Businesses are the biggest energy consumers, so it only makes sense for business leaders to reevaluate their energy consumption. Energy-saving is also a part of corporate social responsibility practices by making the workplace more sustainable and eco-friendly. But unlike small businesses, big corporations with energy-intensive usages have to streamline their strategies to ensure fewer carbon emissions and energy costs. These strategies vary from installing smart technologies, commercial solar panels, and energy-efficient devices.
Running any type of business is a tough venture. It becomes more difficult when the overhead costs pile up. From rental space, benefits, employee salaries, and utilities, all these factors can affect the operational costs of running a business. Among these expenses, electricity is the most expensive, especially if the business runs on long days with high energy requirements.
While it is a business owner’s obligation to introduce ways to promote smart changes in the workplace, it is also necessary that employees remain involved in a company’s energy-saving initiatives. With this in mind, here are some ways to save energy and promote positive changes in the workplace.
Switch to energy-efficient appliances
From exhaust fans, refrigerators, air conditioning systems, and old equipment, these appliances incur the highest energy cost if they are working inefficiently. To avoid skyrocketing energy bills, it is best to upgrade office equipment by investing in energy-efficient units.
Switching into energy-efficient models makes a big difference to a company’s energy consumption. They can improve a company’s sustainability by cutting energy costs by 75% than other similar models. While most energy-efficient models are more pricey than standard units, they provide better returns by reducing energy consumption at large percentages.
For those with a tight budget, there’s no need to worry if you cannot replace every appliance in the office. Start on cheaper energy-saving appliances, such as programmable thermostats and energy-efficient light bulbs, such as LED or CFL. As you progress, invest in other energy-saving equipment until you have upgraded every outdated appliance in the workplace.
If you want bigger changes in your utility bills, solar panels provide free energy sources for your business. Although they are very expensive, they generate bigger returns on your finances.
In the meantime, get employees engaged in observing energy-efficient practices by switching off devices when not in use, such as coffee machines, air conditioners, lights, scanners, printers, and microwaves. Assign an employee to check if all appliances are turned off, especially before the holidays or weekends.
Conduct energy audits
Conducting energy audits help determine energy leaks, which gives you an idea of which areas require changes in energy consumption. Energy auditing companies help business owners conduct energy audits at the workplace, but you can also do it yourself. You can also ask utility companies if they offer free audits to their customers.
Aside from energy audits, make sure to monitor energy bills while enforcing energy-saving policies. Energy audits will never be useful if you are not tracking the progress of your business’ energy outcomes. To save time and effort, use an energy-usage meter to determine the rate of energy consumption at different areas, times, and power points of your business.
While monitoring energy usage, inform the staff about energy-saving practices to promote a sustainable culture in the workplace. If you’ve been seeing positive results on energy consumption, reward employees through incentives.
Focus on repairs
Doing repairs in the workplace can also reduce energy costs in the business. If you notice employees depend too much on heating systems during winter, it’s time to check for air leaks, drafts, and other possible entries for cold air.
Start by sealing small drafts in the electrical outlets, window- and wall-mounted air conditioners, phone lines, and window and door frames. In the winter months, these small drafts can affect energy consumption by driving up the energy bill. Applying proper sealing will reduce those drafts and lessen energy costs.
For windows, install internal blinds, external shutters, and reflective film to lessen the amount of sunlight that enters the building. Seal doors with draft excluders and auto door shutters to retain heat in the winter and better cooling during summer.
Ceiling insulation also helps in controlling room temperature. Treat the ceiling and roof by installing loft insulation. You can also fit roof tiles and apply heat-reflective paint on the roof to reflect the sunlight and reduce heat during the summer months.
Following energy-efficient practices in your business can make a difference in your operating costs. Whether you’re a small business entrepreneur or a large-scale business owner, saving energy provides better returns to your business by increasing its market value and making it more sustainable. As you employ the suggestions above, your next step is to raise awareness on maintaining sustainability in the workplace.