Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Attention small business owners: some keys to keeping energy costs down

It isn’t easy owning a small business in today’s age. Expenses like rent, utilities, and inventory are at all-time highs. Even taxes are expected to spike. Conglomerates like Wal Mart squash small businesses wherever they spring up. So, how can entrepreneurs stay afloat in an increasingly competitive economy? By saving money wherever and however possible.

First off, start by educating and motivating your employees to be more energy conscious. Offer incentives to those who cut down on their electricity usage. Throw an Earth Day celebration. Remember – happy employees are hard-working employees. Keeping costs down is going to require hard work on everyone’s part.

Install smart-thermostats to maximize your heating and cooling systems. You’re paying for your employees to be comfortable. Not relaxed in a tropical or wintry climate.

Invest in an ink-jet printer. They use about 90% less energy than their laser counterparts.

Copying machines actually consume the most energy of all the appliances around your office. It takes quite a lot of energy to warm the toner in order to fuse it to the paper. Even when not in use, copying machines tend to waste a considerable amount of electricity. If you’re thinking of buying a new one, make sure it comes with duplex copying capabilities. Utilizing both sides of a page helps cut down on the machine’s usage.

If you have a T12 lighting system, replace it with T8 energy-efficient fixtures. And if you haven’t already, make sure you upgrade your incandescent lights to compact fluorescent lamps. They’ll save you money and last longer.

Speaking of lighting – turn off all non-essentials. Not using the conference room? Why keep it lit? Installing motion-detectors helps keep the lights on where they’re needed.

Do your employees still use bulky desktop computers? Think about exchanging them for laptops, which draw about 1/10th the energy. Prefer looking at the larger screen? Go ahead and plug your laptop into a larger monitor. That will still cut your energy usage in half!

But, if you insist on keeping the desktop computers, have your employees shut off their monitors if they don’t intend on using them for 30 minutes or more. The monitor alone draws about half of the computer’s overall energy.

You know the saying – TGIF! Make sure all computers, printers, copiers, and appliances are switched off or unplugged for the weekend.

Don’t let the times frustrate you. Don’t just stay afloat, either. Adapt to the ever-expanding global market and rise above your competition by demonstrating your superior energy awareness. Join the green revolution and help fight the effects of global warming. When you receive next month’s utility bill, you’ll be happy you did…

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