By | Rayanne Morriss
Your business takes a good deal of energy to run. As a result, a portion of your budget is taken up by high utility bills. Fortunately, there are ways to use less energy while saving money. Here are some suggestions.
Request an Energy Audit
Your business isn’t as energy efficient as you think. Machine overruns and improperly insulated areas suck up a lot of needless energy. In turn, your utility bills are considerably higher than you thought. One way to fix this is through an energy audit. Your local municipality and independent organizations offer this examination of your power usage. They examine all aspects, compile the data, and develop a report that reveals your deficiencies.
Normally, they recommend options to correct this situation. This includes reinsulating doors, windows, and power outlets. They also recommend unplugging unneeded electronics and putting computers in sleep mode to reduce energy use.
Take Advantage of Natural Light
No matter the time of year, the use of natural light has an enormous benefit to your business. It allows your office to greatly reduce the amount of artificial illumination. If your company is located in a region with abundant sunshine, you can purchase equipment that automatically turns lights on and off depending on the amount that shines into the office.
On top of this, you can invest in windows that maximize the sun’s energy while absorbing excess heat. This helps maintain a regular schedule of natural light while reducing HVAC costs throughout the year. Although a large expense, these windows don’t tax your cooling system during the hottest times of the year.
A Virtual Power Plant
Unless you operate off the grid, your organization gets most of its power from the local electric plant. Sometimes this is an independent utility. In other situations, the power comes from city-run institutions. No matter how it happens, you are at the mercy of those agencies when it comes to the cost per watt. An alternative that uses less of their energy and saves money is a virtual power plant. Companies across the country like Gridpoint offer this as a solution. Instead of a steady stream of power, they work with industries to lower and raise levels throughout the day.
For instance, your business works with a virtual power plant to create an auto demand response during prime work hours. Once this period ends the power load is automatically reduced. This method significantly reduces the amount of money you spend on energy.
Fluorescent strips are no longer a good solution to illuminate your business. First, they provide a harsh light that is hard on the eyes. This is especially the case when you have a staff that spends most of the day looking at computer screens. Second, they have a short lifespan. Due to this, the cost of fluorescent bulbs doesn’t have a strong return on investment. An alternative source of light are LED bulbs.
There’s a lot to like about these illumination sources. For example, the light they provide is much softer. Therefore, your workers have an easier time at their computers. Also, the hours of operation for one bulb are more than several fluorescent strips.
Yes, LED lights do cost more to purchase. However, your return on investment is much greater as fewer replacements are needed over time. This allows you to focus some of your utility budget on other items.
Establish a Hybrid Work Environment
The events of the early 2020s have shown businesses that full-time office staff isn’t needed. Many operations can now be handled from remote locations. If this is the case for your company, then consider a hybrid work environment. This is a combination of in-office and remote work. The former is to maintain teamwork and collaboration. The latter not only reduces energy but also increases flexibility. This return on investment is a more productive staff and a reduction in utility bills.
Other Ways to Use Less Energy
There are other ways to simultaneously use less energy and save money. The simplest way is to shut down unused equipment and turn off the lights when not in the building. Installing programmable thermostats to reduce the heat and AC during off-peak hours also helps. In the end, try some of these options to see what works best for your business.