Energy is often the most significant expenditure in an office’s budget. The average office can spend more than $30,000 a year on electricity alone, which means that if a company needs to cut costs, energy expenditures are often the first thing to be addressed. What are the best ways for businesses to reduce energy costs?
Keep Things Turned Off
How many times have to left the office with a light on or the heat or air conditioning running while you were away? Just the act of turning something off can reduce the office’s overall energy consumption.
For things like computers, televisions and other small electronic devices, it might be worth the cost to invest in smart power strips. These strips can be controlled remotely, cutting off power to the devices when they are not in use. If you’re going to be out of the office for an extended period, such as a vacation, shut off the HVAC system to conserve power.
If you have equipment in the office that needs to be climate controlled, turn the heat down in the winter and the A/C up in the summer – it doesn’t have to be comfortable for you, it merely needs to be controlled enough to protect the equipment.
Update Your Lighting
Incandescent and fluorescent lighting may be industry standard for most offices, but they aren’t the most energy efficient option. Upgrading your office lighting to LED bulbs can improve your office’s efficiency by up to 80 percent.
Incandescent light bulbs also make your home’s HVAC system work harder during the summer to keep the building cool. Only about 10 percent of the energy drawn into an incandescent bulb is used to generate light. The rest is emitted as heat. An LED’s on the other hand, are more than 90 percent efficient, and last more than twice as long as incandescent and CFL bulbs.
Utilise Natural Sunlight
LEDs are a better and more energy efficient alternative; there’s nothing as good as natural sunlight. If you have windows, utilise natural sunlight as often as possible while shutting off the overhead lights. This will reduce your overall energy expenditure while still keeping the office lit.
This will only work if your office is open during the day, so don’t be afraid to turn the lights on after the sun goes down or if it’s cloudy or dark outside. Saving a few dollars on your monthly energy bill isn’t worth headaches and strained eyes from working in the dark
Install Green Energy
This is an expensive option, but installing green energy – such as wind, solar, or geothermal energy sources – can cut your energy expenses dramatically.
Take the time to have your location, and your building audited to see if green energy is an option. If you can’t install solar panels or wind turbines on your property, look into opting into a green energy cooperative. These programs allow you to take advantage of green energy being produced elsewhere without having to install the hardware on your property or attach it to your building.
If you need to start cutting costs, your energy bill is the best place to do it. If you don’t have the funds to install solar panels or other green energy options, there are still steps that you can take to lower your monthly energy bill.
Start by switching out your lighting for LEDs, utilising as much natural light as possible and turning off anything you don’t need to reduce the amount of power that your office uses. Traditional power sources are finite, which means turning to green energy is going to become a necessity shortly. Right now, it’s the best way to cut costs while still maintaining a functioning business.