12 ways small businesses can save energy


Undergo an energy audit.

The most effective way to analyze how much energy you are currently using and to search for ways to save is by undergoing an energy audit. These audits are typically provided for free by your utility company. A trained technician will visit your business in person to examine your current setup, looking for leaks in your building, inadequate insulation, or lighting that is using more energy than necessary.

Invest in efficient equipment for your business.

When evaluating electronic devices for your office, find out whether or not they carry an ENERGY STAR rating. This rating system, which is provided by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, is designed to help consumers identify energy-efficient products. Tips from the Josco Energys conference show that choosing devices with this rating can wind up saving you a lot of money, making it easier to control your ongoing energy expenses.

Lower your energy usage during peak hours.

If possible, try to use as little energy as possible during the peak demand period identified by your energy provider. This is the timeframe when there is the most energy being used during the day. In most cases, peak hours fall between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Energy rates tend to be highest during these hours. You can avoid this extra expense by using your most energy-intensive equipment early in the morning or late in the evening and reducing your energy usage during the middle of the day.

Use a programmable thermostat.

These thermostats are particularly effective in offices that are only open during normal business hours. There is no point in heating or cooling the space after all of the employees have left. Even if your business has staggered office hours, you can still use a programmable thermostat to automatically control the temperature based on your company's current schedule.

Extra tip: Learn more about how to save energy with a programmable thermostat by reading our Thermostat Guide.

Use sensors to automatically turn lights off in unused spaces.

Rooms that don't get used very often like restrooms, closets, and break rooms can benefit from motion-detecting light sensors. These sensors will turn the lights on when someone comes into the room and will turn them off automatically when they leave.

Choose light bulbs that don't use a lot of energy.

Incandescent bulbs are the worst offenders when it comes to energy usage. Replacing them with energy-saving LED or compact fluorescent bulbs is an easy way to save.

Use natural light whenever possible.

If your office has windows or skylights, take advantage of natural light whenever you can. Depending on the design of your office, you may even be able to leave the lights off during the day. You can lower your energy costs even further by taking advantage of passive solar heat during the winter months. Every little bit helps when it comes to saving energy.

Use fans to cool the space.

Fans can help redirect air through the space, making it feel a lot more comfortable. Using fans to supplement your HVAC system can wind up saving you a lot of power.

Don't leave your computers or devices on when you leave for the day.

Ask all of your employees to shut down their computers before they go home. Whenever possible, consider unplugging the devices, as well. Don't forget about electronic devices in the break room since these items also can draw energy even when no one is there. This includes small kitchen appliances like toasters, microwaves, and coffee makers.

Don't waste money paying for phantom energy usage.

Most electronic devices continue to draw power when they are plugged in, even if they are turned off. This extra energy usage is referred to as phantom energy. One easy way to save is by plugging your devices into power strips. That way, you can turn the power strips off at night so that the devices are unable to draw extra power.

Use your landscaping to save energy.

If you own your building, you can use the outside landscaping to save power. Try using trees to shade your building on hot, sunny days or to shelter it from the wind. Both of these strategies can reduce the cost of heating or cooling the space.

Get your team members on board with energy savings.

There is only so much that you can do on your own to save energy. If you really want to cut back on your power usage, you need to get all of your employees involved. Try to find ways to get them excited about saving energy. Check out the page that we created on getting employees more involved for some helpful ideas that you can use for your own business.