Take a look at your most recent energy bill. Is it higher than you’d like to see? You may regard your utility bill as an unavoidable cost of running your thriving appointment-based business, but it’s a part of your expense column that deserves some time and attention.
Not only can focusing on your energy bill save you money, but you’re also doing your part to take care of the environment. A lower energy bill means you’re being more responsible with your consumption of non-renewable energy and limiting your carbon footprint.
There are several ways your business can save money on energy costs. Some of them are as simple as the flick of a switch. Here are some energy-saving examples you can implement today:
1. Improve Your Lighting
Lighting will always be a significant portion of your monthly electric bill. You can’t expect to run your business without at least a little bit of lighting, but there are some ways you can lower your energy costs while remaining illuminated.
Start by switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs in all of your light fixtures. Newer models use less electricity, providing the same amount of light for a fraction of the cost. Sensor lights in areas with less traffic such as supply closets will automatically turn the lights on and off. A light left on by accident will bring your bill up higher than necessary.
You can also look for ways to let in more natural light. Sunshine isn’t always a guarantee, but on sunny days, you can use a few windows or skylights to light your business space while leaving a few lights off for the day.
2. Automate Water and Climate Control
In addition to automated lighting, there are other ways you can automate your business to improve energy efficiency. Take public restrooms, for instance. Automatic water shut-off and auto-flushing toilets help to reduce the overuse of water by guests and employees.
Another example of automating public spaces involves climate control. A smart thermostat will automatically regulate the temperature in your building. It uses a lot less energy than running an AC unit or space heater during the workday. You can also adjust the thermostat depending on the time of year to further optimize your energy consumption.
3. Clock Out Your Hardware
Energy usage dips down significantly when your employees clock out for the day. However, your business is still using energy that you will ultimately have to pay for, even without workers or paying customers. While some power usage is required, such as for regulating the building’s temperature throughout the night, there are a few things you can unplug to save on energy costs.
Any office equipment should be powered down at the end of each shift. Computers that are on and plugged in all night will sap extra power even though they’re not actively being used. You can even go as far as to unplug kitchen appliances in the break room or other devices that would otherwise raise your power bill unnecessarily.
4. Keep Your HVAC Systems Up to Date
With all the hustle and bustle of running a business, when was the last time you thought to have the air filters in your building changed? It’s easy to overlook this small task when you’re busy managing employees and appointment schedules day in and day out. It’s also an example of something simple you can do to keep your energy costs low.
A dirty air filter makes it difficult for your HVAC system to run at full capacity. It has to work harder to perform the same function, which uses up more energy. Plus a dirty air filter means the air in your business isn’t going to be as clean and pure as you’d like it to be.
If you own your building, you’ll need to keep your other equipment up to date as well. It might take a significant down payment, but you’ll be able to significantly reduce energy costs in the long run. Replacing your HVAC systems might not seem fun when you first see the bill, but a good system can operate for over a decade, and you should definitely reap the benefits in the coming years.
5. Look Into Renewable Energy
If you really want to lean into energy efficiency, take a look at some of the renewable energy alternatives that are available. Unfortunately, these options have high entry fees, but they also have long-term benefits that are well worth considering for both your wallet and your business’s longevity.
The best example for businesses is probably the use of solar power. Solar panels can be placed on rooftops to soak in the sun’s rays and convert them into heat and electricity. Since this energy comes naturally, you won’t have to use as much electricity from your local power company.
The biggest issue with renewable energy is that it can be inconsistent. Your business can’t run on solar power at night, and it will get limited energy on a cloudy day. Even a little bit of assistance from the natural elements can help you cut down that power bill, though.
Try to do one simple thing that contributes to lowering your power bill before the day is done. Then create a long-term plan that helps transform your business into the most energy-efficient one on the block. You’ll soon see that energy bill plummet.
Image Credit: Narcisa Aciko; Pexels; Thank you!