If you ask any small business owner, running and operating a small business is hard work. The primary challenge they face is competing against larger corporate competitors. And for these business owners, the phrase “business as usual” could be an incredible struggle.
For small business owners, their focus is totally on the bottom line. For each penny they have to spend, they are looking for more ways to save them. So the question is, if you’re a small business owner, are you effectively managing your energy consumption? Is your business location energy efficient?
It’s interesting to note that small to medium-sized businesses account for roughly 40-50% of the country’s overall energy consumption. These business owners also indicate that energy costs are at the top of their list of expenses (or at the very least in the top two or three).
This simply means that small businesses have plenty of room for improvement when it comes to lowering their energy costs and overall footprint on the planet.
Here are our top 6 energy efficiency tips for small-to-medium-sized businesses.
Be Conscientious and Strategic
It may seem like a no-brainer, but when it comes to energy, use only what you require and reduce your overall waste. Turn off machines and equipment when they’re not actively being used. Recycle properly. And consider buying refurbished instead of new as this will positively affect your bottom line.
Use Your Brain and Buy Smart
When purchasing new equipment, look for energy efficient models. This includes printers, fax machines (yes, businesses still use those), computer monitors and printers. Even the break room should have energy efficient appliances including refrigerators and microwave ovens.
The best advice is to look for the Energy Star label when purchasing new equipment. Also, check the Energy Star website to do research on the most efficient brands and models.
Perform an Audit on Your Overall Energy Usage
Did you know that you can contract a professional to perform an energy audit of your business location? These auditors can check for excess energy usage while also spotting potential leaks. Their job is to make sure that the energy your business consumes is used as efficiently as possible. But if it’s not feasible to hire a professional right away, you can perform your own audit.
Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold
If you operate a small business where customers visit your establishment on a daily basis, it’s a good idea to make them as comfortable as possible. This starts with the temperature inside your location. You want to keep them coming back so consider purchasing a smart thermostat to keep your establishment at a reasonable temperature throughout the day.
Develop a Green Thumb
If possible, start planting trees around your business location. Or at the very least, start decorating your store with live plants. These plants, especially indigenous ones, can improve the overall air quality inside your store as well as regulate the temperature. And most importantly, plants can make your customers feel more comfortable and make your employees more productive.
Regularly Service and Maintain Your Equipment
Have your HVAC systems checked on a regular schedule. Check your restrooms and kitchen/break room for leaky faucets. Identify faulty wiring and hire an electrician. The bottom line is to keep your equipment working properly which will lead to less energy consumption and far less breakdowns.