Most business owners will tell you that the cost of energy is often an unpredictable expense, and they would like to reduce it. Energy Star estimates that business expenditures for energy in America top $60 billion annually. The majority of the money spent to satisfy energy needs is for electricity, and in many cases, business owners do not have a clear understanding of why they are paying more in commercial energy rates than is necessary.
Equipment Running When Not in Use
This one should be a no-brainer, but businesses continue to lose an uncountable amount of money in electric costs each year because they simply do not turn off equipment when it is not being used. Examples of these negligent actions include parking lights that are shining even though it is daytime or an HVAC system that is running full blast despite the fact it is three in the morning and no workers are in the building.
Not only will your bottom line suffer from these activities, but some equipment used to run your business can pose a danger to people and property when left unattended while running. The importance of turning off lights, HVAC systems, and work equipment when not in use is something all of your employees should understand. You may even want to recruit a responsible employee to make rounds at the end of each workday and make sure that no equipment is running that should not be.
Unwise HVAC Practices
Commercial energy needs are understandably higher than they would be for a family residence. This is because businesses are often much bigger than a single-family home and use much more electrical equipment. However, this does not mean that business electricity needs have to break the bank each month. Business owners who want to exercise wise HVAC practices can start with a programmable thermostat. These thermostats will allow you to set a temperature in business spaces that are comfortable for workers but do not cause a waste of energy. Business owners have reported hundreds of dollars per year in savings simply by using a programmable thermostat.
The maintenance of your HVAC system will also play a large role in determining whether you get the bang for your buck you are looking for in regard to your electricity bill. You should implement proper HVAC maintenance protocol at your place of business and ensure it is followed religiously. This protocol will protect you from wasting energy and money due to aging, damage, or the poor performance of your HVAC system.
Not Getting an Energy Audit
Heating and cooling costs constitute the majority of the total energy costs for businesses. When your business gets an energy audit, you benefit from the services of an energy specialist who will thoroughly evaluate your facility and give you a detailed report on where electricity is being wasted. Your expert will also provide you with actionable steps you can take to stop the waste. You can schedule the audit for a time that is convenient for your business and the entire process will only take a few hours. You will also experience little to no disruption to your normal business day.
Many companies that service commercial energy needs will provide customers with free energy audits. Businesses that choose not to get an energy audit will increase the likelihood they will pay more in electricity costs than companies that take advantage of this simple opportunity to lower costs.
Failing to Shop Around
Companies that provide electricity in Texas are in particularly heated competition for your business. And if your business is located in one of the state’s deregulated business markets, this means more advantages in your favor. You will have the opportunity to compare energy companies and find the one that offers commercial electricity rates that will save your business the most money. The best energy suppliers in the state will provide you and your business with a wide range of options. Businesses that do not take advantage of the opportunity to compare prices for energy services will no doubt increase the amount of electricity they waste and pay more money to do so.
Not Using Energy-Efficient Office Equipment
If you are not already using office equipment with the Energy Star logo, you should make sure you replace your aging units with more energy-efficient equipment when the time is right for you to do so. Computers, fax machines, printers, scanners, and other office equipment marked with the Energy Star logo will run more efficiently and power down on their own when the unit is inactive for a period of time. This same concept holds true for older heating and cooling systems.
Additionally, most business owners understand the usefulness of surge protectors when lightning strikes or some other sudden disruption of an electrical surge takes place. However, some business owners may be surprised to learn of the energy savings to be gained through the use of a surge protector. These energy savings stem from the fact only one switch needs to be turned on or off when using a surge protector regardless of the number of items plugged into the protector. When your protector is off, there are no “phantom energy” worries from any of the items plugged into the device.
The money paid in commercial electricity rates represents a major cost to do business for small business owners. And with so many other matters regularly pressing on them, it is sometimes easy for business owners to lose sight of when and where their energy expenditures occur. But any savvy business owner will tell you that the time it takes to find out where you are wasting money on electricity is an investment worth making.