7 tips and tools every small business needs to save money on energy

Still considering energy efficiency for your business? Improving energy efficiency can lower your business’ utility costs up to 30%, and provide these benefits:

  • Positive cash flow from savings.
  • Enhanced comfort and lighting may increase staff productivity.
  • Reduced maintenance requirements and costs from energy-efficient technologies.
  • Customer comfort: A well-lit environment can increase sales and encourage repeat business.
  • Enhanced public image: Contribution to environmental conservation positively differentiates you from competitors.

If your equipment uses energy, chances are its efficiency can be improved. By making some adjustments you can improve the energy efficiency of your operations. Here are seven tips and tools to help you do just that:

How to Save Money on Heating

Heating systems are critical to most small businesses, but can also represent a large component of your utility expenses. A wide variety of techniques and fuels are available for heating. Many systems have supporting equipment such as thermostats, pipes and ducts, which provide opportunities for saving energy.

1.  Increase the efficiency of your boiler – upgrading your boiler, removing soot and scale, optimizing excess air and fixing leaky steam traps could all help reduce costs at your facility. Boilers and steam systems consume large amounts of energy and may present an opportunity for significant cost savings. Use these calculators to see how you can save.

2.  Insulate piping and ductwork – piping and ductwork have heat losses when insulation is removed and the bare steel is exposed. These can have considerable energy costs, which when calculated, show almost immediate cost savings when repaired.

How to Save Money on Lighting

Lighting systems are critical and can account for up to 50% of your electricity consumption. In addition, all lighting systems produce heat, which is one of the primary sources of heat gain inside a building and presents a considerable added load to the air conditioning system.

3.  Replace inefficient lighting – an energy efficient lighting system can save up to 50% of lighting energy, plus up to 20% of cooling energy, compared to inefficient lighting methods. You can use this calculator to easily estimate how much money can be saved by replacing older inefficient lighting fixtures with newer technology.

How to Save Money on Cooling and Ventilation

4.  Upgrade your AC  Today’s air conditioners use 30 to 50% less energy than units made in the mid 1970s. Make sure you can decode the energy efficiency ratings and pick the new equipment that will reduce your operating costs.

5.  Reduce fan speedsif your ventilation system is not getting proper attention, energy dollars may end up on the wrong side of the fans. A 10% reduction in fan speed can result in a 30% reduction in power costs. See how much you could save by using variable speed drives to lower your fan speeds.

How to Save Money on Electricity

The electricity consumed by business equipment is significant, but it also offers opportunities for saving money. Inefficient office equipment not only draws power, but also generates heat that can contribute to higher cooling bills. Implementing a power management program can help you save money.

6.  Disconnect non-essential loads – during extended times of not being used, appliances like coffee makers, water coolers, vending machines and registers can use energy that add up to significant extra costs to your electric bill. Turning these off when not needed or installing tools to do this for you automatically can help reduce these “vampire loads.”

7.  Maintain your electrical distribution system  without electric power, it’s tough to operate a business. A properly maintained electrical distribution system will reduce electrical energy usage as well as help protect sensitive electronic equipment from damage. Here’s what we recommend for standard maintenance to help prevent failures and efficiency losses in your electrical distribution system.

Bonus: Your One-Stop Shop

Visit our Energy Efficiency Web Portal for even more tips on how your small businesses can save money on energy. There you’ll find plenty more ways to get the most out of your equipment. Does saving up to 30% per year in energy costs sound like a plan?

 

© 2014 The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This article is intended for information purposes only. HSB makes no warranties or representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this article.

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