Energy is a leading expense for many businesses, especially during the summer months. And with global temperatures showing no signs of stopping their rise, it would seem more hot summer days are on their way in the future.
The EPA’s ENERGY STAR program estimates U.S. small businesses collectively spend over $60 billion on energy each year. To limit your business’s energy expenses this summer, try out some of these easy energy conservation tips!
Get an Energy Audit
This is always the first step to take when attempting to reduce your energy expenses and carbon footprint.
An inspector will survey your building and identify areas where your energy can be conserved and will provide an overall analysis of your building’s energy. This survey gives you a baseline for where your energy usage is at currently, allowing you to set goals for cutting use and points to ways you can decrease expenses.
Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances
Your old breakroom coffee pot could be sucking up energy and costing you extra money each month.
When buying appliances and equipment for your business, aim to buy items that are certified as energy-efficient. These help save you money in the long run, especially if your business requires lots of appliances.
Turn Off All Lights & Appliances When Not in Use.
Often, lights stay on in rooms that go unoccupied for hours at a time.
Bathrooms and break rooms are huge culprits in wasting energy. The same goes for appliances such as coffee pots and toasters which stay plugged in and turned on while not being used.
By unplugging these appliances and turning off lights, you can stop spending money on energy you don’t need to use.
Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
By purchasing LED light bulbs, or other energy efficient options, when your lights do need to run, they require less energy.
And, if you’ve got old housing and wiring for your lights, it may be a good idea to consider replacing the fixtures entirely to maximize savings.
By placing fans in the office, you can save on air conditioning costs.
Fans can help your HVAC system run better by circulating the cool air. It’s also proven that warmer temperatures are more tolerable with fans, which can allow you to run your AC at a higher temperature and conserve energy.
Consider Energy-Efficient Landscaping
If you have control over your business’s surrounding property, consider adjusting the landscape to help decrease your energy costs.
By planting trees in strategic places, you can provide shade and block winds, leaving your building more temperate.
Close Your Blinds
Although the summer sunshine is tempting, you should keep your blinds closed on warmer days.
The sunlight through the window can heat a room quickly and unnecessarily. If you don’t have blinds or prefer not to use them, consider utilizing the natural light the sun will provide and keeping all other lights off to supplement the energy costs.
Invest in an Energy-Efficient Dehumidifier
If you live in a humid climate, a dehumidifier is a must to conserve energy.
Humidity can cause temperatures to feel warmer than they really are.
Your humidifier not only allows you to keep the thermostat at a higher temperature while still keeping the temperature tolerable, but it also helps your AC system require less work to run.
Switch from Desktops to Laptops
Desktop computers need to be plugged into a power source to work, whereas laptops can run for several hours by battery.
Additionally, desktop computers emanate a large amount of heat energy from the fans required to cool the power supply. This extra heat easily increases the ambient temperature in your building, requiring you to run the air conditioning more to keep your employees cool.
If you have a computer-heavy business, switching to laptops can help decrease costs.
Bump up the Thermostat
No one likes working in the heat, but there’s no reason your air conditioning should be set down low at 65.
Try to run the thermostat as warm as you can during work hours, and then when everyone has gone home, consider shutting off the system entirely. If the nights are cooler, you can also open windows to cool your business with the night air instead of running the AC.
Although some energy costs are unavoidable, there are many ways your business can reduce its energy requirements, especially in the summer. By following these tips, you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint. It’s a win-win situation!
Energy Auditing for Businesses
At EMAT, we want to help all businesses become more energy-efficient. Our first step is identifying where your business is losing energy through an energy audit. To get your business’s energy usage analyzed, contact us today!