There are some business expenses that cannot be reduced without sacrificing both the quality of your work and the comfort of your employees, but electricity is not one of them. There are plenty of ways for any business owner to save money on energy bills, and they don’t have to involve turning off the air conditioner and lights to make employees sweat it out and work in the dark. Consider some painless changes that can add up to impressive savings.
Revisit Your Office Equipment
No matter your industry, you probably use lots of technology in the office. The U.S. Small Business Administration lists some common-sense tips1 for saving energy when using office equipment. Here are two:
- Turn off computers when you’re not using them. That’s a no-brainer, you may say. But according to the administration’s website, “There is a common misconception that screen savers reduce energy use by monitors; they do not.”
- Unplug battery chargers after you’ve charged your batteries.
Such practices don’t require spending any money, so you have nothing to lose.
If you’re thinking of upgrading your technology soon, you can implement other methods of saving money, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration:
- Buy equipment marked with the ENERGY STAR2 label.
- Buy a laptop instead of a desktop—laptops run on less energy.
Moderate Heating and Cooling
You probably don’t want to simply stop using the air conditioner or heater unless the weather is mild. Keeping employees uncomfortably hot or cold can actually reduce productivity and possibly even cause illness. Instead, save electricity the smart way with a few changes that only your business checking account will notice:
- Make sure you don’t have any appliances or furniture blocking your vents; otherwise, your HVAC system will have to work harder to cool or heat the air.
- Cover windows with sunscreens, or at least blinds or shades, to block the sunlight.
You can save money on your energy bill when you raise the temperature setting on your air conditioner. You could probably get away with increasing it by a degree or two without anyone being uncomfortably hot, but remember that sacrificing your employees’ comfort is not worth saving a few bucks. Be sure to listen to any feedback from them.
Upgrade Your Lights
You might be aware that traditional incandescent bulbs are becoming a thing of the past. This is because there are several alternatives that work just as well while saving energy and lasting longer. The following ideas can help you save some energy:
- Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) when possible, because they use about 75 percent less electricity than the incandescent kind, according to SRP, an energy provider to the Phoenix area.³
- Consider using light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs instead of standard bulbs. LED bulbs not only use less energy, but also last about 25 times as long, The New York Times reported. ⁴
Either way, you should save money on your energy bill every month when you switch, and you will end up replacing the bulbs less frequently. In many cases, both types of bulbs can last several years. Though energy-efficient bulbs used to be known for costing more up-front, they are now typically on par with traditional bulbs pricewise. They may even be cheaper when you buy them in bulk.
These tips should be easy for any business owner to implement, and most of them cost no extra money to try. Even if each idea saves you only 2 to 3 percent on your bill, the savings can add up. So give these ideas a shot.
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