Small businesses have had a tough time over the past couple of years. Yes, sadly with the rise in energy costs, they aren’t likely to be in for an easy time soon. The number one unpredictable expense for a small business is often cited as energy cost. This includes electricity usage costs.
Now is an excellent time to look at your energy usage and how you can cut costs ahead of the winter. That way, you are better prepared to cope with the jump in energy costs when the winter arrives.
It isn’t always easy, but it is worth spending the time following a few tips we give below to help you reduce the costs your business faces for their energy. Of course, whilst you look to cut your usage, you may also find that you still need more revenue. So check out how to increase your prices and keep your customers.
Tell your workforce you are on an economy drive
There is no shame in telling your employees you are doing what you can to save money and enlist them to help.
Turn off lights
Do you really need all the lights on at once or all the time? Encourage employees to turn off lights in break rooms. Or, consider sensor lights for areas such as toilets, so lights are not on when the area is not in use.
Use natural sunlight or passive solar light and heating
Optimise the use of natural light to reduce the number of lights you need. Move desks and workstations to make the best use of light to avoid turning on lights for as long as possible. Passive solar heating can be a cost-effective way to reduce kilowatt hours of energy to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Power down at the end of the day
Ensure that unused computers are powered down. Insist that all computers that can be are shut down at the end of the day. Turn off and unplug all machines such as photocopiers, printers, coffee makers and vending machines. If you install power strips (surge protectors), you can quickly shut down several devices in one go to prevent phantom energy drains.
Make small thermostat changes to make a difference to energy bills
Install programmable thermostats so you can control the temperatures when no one is around. A one-degree difference in heating or air conditioning temperatures can reduce power consumption by as much as 10 per cent.
If you need to add some new devices to save you money in the long run, there are a wealth of energy-saving gadgets to help. If you have an HVAC unit, it can run more efficiently if you place fans around the building to help keep the air flowing more effectively. Look outside too. A cleverly placed trees and shrubs can be used to block winds. They can also give shade inside the building, helping reduce indoor heating and cooling costs.
You will not be alone in looking at your energy usage, so share information with others in the same building or similar offices and units to maximise the opportunities you explore to save you money.