Many business owners think of their company's electric bill as inevitable. Although it's a large and often times painful expense, most simply pay it with a grimace and move on to the next task. With summer right around the corner, it's worth taking a minute to consider a few simple ways to shore up your company's energy consumption before the temperatures, and power bills, start climbing. To get you started, we've assembled the following five easy tips for quick energy savings.
Most businesses have ample opportunity to trim their electricity bill with a few simple changes. With temperatures already on the rise here in the Valley of the Sun, here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Idle non-essential equipment when not in use
You might be surprised at how much energy computers, printers, monitors, and other equipment guzzle up, even when they're not being used but are simply left on. Turning off equipment overnight or switching it into sleep mode will ensure you're not paying for idle electricity you're not using. Have someone do a nightly walkthrough of your office to ensure everything is turned off properly, including microwaves and coffeemakers.
Installing motion detectors and dimmers is also an easy way to ensure lights don't get left on when nobody is around. This can be particularly useful for hallways and conference rooms that aren't used as frequently as individual offices.
2. Sign up for an energy efficiency consultation or audit
Many utilities provide a free business energy audit to their commercial customers. While "audits" don't typically evoke a positive feeling, a commercial energy audit can be extremely beneficial. The resulting report will show where your money is going every month and offer recommendations for how your business can increase efficiency and lower monthly expenses.
3. Install smart, Wi-Fi enabled thermostats
Automating when and how much your building is cooled will also contribute to energy savings. In our harsh Arizona summers, it's especially important to ensure that your AC isn't running when no one is around. You can program your AC to start cooling 30-60 minutes before people arrive, and stop 30 minutes before you close. All this can happen entirely automatically, or through an app on your smartphone. You can even access the system when you travel, as long as you have wi-fi access or a cellular connection.
4. Upgrade to higher-efficiency office equipment
Upgrading office equipment to models that require less energy can have a sizable impact on your bill over time. If it's time your company invests in new office hardware, look for the Energy Star logo. Equipment with this logo runs more efficiently than others and automatically turns off during long periods of inactivity. And don't forget energy-efficient AC units as well. When it's time to replace yours, look for models with the Energy Star seal.
5. Add clean, renewable solar energy to your building
Every year, more and more businesses reduce their carbon footprints while saving thousands of dollars by going solar. When your business is producing its own electricity, that’s money saved by not paying the utility for their more expensive electricity (usually 3-5x more). In turn, money saved can be allocated to other areas of your business, further improving your bottom line and performance. Reputable solar contractors can help you determine the impact that adding solar can have on your bottom line.
If your company is interested in learning how solar can reduce your electric bill and add to your bottom line, we invite you to contact one of our commercial solar experts. We also have a free guide, "Is Solar Right for Your Organization?" that can help you determine your solar suitability.