As a small business owner, you are likely interested in any way you can save some money. Commercial expenses can run up fast, from powering your lights to purchasing inventory. Energy costs are one of the biggest problems business owners deal with.

In fact, small businesses in the United States spend more than $60 billion per year on energy, and one in ten business owners claim that energy is their single largest expense.

Fortunately, there are some small, simple adjustments you can make to cut down on your energy use, reduce your emissions, and save money in the long run.

Buy Energy-Efficient Equipment

A simple way to see energy savings is by upgrading your office equipment to ENERGY STAR-rated products. Electronics and appliances with ENERGY STAR ratings have been deemed energy-efficient via official government evaluation. Examples of office equipment that can be upgraded with efficient replacements include:

  • Copiers
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Computers
  • Monitors
  • Fax machines

When not in use, certified equipment automatically enters low power mode and decreases the amount of energy it consumes. Appliances should be unplugged at the end of the day to prevent the drawing of unneeded power.

Laptops are 2.5-3 times more energy efficient and should replace desktop computers if possible. You can also upgrade your commercial windows and doors to ENERGY STAR-qualified products.

Upgrade Your Lighting to LED Technology

Lighting upgrades are one of the best ways to lower your emissions and your electricity bills. Every part of your commercial property uses lighting, from bathrooms to cubicles to parking lots.

Adequate lighting is essential for employees to work safely and efficiently and for customers to view products and feel comfortable in your store. Considering how much lighting is needed for a comprehensive lighting scheme, it consumes quite a bit of energy.

Fortunately, you can upgrade your commercial lights to LEDs, which are 90% more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs and can last 12-22 years. That equates to a lot of savings on energy over time.

Use Timers and Program Thermostats

There are lots of features and tools available that you can use to ensure you are not wasting energy. When no one is in the office, lights are not always necessary, and the air conditioning or heat does not need to be running.

You can purchase thermostats that can be programmed to cycle on and off at certain times of day, depending on the season. It is important that your employees and customers are comfortable in your commercial space, so plan accordingly.

Work with a commercial lighting supplier to choose timers and other features that can ensure rooms and spaces are well-lit and safe while people are on your property and that energy is not wasted with unnecessary lighting when they are not. You can install motion-detector lights if you are worried about safety and security after hours but still want to save on electricity costs.

Upgrade Your Windows

If your commercial property is more than 10-15 years old, it is very possible that your windows and doors are made from inefficient materials. Leaky windows account for roughly 1/3 of heat loss or heat gain in commercial properties, which can add up quickly over time. It is important to keep temperatures comfortable and well-controlled, so replacing your windows is an easy way to save on energy and improve conditions in your building.

Check your windows for obvious air leaks, and consult with a commercial window installation company like Aeroseal Windows & Storefront about adding weatherstripping and caulk.

You can also upgrade to windows with gas fills and spacers, which use multiple panes to allow for better sealing and temperature control. There are also more energy-efficient options for framing and glazing, and solar control film can be used depending on the location of the window.

Install New Doors

Much like windows, commercial doors in older properties are very likely to have cracks and leaks that allow heat and air to pass through. If you have trouble maintaining a comfortable temperature in your building or you’ve noticed a spike in your energy bill, your exterior doors might be the culprit.

Even if there aren’t any obvious leaks, it is likely that if your doors have not been updated in a long time, they are not equipped with the most efficient materials. Energy can be wasted through conduction in addition to leakage, especially if the door is old and improperly installed or sealed.

Weatherstripping is a great way to reduce energy waste through doors. Fiberglass doors are typically the most efficient, followed by vinyl, steel, and wood, which is the least efficient. Your commercial door installation company can help you choose the most efficient door for your specific needs.

In Conclusion

Saving money is important for any small business. Making a few simple changes that will pay off over time and use less energy is a great way to reduce your electric bill. Consider upgrading your windows and doors, and choose office products that require less power. While it may require an investment to make these changes upfront, over time, you’ll see the savings and reap the rewards.