The electrical demand in businesses today far exceeds that of previous decades. Powerful industrial machines, computer networks, phone systems, and commercial appliances create powerful results, but they also create a massive energy demand. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, around 40 percent of the total energy consumption in the United States is by commercial and residential buildings. How can your business reduce the demand?
Turn Off Computers & Equipment
Devices that are left on, even in hibernation mode, are using electricity. A company with 100 employees could save almost $10,000 in one year if every workstation computer was turned off at the end of the day! Even IBM tells their employees that they can save $1 million every year if they turn off their computers for just one hour every day.
In addition to computers, you should shut off everything that doesn’t need to be left on—industrial equipment, lights, printers, scanners, and coffee makers can be shut off on weekends and holidays. Obviously, things such as servers and security lights will need to stay powered on.
Adjust Your Thermostat
For a low price, you can invest in a programmable thermostat. You can save up to 10 percent on energy costs just by turning a business thermostat down 7 to 10 degrees during the night when no one is at the office. With a programmable thermostat, you don’t need to set a reminder to turn the heat down or the A/C up when you leave the office—the thermostat will do it for you.
Install Alternative Energy Systems
Solar is a great option for commercial electric use. There may be an investment up front, but the savings your company will realize will increase with every year of use. Solar power can reduce your electrical costs by thousands of dollars every year. Energy savings can be between 10 to 14 percent.
Biomass power is another energy source used by some industrial companies. It’s derived by burning plant and animal wastes—such as sawdust, bark, corn stalks, wood chips, and animal manures. Because biomass power uses materials that are already waste, it’s a very cost-effective option.
Wind energy is another fast-growing alternative energy option. Because it requires the installation of one or more wind turbines, this option is subject to zoning, noise, avian, and aviation tests and permits. If your business is fortunate enough to pass the requirements, you can benefit from substantial savings.
Install LED Lighting
LED lighting is the latest advancement in lighting technology and is especially effective for large commercial situations, such as office buildings, schools, retail stores, and industrial environments. If installed correctly, LED lights can reduce lighting energy costs between 50 to 90 percent. An LED retrofit involves replacing existing lighting fixtures and bulbs—a simple upgrade that a professional electrician can easily help you accomplish. With LED lighting, you can realize savings even sooner than you will with solar energy.
Reducing your electric costs means that your company’s net profit will increase. That’s always a welcome result for every business owner. Obviously, some options require more up-front investment than others, but when you make gradual changes to your company’s energy use plan, the savings will start stacking up.