Whether your energy bills account for 5% or 75% of your operating costs, they account for a significant portion of your expenses. As such, they also present a fantastic opportunity for savings. When most people consider lowering their utility bills, they think of turning off lights in empty rooms or decreasing the temperature in winter. While those can be effective strategies, there are more ways to save on your business’s monthly bills than just the basics. Here are some additional options to consider.
1. Shop for better rates
If your business operates in a deregulated energy market, you can explore the rates and energy plans of all the energy providers offering service to your location. Treat energy like any other service or supply your business requires: look for the best deal that meets your needs. Retail energy providers may offer plans with different price structures, incentives, billing cycles, energy sources, or other options, so it can take some time and effort to complete a comprehensive evaluation of them all. Having a good understanding of how and when your business uses energy before you start your search will help you choose the best provider and plan.
If you need help understanding your options and comparing the various facets of each possibility, an energy management consultant can help. They may also offer additional options you have not yet explored.
Getting on a program with an energy provider does not have to be a one-and-done deal. While your utility provider would like to count on you continuing your service with them, the decision is yours. If you do nothing at the end of your contract, you may be rolled over to a more expensive plan as new-customer incentives expire. Doing nothing can be costly, so set a reminder in your calendar, do your research, and make a decision before your current contract expires.
2. Maintain and upgrade equipment
Sometimes you need to spend money to save money. While your company’s equipment may be bought and paid for, it may be contributing to higher energy bills each month. Depending on its age and condition, replacing it may make sense. After the initial expense of replacement, you may see a significant decrease in your electricity usage, meaning it won’t take long before the replaced items pay for themselves.
When shopping for new equipment, look for the Energy Star logo. Items bearing this logo meet or exceed technical specifications for high efficiency so you can buy with confidence. One bonus effect of lowering your energy use is that you are also decreasing your carbon footprint and your impact on the environment.
It’s also vital to ensure that existing equipment works properly and perform routine maintenance on schedule to keep your existing machinery running efficiently.
3. Go paperless
Switching to paperless billing is another way to both save money and reduce your environmental impact. You contribute to less waste and deforestation, and your utility provider may also offer discounts on your bill. Paperless billing saves them money on paper, postage, and printing; they may pass some of those savings on to you.
4. Switch to auto-pay or direct debit
This is another area where your energy company may offer a discount for making a minor change. Not having to chase down customers for missed payments saves them money. If you set up automatic payments so they know they will receive their payment on time, without hassle, they may offer a small discount.
When going paperless or setting up automatic payments, ask the provider if there are other discounts they offer. These small changes can add up to big savings.
5. Schedule an energy audit
Making a significant decision without all the relevant information is rarely a good idea. You can’t create an energy management strategy until you understand how you use energy. An energy audit usually starts with analyzing your monthly energy bills and usage to look at the story behind the numbers.
A thorough audit will help you understand your usage patterns, which can aid you in selecting a new provider and energy plan. The audit results will also suggest areas for improvement. These recommendations can be anything from adding insulation to upgrading your light bulbs. Your auditor may also inspect equipment to help you understand what machinery may be using more energy than necessary.
All this information empowers you to make better, more cost-effective decisions for your business.
6. Involve your staff
Once your staff knows the value you place on saving energy, they can help in your conservation efforts. Be vocal about the business’s new or renewed focus on energy use. Empower your people to seek energy-saving measures and make suggestions.
Make energy conservation and efficiency a regular part of conversations. Strategies you implement could include sending a weekly email with an energy-savings tip or displaying posters reminding everyone of the importance of mindful energy use. Be sure to emphasize not only the money these strategies save the business but also the environmental reasons they are important.
These approaches can help your people feel like they are part of a team effort to do something important for the business and the environment. It will make them more likely to be enthusiastic about prioritizing energy savings.
7. Generate your own electricity
Generating some or all of your business’s electricity can be a great money-saver. When you invest in solar panels, hydropower, wind power, or other energy-generation methods, you reap the benefits of lower energy bills for as long as you have that equipment running. In some locations, you can even sell back any excess electricity you don’t use. Making this eco-friendly choice can also serve as a marketing tool, establishing your business’s reputation as an environmentally conscious company.
Knowing what means of in-house energy generation would be most effective for you and estimating the break-even point for your upfront costs can be a complicated calculation. For assistance with coming up with the best, most cost-efficient plan for your business’s energy supply, consider working with an energy consultant. They can use their expertise to help you understand the various options and how your specific usage patterns contribute to the decision.
Utilizing these strategies you can lower your company’s electricity bills and decrease the environmental impacts of your operations. Those are two great reasons reducing your energy expenses should be high on your business’s agenda.
Whether energy expenses constitute a small or substantial portion of your operational costs, their impact is undeniable. Yet, they hold a remarkable avenue for savings. Discover a roadmap to trim your company’s energy expenses in this insightful infographic. Explore practical tactics such as equipment upgrades, optimized usage, and staff engagement. Unlock potential savings while minimizing environmental impact.
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