to spread energy usage more evenly throughout the day.
If you haven’t gotten audited recently, do it now. This is your first and most beneficial step to saving more energy at your business.
2. Use Energy-Efficient Lighting
Whenever you can, use sunlight. During daylight hours, open the windows and shades and turn most or all of the lights off. And use energy-efficient bulbs.
3. Practice Proper HVAC Maintenance
The average office building spends 15% of its energy on heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
First, if your HVAC system is old, replacing it with an ENERGY-STAR-certified system can reduce heating and cooling costs up to 20%. Replacing your old HVAC system will quickly pay for itself.
Next, use programmable thermostats. Program the thermostat to operate only when people are in the building, only in the rooms that are being used.
Also, use fans. Fans will help your HVAC system run more efficiently.
Other than that, conserve energy with proper HVAC maintenance. Changing the filters regularly is really easy and conserves a lot of energy.
Hire professionals to perform regular maintenance on your HVAC system. Find a local HVAC company that provides a regular maintenance service, like Cooper Heating & Cooling.
4. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Use only official, ENERGY-STAR-certified appliances whenever you buy new equipment. Also, replace old, energy-wasting appliances with ENERGY-STAR-certified appliances.
5. Get Rid of Unnecessary Energy-Users
Take a detailed look at what goes on in a typical day in your business. Check out the way you’ve been running things. Reduce and reorganize your work practices to maximize energy-efficiency.
Get rid of equipment that doesn’t get used. Are you using equipment that is bigger or more complicated than your needs? Sell them and replace them with smaller, more energy efficient devices.
Some of your appliances may have been replaced by newer technology. Meanwhile, you may have old technology sitting around plugged in, wasting energy and heating up the room.
Or perhaps office setup or work practices are wasting unnecessary energy. Maybe you are lighting and heating more rooms than you need. Is it possible to condense your office to use fewer rooms?
6. Go as Paperless as Possible
Not only does going paperless save paper and ink, not using the printer will save energy as well. Do what you can to entirely eliminate paper usage throughout your business.
Offer really awesome discounts or other rewards as incentives for customers or business partners to go paperless. Have a “no paper” policy for employee communications at your office.
Take advantage of WhatsApp or other communication apps for workplace communications. Make it easier to not use paper than to use paper.
7. Stop Powering Empty Rooms
Shut off and unplug everything you can when the building’s empty. If you don’t need the computers running when the office is closed, power down and unplug them.
Unplug all breakroom appliances (not the fridge) and office equipment that doesn’t need to be on in the after hours.
If you own the building, you can more easily shut off entire sections of the building that don’t need to be used from the circuit breaker. But don’t attempt this unless you know your way around the circuit breaker. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might shut off the security system, reset the thermostat or do some other horrible thing.
8. Save Energy Outside as Well
If you are in charge of the land outside your building, you have even more energy-saving opportunities.
If you have outside lighting you don’t need after hours, such as parking lot and entryway lights, turn them off. Turn off any PA systems or other outside electronics as well.
Also, try energy-efficient landscaping. You can plant trees in strategic places to provide shade an block wind. If done right, this can reduce heating and cooling costs for your building.
Talk to a professional landscaper about energy-efficient landscaping.
9. Employ Energy-Saving Policies At Your Workplace
You don’t have to enforce these energy-saving ideas all by yourself. You’re the boss, delegate.
Using whatever management strategy works best at your business, make these energy-saving tips a mandatory policy for your employees to follow. You can enforce it just like any other policy at your workplace. Perhaps you can offer rewards, like office parties, for reaching energy-conservation goals.
10. Don’t Use Your Office
A lot of businesses today don’t use offices anymore. They hire remote employees and rent a virtual office when they need to.
Hiring remote employees to work from home is an easy way to conserve energy and reduce pollution from commuting employees. You can find and hire them on your own or from a remote staffing company.
Even if you want to keep using your office, it will still help to hire remote employees. Every person working at home instead of the office saves one employee-shift-worth of energy.
Go Greener With These Energy Saving Tips
Saving energy at work means more money for your business and a healthier planet. And that’s something to be proud of. Use these energy saving tips at your business to go from green to greener!
Find more business advice in our Business Advice Archives.