Conserving energy is not just good for the environment; it’s good for your bottom line too. From lighting to air conditioning, from recycling to powering down your computers, you can save money while also saving the planet. Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, there are lots of small changes you can make to reduce your carbon footprint, save energy and lower your company’s annual bills. Here are a few ways that you can easily conserve energy on a daily basis in your business.
Air conditioning and heating units can wreak havoc on your energy bills, especially if they are not regularly serviced. Filters should be cleaned every month in heating and air conditioning units in peak cooling or heating seasons so that your units don’t have to work any harder than necessary. Consider using fans rather than air conditioning units in the warmer months to keep energy bills down. A long-term strategy to keep the office cool might be to plant trees outside your office windows. Over the coming years these trees will grow and provide shade, decreasing the need for air conditioning on your premises.
Commonly known as greenhouse windows or garden windows, the cost of greenhouse windows are usually offset very quickly by their return on investment!
Moving from incandescent to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) is a simple way to conserve energy and lower your bills. Almost 75% of all energy upgrades by small to medium size businesses involve lighting. This is a low-cost, practical way to conserve energy and cut costs. When you consider that lighting costs make up approximately 50% of the average commercial building’s energy usage, it makes sense that this should be one of the first changes you make, along with regularly maintaining your air conditioning units.
No matter how big or small your business is you can easily reduce your energy consumption by paying attention to the three R’s. Do your part for the environment and reduce the amount of waste you put out. Whether that means double sided-printing or saying no to unnecessary packaging, you can easily reduce consumption. You can also reuse inputs and recycle materials in an effort to conserve energy and reduce your overall expenditure.
When you leave the office in the evening, there should be no glowing lights behind you. You should be closing the door on a room free of blinking lights and glowing screens. Turning off machines when they are not in use can be a huge energy saver. For example, people believe that using screen savers on monitors reduces energy use but this is simply not true. Power strips should be turned off at the source and air conditioning units should be unplugged when not in use to conserve energy. The same goes for coffee makers, microwaves, printers, scanners and all other office equipment.
While energy efficient devices may cost a little more up front, they will save you a lot more money down the line. Devices which are designed to be energy efficient, whether they be computers, printers, scanners or air conditioning units are specifically designed with energy savings in mind. They may cost a little more in the beginning but you will get that difference in cost back in the long run and the added bonus of knowing that your business is doing its bit for the environment.
Follow these simple tips to ensure that you are doing all you can for your business to conserve energy, reduce your carbon footprint and reduce your own business costs. Your customers will appreciate your efforts, as will the planet and you will be happier when the end of year finance report comes across your desk, on recycled paper of course.
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