If you’re a small business owner looking to save money, start by saving energy. Just a few small changes could result in big savings. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Get an energy audit
If you’re worried about the amount of energy your business is using, hire an energy company to do an energy audit or assessment of your office or facility. Many utility companies offer free energy audit programs to ensure that you’re using energy efficiently.
2. Upgrade to a smart meter
A smart meter is a relatively new electricity and gas meter that sends meter readings to your energy supplier digitally. Smart meters are a great way to monitor your energy usage and obtain more accurate energy bills.
3. Keep an eye on the thermostat
If you can, try keeping your office temperature down one degree during the winter months and up one degree during the summer months. By doing this, you could reduce your thermostat’s power usage by 10 percent.
4. Consider solar panels
In addition to being low-maintenance, solar panels offer a free, clean and renewable source of energy.
5. Embrace technology
Platforms such as Skype and Webex allow businesses everywhere to give presentations, hold virtual meetings and make long distance phone calls without the hassle of going to a client’s office.
6. Reduce paper wastage
Reduce paper wastage and cut energy costs by printing only when it’s necessary.
7. If possible, allow your employees to work from home
Give your employees the option to work from home on alternate days. Less employees in-house means lower energy costs.
8. Switch to laptops
Laptops are convenient and energy efficient. Less power equals a lower electric bill.
9. Replace light bulbs
You can save as much as $75 annually on energy costs and use up to 80 percent less energy by making the switch from traditional incandescent light bulbs to energy efficient CFL bulbs. Bonus: They last up to 25 times as long.
10. Buy green office supplies
Major suppliers like Office Depot and Staples have entire sections of their catalogs dedicated to green products.