When it comes to small business, there is one thing that matters — the bottom line. At the end of the day, running a business has one primary goal: make more money than you spend. And when it comes to spending, the goal is to find ways to cut costs.
One of the ways small businesses can cut costs is on energy costs. Sure, this can be done by having employees turn off their computers at the end of the day. Or turning off lights in empty rooms and cubicles. Or by constantly monitoring the thermostat. But there are other ways to save energy outside of doing things in-house.
Here are a few ways that small businesses can save money on energy costs.
Switch Energy Suppliers
As a business owner, you may assume that the rates you’re paying for electricity and natural gas can’t be lowered. But if your business is located in a deregulated state, you can switch your individual utilities to different energy suppliers who offer lower rates. And if your business consumes a substantial amount of energy per month, these lower rates could lead to huge savings.
But there are things to look out for when switching suppliers. You want to make sure you do your homework first before making the switch. Among the things you can do is visit the new supplier’s website to view their plan and pricing options. You should also check their customer service reputation and credit rating. Your goal is to look for a financially stable supplier that cares about its customers while offering you cheaper rates than you’re already paying.
Consider Solar Power
If your business is looking for more long-term pricing certainty, solar power could be the answer. It is a significant option for your future energy strategy and could offer little or no up-front initial costs.
Businesses can receive a 30 percent federal tax credit by installing solar system through the year 2019 thanks to the Solar Investment Tax Credit (SITC). What is the SITC? According to the Solar Energy Industries Association website, it is defined as follows:
The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is currently a 30 percent federal tax credit claimed against the tax liability of residential (Section 25D) and commercial and utility (Section 48) investors in solar energy property. The Section 25D residential ITC allows the homeowner to apply the credit to his/her personal income taxes. This credit is used when homeowners purchase solar systems outright and have them installed on their homes. In the case of the Section 48 credit, the business that installs, develops and/or finances the project claims the credit.
This is a great option for small businesses. It should be noted that after 2019, the tax credit percentage will be lowered incrementally through 2021. And starting in 2022, the percentage will permanently remain at 10 percent.
Consider Participating in a Demand Response Program
Simply put, a demand response program is a program that pays its participants to reduce electricity usage during times of peak usage. For example, peak usage could be experienced during the hottest time of the summer or coldest time of the winter.
Businesses can possibly earn extra income by lowering their electricity usage during these times of peak usage which, in turn, significantly lowers the stress on the overall grid. Participating in the demand response program depends on your business type, location and size. Contact your electricity supplier to find out more information.
These are just a few tips to help small businesses lower their energy costs.