Running a business can be a difficult and costly venture.
In fact, the average cost of starting a business from scratch is around $30,000. And, that’s just the start-up costs—nevermind the costs of marketing, rent, advertising, and more.
If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably always looking for ways to cut down on some of these costs.
One easy way to cut down on your business costs is to make your office space more energy efficient.
Not only will this save you money, but it’ll also help the environment.
Check out this guide to learn the top small business energy efficiency tips.
1. Get an Energy Audit
First things first, you should get an energy audit. We know, as a small business owner, the word “audit” can sound scary. But, hear us out on this one.
An energy audit can help you figure out where your money is going each month. And, these audits can help you figure out ways to increase your energy efficiency and lower your electrical bills.
And luckily, getting an energy audit is easy- most utility companies offer them for free.
2. Turn it Off
Many of us have fallen into the bad habit of leaving on lights and equipment when we leave the room.
If you want to save your business some serious money, you need to make sure you and your employees nip this habit in the bud.
Before closing the office doors each night, make it someone’s job to take a quick look around the office and make sure all lights are shut off and equipment is in sleep mode.
It’s also a good idea to unplug as many things as you can, such as coffeemakers, microwaves, TVs, and radios. To make this process quicker, plug all energy sources into a single power strip. That way you can turn everything off at the same time when you leave at night.
3. Take Advantage of Natural Daylight
One of the best ways to save energy is to let the sunlight in!
During the day, open the blinds and take advantage of skylights. Also, while you’re at it, take a look at all the lights in your office to see if any areas are overlit and remove any lighting that isn’t necessary.
4. Program Your Thermostats
If you run your business between the hours of 9-5, this tip is especially relevant.
After everyone has gone home for the night, there’s no sense in heating or cooling the place.
A programmable thermostat that shuts off the heat or air during “off” hours can make a huge difference.
5. Install Solar Panels
While installing solar panels is a bit expensive upfront, they make an excellent investment in the long-run.
Solar energy is clean, free, and renewable, and the cost of installation is usually recovered within a few years.
Plus, solar panels last longer than other energy sources, and they don’t require much maintenance.
6. Plant Shady Trees Outside the Office
If you live in an area that has long, hot summers, then you should definitely plant some shady trees outside of your office.
This will help protect your office from the intense heat of the sun. And, trees can also help protect your office from the cold winds that come in the winter months.
7. Keep an Eye on Your HVAC System
Your HVAC system can be the biggest energy sucker, so it’s important to keep a careful eye on it.
Even if your HVAC system appears to be running smoothly, you should still perform maintenance on it each year.
Also, if your HVAC system is outdated, it may be wise to replace it. Today’s air conditioners run much more efficiently than ones that were made decades ago, and buying a new one could save you huge money each month.
It’s also important that you replace your air filters on a regular basis. A dirty filter reduces airflow and makes your system work even harder, which then leads to higher monthly bills.
This service can help you with maintaining your HVAC system and changing out your filters.
8. Switch to LED Lightbulbs
If you haven’t already switched to LED lightbulbs, now is the time to do it.
LED lightbulbs are extremely energy efficient. In fact, the average LED bulb that’s used for around 6-8 hours per day will last 15 years! Overall, LED bulbs are 80 to 90 percent efficient, whereas regular incandescent bulbs are only 20 percent efficient.
Plus, these bulbs don’t have any UV emissions and you can now buy them in styles that look exactly like incandescent bulbs.
9. Invest in Window Film
While a light draft coming into your office may not seem like a big deal, it’s really energy and money that’s just flying out the window.
Luckily, by applying window film, you can easily fix this issue.
By installing window film, you not only protect your office against drafts, but you also help keep the warm air in during the winter and the cold air in during the summer.
10. Buy Energy-Efficient Office Equipment
When it’s time to invest in new office equipment, make sure you choose equipment that has the Energy Star logo.
Equipment that comes with this label can help you save 50 percent or more in energy use.
Energy-star labeled appliances include computers, fax machines, printers, scanners, microwaves, AC units, and more.
11. Allow Employees to Work from Home When Possible
With fewer employees in the office, less heating, lighting, and electricity is required.
So, as much as you can, allow your employees to work from home. With VPN technology, employees can easily connect to your office’s network safely and securely.
Are You Ready to Step Up Your Business’s Energy Efficiency?
By following these small business energy efficiency tips, you’ll be well on your way to saving tons of money each month.
If you liked these money-saving tips, be sure to check out our blog for more articles like this.