The life of business owners who rents or owns their own property is tough. Not only do they have to run their business but also have to deal with issues related to the real estate or space they are occupying.
Here are a few quick and affordable ways to help you save money on energy costs to give you more cash flow to invest in your business.
Install a wireless thermostat with remote sensors
Many homeowners are reaping the benefits of advanced technology present in new thermostats. They can control the thermostat from their smart phone when they are not home, adjust temperature in rooms separately, and some thermostats even learn how the homeowner uses their energy and suggests ways to save.
Business owners can benefit from this innovative technology too. Depending on your type of business, you may have rooms or storage areas that need to be radically different temperatures. Or maybe a particular area is only used once a week. A modern thermostat with sensors spread across your building or work location can feed valuable information that can help the savvy business owner save huge on utility bills.
A few hours of caulking and weather stripping can save thousands
If your budget is tight and you are looking for quick ways to save money that have a high return from the start, this can be a great option.
A simple handyman, some caulk, and a few hours of time can sweep an entire building and fix trouble areas that have simply worn away over time or were not caulked properly the first time. This is especially helpful on older buildings that have not been recently renovated.
Seal of those pesky leaks and watch as the energy savings pile up as you are now heating or cooling only the inside and not the entire world outside your building.
Install LED bulbs, even if you think you replaced them already
By now, everyone has heard about replacing older bulbs with ones that are dramatically more energy efficient. It is to the point where this advice is no longer taught, it is simply in the common conscience.
Yet, many businesses, buildings, houses, still have older bulbs that need to be replaced. Perhaps the previous owners thought they had already been upgraded or maybe they missed more obscure bulbs like those in the garage or furnace room.
A thorough scouring of every corner of the property that has a light will surely turn up a few rogue bulbs that need changing.
Surprisingly, new bulbs like T8 fluorescents actually help with cooling bills too. The amount of heat older model bulbs generate is not insignificant; all of those bulbs can add a few degrees to the overall heat in the building. LED or high intensity discharge bulbs are cooler, helping reduce energy usage in more ways than one.
Encourage employees to fight zombie power suckers
Energy or power zombies are devices that consume a substantial amount of power while plugged in but turned off.
According to the IEA, devices still using power while switched off or in sleep mode waste up to $80 billion worth of electricity per year. That is the equivalent of 133 coal-fueled power plants running full steam year round.
Virtually all devices nowadays do this such as televisions, computers, printers, cell phone charges, etc. Encouraging employees to combat zombie power draining can put a big dent in the monthly utility bill.
A great way to make this process less of a hassle is to utilize power strips. Hooking all devices that don't need to be constantly on during the workday can be on the same strip. A simple button can then turn off all the zombies in one fell swoop.
Consider solar panels or encourage your landlord to do so
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the cost of installed solar electricity has fallen 73 percent in the past nine years. This combined with the decreasing cost of installing the panels and infrastructure upfront along with tax credits from the government now make solar a viable option for more and more businesses and buildings than ever before.
How much you can take advantage of this trend will of course depend upon your situation. If you are renting, there is not much you can do other than encourage your building owner to consider solar panels.
If you own your own office, however, there is little reason not to have some solar panels installed or at least get a quote. Virtually all buildings have empty, unused space on the roof just staring at the sun waiting to capture its free energy.