By Jamie Johnson
Business is simple on paper - spend less money than you bring in through revenue and profit. Achieving this is easier said than done, but lowering your energy bills is one way that can sustainably lead to increased profits. Here are 5 easy moves that any business can implement to effectively lower energy costs, and keep a healthy bottom line.
Heat and Cool When Your Building is Occupied
In your home, you often lower your heat at night and when you are gone on vacation. However, businesses surprisingly don’t often operate this logic, and end up spending a ton on energy keeping an empty building comfortable. Since heating and cooling costs are typically the largest energy costs for a business, this is a quick way to add to your bottom line. Rumors claim it is more efficient to keep a building consistently heated or cooled, but this has been proven wrong by countless studies.
Seven-day programmable thermostats are a great tool to set back the heat or AC when your space is not used. A more modern, smart thermostat will take it a bit further with integrated occupancy sensors, as well as give you more control over your business as an owner. Closed for a holiday? Save the wasted energy with a touch of your smartphone.
Bathroom Motion Sensors
In a similar fashion, a lot of businesses have bathroom exhaust fans (and for good reason!) that will run 24/7. This can be due to local code, or just forgetful employees. Motion sensors can tie into this on/off switch, and operate just like a light motion sensor. Since exhaust fans pull air (that has been heated and cooled) out of your building, this can be like a stopping a slow leak that is constantly blowing out money.
Since no one really wants to touch a bathroom light or fan switch (or leave the fan running so others can guess what you were up to), an occupancy sensor can be an added benefit. It can be programmed for 5, 10, or even 15 minutes of running after the bathroom is unoccupied, so you can still err on the conservative side.
Smart Power Switches
Remember screensavers? Well, our modern computers don’t need screen savers, since the hard drive can hibernate and turn off the screen when not being used. In addition, newer screens use far less energy than previous generations. However, a $30 smart power switch can be put at a workstation and cut off all the accessories that are not needed when someone is away from their desk. Think of all the gadgets that are drawing a small load - these “vampire” loads can really add up. When you hibernate or turn off your computer, it will cut the power off to the rest of the smart power strip. When you turn it back on, everything comes back to life.
Caulk and Weather stripping
You do this at your home, so why wouldn’t you do this at your business? In fact, these little investments can add to even more savings in a business, since commercial heating and cooling equipment use some serious power.
An added benefit - these simple measures will make your employees and clients more comfortable. Lowering the drafts in your space will increase your profitability and make your people happy.
Automatic Door Closer
Like weather stripping, automatic door closers can help keep your heating and cooling costs from flying out the door. While some commercial doors can be heavy and expensive, others can be a minimal investment, easily tackled by most maintenance staff. This basic technology can be applied to walk in coolers and freezers as well, for an added impact.
For retail or restaurants with heavy foot traffic, a smarter approach is to attach a small exterior vestibule that can be set up in the summer and winter. This can help minimize cold air flow into and out of the front door, creating a much more comfortable experience for patrons. Patron comfort will translate into increased profitability.
No matter what business you’re in, the steps you take to save energy will also help you see happier workers, happier customers, and higher profits.
Jamie Johnson founded Verde Energy Efficiency Experts in 2010, which finds and implements energy efficiency savings for customers and their businesses.
Verde Energy Efficiency Experts | http://www.verde.expert