By Jayson Goetz

Let’s be honest, running a business can be expensive. Often times, you find yourself so wrapped up in establishing your business and maintaining it, that you might not notice smaller energy expenses that slip down the drain every month. In your place of business, gas and electricity costs can put a large dent in your wallet. If you don’t pay close attention to your energy bills, it may negatively affect your business’s finances. Hence, it’s advisable to monitor your consumption and keep unnecessary energy use to a minimum. costs can put a large dent in your wallet.

Luckily, there are ways to combat this money draining issue. There are tons of different ways that you can conserve energy to help save your hard-earned cash. Don’t worry, not all methods require you to move from your current building to a LEED-certified structure that is the epitome of sustainability (though if you have the money, go for it!). Here are seven easy ways that you can save money on business energy expenses.

1. Turn Off Anything You Aren’t Using

This is one of the first things people think of when trying to save energy. It’s a very easy rule to follow and it also saves you a lot of money. Thousands of dollars can be lost to wasted energy each year and by turning off lights, machines, etc., you’ll be able to alleviate the financial strain caused by wasted energy.

If you have an office, you could advise your staff to turn off any lights in the rooms when they’re not in use. Additionally, ensuring all office equipment is turned off after work hours may help control your energy consumption. For instance, you can unplug the air conditioning before leaving the office to avoid unnecessary electricity expenses.

2. Utilize Natural Light

By using natural light, you’re eliminating the need for artificial lighting. Natural light is free, renewable, looks better than fluorescent lighting, and makes your area feel more open. It is also worth noting that using natural light has a great effect on your heating and cooling. Take advantage of it by opening your windows during the day. You can use sunlight to illuminate your workspace and minimize the use of lightbulbs. If you don’t want an overly bright office, you can install blinds or curtains so you can control how much light you get.

Natural light also has positive health effects thereby benefiting you and your employees as well. The presence of more natural light can help boost employee morale, and the money you save in energy costs will help boost your financial worries away.

3. Install Hand Dryers and Limit  Paper

Though automatic hand dryers in the bathroom may seem expensive initially, if you consider the lifespan costs of having one, you’ll find that it’s considerably cheaper than having to replace paper towel rolls every week.

Additionally, limiting the paper used in the office and going digital greatly reduces energy usage. When you must print off paper, make sure you print only when necessary and print double sided. By doing this, you will also extend the lifespan of your printer.

4. Compare Energy Prices

In many areas, you may have more than one option of energy supplier or different packages and electricity rates. It’s tempting to accept the first utility company you come across; however, there is a large possibility that there is a more cost-effective option out there for your business. So, it would be best to consider your options before subscribing to a specific energy provider. This way, you can get the best deal available.

You can compare business energy quotes online. There are individuals and businesses that specialize is finding the right supply for you. These professionals take up the tedious task of looking up numbers so that you won’t have to. Utilizing a specialist who can provide you with better energy options and save money in the long run.

5. Upgrade Your HVAC System

Without regular maintenance performed on each cooling and heating system, your centralized unit will become less effective. With regular maintenance jobs, the lifespan of your HVAC system will be extended. With an extended lifespan, the costs of repair will be less expensive than if you were to wait until the unit breaks to either repair or replace it. Furthermore, it may not be as energy efficient as you expect it to be once its components are damaged or old.

You should also regularly change your filters per heating and cooling season. Filters are relatively inexpensive and new filters allow your system to avoid overworking itself and costing more money. Older, dirty filters also don’t give you high quality air, so it’s just a prudent choice to regularly maintain your HVAC system and replace the filters.

If you’re able to, try setting your thermostat two degrees lower/higher than your normally would during the winter or the summer. You’ll find the difference saves quite a bit of If you’re able to, try setting your thermostat two degrees lower/higher than your normally would during the winter or the summer. The slight adjustment won’t become a considerable problem for you and your staff and you’ll find the difference saves quite a bit of money and energy.

6. Invest In Energy-Efficient Windows or Blinds

With proper insulation provided by energy efficient windows and blinds, your building will stay properly heated and cooled without having to overwork your HVAC system. A change of window style or blinds might seem like a small change; however, the impact can be massive, especially over the span of a few years.

7. Set Energy-Saving Goals

Sometimes, your end goal is a lot easier to achieve if you break down the steps to reach said goal. That being said, energy saving goals are another easy and great way to start being more energy-efficient. Make sure your goals are attainable and measure your progress along the way. You may set your targets by assessing your current consumption and possible solutions to lessen it. For instance, you can track your electricity bill for one month and try to reduce it by making efficient habits. Afterward, take time out of the month to assess your energy-saving strategies to monitor improvements. Reflect on your weaknesses and develop a strategy for the next month (if needed.) This process isn’t going to happen overnight, so have patience!